Why choose this specification?
Based on a range of relevant, real-life texts, contexts and scenarios, Functional English reflects today's challenges. Tasks may involve:
- reading leaflets, reports or articles
- writing letters, emails or notices
- taking part in discussions and giving presentations.
Functional English comprises:
- Speaking, Listening and Communication.
Students are entered for Level 1 or Level 2 when they can demonstrate all the skills standards outlined at that level.
Reading Level 1
Read and understand a range of straightforward texts.
- Identify the main points and ideas and how they are presented in a variety of texts.
- Read and understand texts in detail.
- Utilise information in texts.
- Identify suitable responses to texts.
Reading Level 2
Select, read, understand and compare texts and use them to gather information, ideas, arguments and opinions.
- Select and use different types of texts to obtain and utilise relevant information.
- Read and summarise, succinctly, information and ideas from different sources.
- Identify the purposes of texts and comment on how meaning is conveyed.
- Detect point of view, implicit meaning and bias.
- Analyse texts in relation to audience needs and consider suitable responses.
Writing Level 1
Write a range of texts to communicate information, ideas and opinions, using formats and styles suitable for their purpose and audience.
- Write clearly and coherently, including an appropriate level of detail.
- Present information in a logical sequence.
- Use language, format and structure suitable for purpose and audience.
- Use correct grammar, including correct and consistent use of tense.
- Ensure written work contains generally accurate punctuation and spelling and that meaning is clear.
Writing Level 2
Write a range of texts, including extended written documents, communicating information, ideas and opinions effectively and persuasively.
- Present information/ideas concisely, logically and persuasively.
- Present information on complex subjects clearly and concisely.
- Use a range of writing styles for different purposes.
- Use a range of sentence structures, including complex sentences and paragraphs to organise written communication effectively.
- Punctuate written text using commas, apostrophes and inverted commas accurately.
- Make sure written work is fit for purpose and audience, with accurate spelling and grammar that support clear meaning in a range of text types.
Speaking, Listening and Communication Level 1
Take full part in formal and informal discussions and exchanges that include unfamiliar subjects.
- Make relevant and extended contributions to discussions, allowing for and responding to others' input.
- Prepare for and contribute to the formal discussion of ideas and opinions.
- Make different kinds of contributions to discussions.
- Present information and points of view clearly and in appropriate language.
Speaking, Listening and Communication Level 2
Make a range of contributions to discussions in a range of contexts, including those that are unfamiliar. Make effective presentations.
- Consider complex information and give a relevant, cogent response in appropriate language.
- Present information and ideas clearly and persuasively to others.
- Adapt contributions to suit audience, purpose and situation.
- Make significant contributions to discussions, taking a range of roles and helping to move discussion forward.
Overlap with other qualifications
Functional English is available as a standalone qualification. It is also:
- embedded in programmes of study at Key Stage 3 and 4
- a component of apprenticeship frameworks and foundation learning
- a replacement for Key Skills qualifications at Levels 1 and 2.
Students can re-sit the qualification any number of times.
Private candidates must have their controlled assessment supervised and marked at an AQA school/college. For more information, please see our Private candidates page.
Level 1 students can move on to Level 2. The qualification prepares students for the functional elements of GCSE English and English Language.