Why choose AQA for GCSE English Language

A specification designed for you and your students

Our assessments have been designed to inspire and motivate students, providing appropriate stretch and challenge whilst ensuring, as far as possible, that the assessment and texts are accessible to the full range of students.

The specification will enable students of all abilities to develop the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts covering the 19th, 20th and 21st century time periods as well as to write clearly, coherently and accurately using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures.

Dynamic and engaging content

The specification offers the attraction of two equally-balanced papers, relating reading sources to the topic and theme of writing tasks. The reading sources act as stimulus for writing tasks, providing students with a clear route through each paper.

Each paper has a distinct identity to better support high quality provision and engaging teaching and learning. Paper 1, Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing, looks at how writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to engage the interest of readers. Paper 2, Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives, looks at how different writers present a similar topic over time.

Our approach to spoken language (previously speaking and listening) will emphasise the importance of the wider benefits that speaking and listening skills have for students. The endorsed unit will draw on good practice to suggest how engaging formative tasks can lead to a single summative assessment.

Skills-based approach

The specification offers a skills-based approach to the study of English Language in an untiered context. Questions are designed to take students on an assessment journey through lower tariff tasks to more extended responses.

Teach Language and Literature together

The specification is fully co-teachable with GCSE English Literature. Students who choose to study both will benefit from the transferable skills developed across the two subjects.

We’re behind you every step of the way

After careful consultation with practising teachers, subject associations and employers, we have designed the specification to meet the needs of students and teachers, providing high quality assessment and good provision for English. It offers excellent preparation for AS and A-level English, as well as equipping students with essential life-skills and the best progression route to future employment.

With AQA you can rest assured that your students will receive the grade that fairly represents their attainment and reflects the skills that they have demonstrated.

You can find out about all our English qualifications at

Support and resources to help you teach

We know that support and resources are vital for your teaching and that you have limited time to find or develop good quality materials. So we’ve worked with experienced teachers to provide you with a range of resources that will help you confidently plan, teach and prepare for exams.

Teaching resources

We have too many English Language resources to list here so visit to see them all. They include:

  • English Language reading support booklet. This will include a wide range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st century and some suggested teaching activities to support you in preparing students for the reading sections of both papers
  • a KS3 resource about 19th century texts helping you to develop progression through KS3 into KS4
  • a digital anthology which will include resources to support the teaching of English Language and English Literature
  • provision of resources to teach speaking and listening skills, in recognition of the wider benefits that these skills have for your students
  • marked and annotated student responses to the questions on our specimen papers with senior examiner commentaries
  • Subject Advocates who will support you in the transition to the new specification and facilitate local and regional network and update meetings
  • student textbooks and digital resources that have been checked and endorsed by AQA
  • training courses to help you deliver AQA GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature qualifications
  • subject expertise courses for all teachers; from newly-qualified teachers who are just getting started to experienced teachers looking for fresh inspiration.

Preparing for exams

Visit for everything you need to prepare for our exams, including:

  • past papers, mark schemes and examiners’ reports
  • specimen papers and mark schemes for new courses
  • Exampro: a searchable bank of past AQA exam questions
  • exemplar student answers with examiner commentaries.

Analyse your students' results with Enhanced Results Analysis (ERA)

Find out which questions were the most challenging, how the results compare to previous years and where your students need to improve. ERA, our free online results analysis tool, will help you see where to focus your teaching. Register at

For information about results, including maintaining standards over time, grade boundaries and our post-results services, visit

Keep your skills up to date with professional development

Wherever you are in your career, there’s always something new to learn. As well as subject-specific training, we offer a range of courses to help boost your skills:

  • improve your teaching skills in areas including differentiation, teaching literacy and meeting Ofsted requirements
  • help you prepare for a new role with our leadership and management courses.

You can attend a course at venues around the country, in your school or online – whatever suits your needs and availability. Find out more at

Get help and support

Visit our website for information, guidance, support and resources at

You can talk directly to the English Language subject team:


T: 0161 953 7504