GCSE English as a Second Language Course
Exam Board and Specification Code: Edexcel (4ES1)
The course covers three key skill areas: Reading, Writing and Listening.
Reading: Students will develop and practise a number of important skills including skimming and scanning, reading for gist, reading for detail, and following a line of argument and identifying the author’s attitudes and opinions within a text. Students on this course will study a number of interesting, mostly non-fiction, texts that cover a wide range of topics.
Writing: Students will develop and practise their ability to write clear and relevant texts in English in differing contexts that require a range of styles depending on the audience. Students will practise writing informal texts (for example, to a friend or family member) and semi-formal texts (for example, a magazine article or a school report), as well writing summaries of longer, semi-formal or formal texts. As with the reading, the writing section of this course covers a broad range of topics.
Listening: Students will develop and practise their ability to understand a wide range of recorded material. The skills practised include listening for detailed information, following a discussion or line of argument, identifying the speaker’s opinions and attitudes from a text (stated and implied), and picking out relevant information from longer texts and discussions. The texts studied in this section of the course cover a wide range of interesting subject material.
What Skills do I need?
The course requires students to be highly motivated in improving their English both inside and outside the classroom, as well as possessing a good working knowledge of English on which to build and improve. The skills acquired on this course, outlined above, will improve students’ chances of success when it comes to studying other material in English, as well as being helpful to navigating practical, real-world situations in contexts where English is spoken.
How is the Course Assessed?
The course is assessed by two exam papers, all aspects of which will be practised throughout the year.
Paper 1: Reading and Writing
Paper 1 consists of six parts: Reading Parts 1-3 and Writing Parts 4-6. In Parts 1-3, students will be required to read three texts, and answer questions about them in order to demonstrate their comprehension. Part 1 will assess their skimming and scanning skills, while Parts 2 and 3 will assess students’ ability to read for both gist and detail, with Part 3 also assessing students’ ability to follow a line or argument or discussion and identify the author’s opinions and attitudes. In Parts 4-6 students will be required to write clear and relevant texts. Part 4 requires students to write an informal letter or email. Part 5 requires students to write a semi-formal article, letter or report. Finally, Part 6 requires students to read and then summarise in their own words a given, semi-formal text (thus testing both students’ writing and reading skills).
Paper 2: Listening
Paper 2 consists of four parts, each focussing on a given text. Part 1 assesses students’ ability to listen for detailed information, while all other parts require students to follow a line of argument or discussion and identify the attitudes and opinions of the speaker. Parts 3 and 4 are based around longer texts, and therefore require students to identify relevant information and finer points of detail, as well as identifying attitudes and opinions which can be either stated or merely implied.
Edexcel IGCSE (9-1) English as a Second Language Student Book: Nicky Winder & Laurence Gardner
Pearson Education: ISBN-13: 978-0435188948)