Our GCSE English experts answer your questions

You asked us - October 2017

Our Head of Curriculum for English – Deborah Pearson – shares her expertise to answer the questions you’ve been asking us this month.

We’ve got your back – every step of the way.

In March 2018, you asked us...

How can my students improve their writing responses to question 5 on Paper 2 for GCSE English Language?

We’ve collected the following key pointers from the Chief Examiner’s report on the GCSE English Language 2017 exam to help you.

Use an appropriate form and register

Students should use a form and register that is appropriate to the audience and purpose. The question is designed so that students can identify the intended audience and the required purpose from the prompts given.

Don’t over-use linguistic devices

Avoid over-using linguistic devices – encourage students to make sure these are fit for purpose before including them. Linguistic devices can be very effective when used sparingly and appropriately so advise students to choose carefully.

Keep your argument on track

Students must sustain the thrust of their arguments. This means resisting the urge to change direction mid-response, as this can mean that students lose track of their train of thought.

Try a cyclical argument structure

Students should be wary of creating fictional statistics, experts and anecdotes. These features are rarely effective in developing and enforcing a clear line of argument.

Encourage them to consider an inventive structure to their arguments, eg cyclical.