Our GCSE English experts answer your questions
Our Head of Curriculum for English – Deborah Pearson – shares her expertise to answer the questions you’ve been asking us this month.
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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.
- Chief Examiner’s report – access the full report on the GCSE English Language 2017 exam on SKM in e-AQA
- Further Insights Guide: Writing task for paper 2
- Student responses on Exampro English
- GCSE English Language: your guide to our specimen assessment materials – includes snapshots of Question 5 from across all sets of sample assessment materials
- Teachit English resources
- Log in to e-AQA for enhanced results analysis and examiner reports
- GOV.UK grade descriptors for GCSE English Language (9 to 1)
- Teacher notes: question structure in the exam