IGCSE English Language 

The Course

This subject hardly requires an introduction; the ability to express oneself clearly and to understand clearly what others have expressed is so obviously a fundamental requirement in all aspects of our life, and also has an immediate effect on students’ capacities in all other subjects where reading and writing are necessary (and there are few subjects where they are not!) The course is designed with the three elements of the final assessment – reading, writing and ‘conference’ – very much in mind. Stress is laid on students exploring their own interests while at the same time developing their sense of the range of styles available to them.

What skills do I need?

You need the capacity to write creatively and discursively, and the ability to read critically and thoughtfully.

How is the course assessed?

There are two written examinations on two papers. The Unit 2 paper (Reading Passages (Extended)) contains three questions set on two passages linked by a common theme. You have to (i) understand and collate explicit meanings;  (ii) understand, explain and collate implicit meanings and attitudes; and (iii) select, analyse and evaluate what is relevant to specific purposes. 

The Unit 3 paper (Directed Writing and Composition (Core and Extended)) is divided in into two sections. In Section 1 (Directed Writing), you read one or more short unseen texts. You then use and develop the information given in another form, eg a letter, a report, a speech or a dialogue. In Section 2 (Composition), you write one composition from a choice of argumentative, discursive, descriptive and narrative titles. Both papers last 2 hours and are worth 50% each.


Twentieth Century Short Stories
By D. Barnes, R. Egford
Published by Nelson Thornes, ISBN 978-0174441700

Exam Board and Specification Code

Cambridge 0500

Richard Martin
Head of Department