Resources for teachers: Teaching English Language for the GCSE


You can talk about relevant topics with your students during GCSE. For example, you can urge your students to be sceptical of how authors are seeking to position them by having them read and analyse various works, both fiction and non-fiction. These techniques can then be applied in their writing to help them develop into assured and imaginative writers.

This is an exciting concept because you are giving them the tools they need to form their own opinions about the world, but because the subject is so wide, it can also be intimidating. In addition, few resources are accessible to assist you with your tutorials. The new GCSE for the English Language will be evaluated for the first time this summer, exacerbating the problem. However, after researching, use this to give tutorials tailored to your and your student’s interests.

Getting ready for the first tutorial

Determine which exam board your student will be taking as the first step in preparing for your lesson; this will assist you in properly preparing your pupils for their exams. Below, you may see a breakdown of the curriculum modifications for the three major exam boards and an overview of the significant changes to the English Language O-level.

To obtain a clearer idea of what your student will be expected to complete, read their test board’s specifications and peruse the sample papers. Additionally, the sample papers include mark systems and “indicative content” that lists the kinds of concepts students should cover in their responses. By going through these, you can better understand the types of responses the exam boards are searching for. These resources are all available on the exam boards’ websites, which are linked below.

These papers can be used to create your own “model” responses, which you can then show to students to help them organise their ideas for the best possible grade. This will also give you the chance to put yourself in your student’s position and identify the issues that can arise; from there, you can advise them on how to handle them.

You can begin organising your tutorials once you have a solid grasp of your students’ examinations. The English Language GCSE exams that students will take involve reading and writing tasks, most of which are based on the same theme. Students will be evaluated on their abilities to analyse and create texts. For each tutorial, I want to concentrate on a particular theme with pertinent reading and writing exercises.

The English Language GCSE exams that students will take involve reading and writing tasks, most of which are based on the same theme. In addition, students will be evaluated on their abilities to analyse and create texts.

Make a list of the major topics you want to cover in your lectures, such as the environment, holidays, prison conditions, education, sexism, etc. Afterwards, choose one or two works that address these themes and look for intriguing passages that could be examined and are appropriate for the questions on your students’ exam papers. Before creating pertinent exam-style questions, consider the book sections you would like your pupils to analyse and consider how a conversation might pave the way for this. Finally, create a writing assignment based on these extracts that students can complete in class or as homework, if appropriate.


The “Overview of important changes to English Language GCSE” will show that English Language tests now include more difficult texts than they did in the past, including literature from the 19th to the 21st centuries and from a broader range of genres. As a result, choosing extracts to utilise in lessons has grown a little more challenging.

Use what you already have, especially for books from the twenty-first century. Use stories from top-notch broadsheet newspapers, both printed and online (tabloids, while fascinating from a language perspective, will not have the required level of challenging vocabulary). Additionally, you can locate pertinent fiction excerpts from books you have already read.