International GCSE English Language

GCSE English Language

This international GCSE qualification gives teachers freedom of choice in approaches to teaching and learning whilst providing a rigorous summative assessment of students' skills and abilities.

The different reading tasks in Paper 1 and Paper 2 enable students to develop specific skills in inference, exploration, language analysis and deduction, alongside the more general skills of selection, synthesis and organisation.

The alternative Non-Exam Assessment (NEA) option to Paper 2 will appeal to students of all abilities who wish to pursue an individual area of study. With its focus on independent research and learning and the development of study skills, it provides an invaluable preparation for higher level study.

This qualification is available for teaching now in Bahrain, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.


Optional endorsement: Speaking and listening (teacher assessed)

Unit 1: Literary non-fiction and composition

Unit 2: Source-based reading and directed writing OR non-exam assessment


  • Linear specification; individual components may not be re-sat.
  • Candidates can re-take the whole qualification as many times as they wish.

Syllabus summary

Literary Non-Fiction and Composition:

  • Section A (reading): literary non-fiction e.g. autobiography, biography, letters, memoir and travel/adventure writing.
  • Section B (writing): three tasks from which students choose one: descriptive/imaginative, argumentative or discursive.

Source-Based Reading and Directed Writing:

  • Section A (reading): modern world themes and issues.
  • Section B (writing): writing for audience and purpose.

Non-Exam Assessment (NEA):

  • Incorporates reading, study, research and writing skills.

Speaking and Listening (optional endorsement):

  • This optional endorsement carries a separate statement on the student's certificate for English to show proficiency in spoken English.

Download the complete Oxford AQA International GCSE English Language specification (PDF, 439 KB).

Resources available with this specification

Oxford International AQA Examinations provides the resources and advice you need to teach the International GCSE English Language specification effectively.

Teacher Guidance Document

Prepare for your year ahead by accessing the essential information you need to deliver the International GCSE English Language specification.

Classroom Activity Sheets

Access worksheets developed by teachers for teachers, providing a useful set of practical resources to use in the classroom.

Scheme of Work

Plan how to teach International GCSE English Language and English Literature alongside each other over a two-year course.

Specimen Papers and Mark Schemes

See how the International GCSE English Language specification will be assessed, so you can help your students prepare to sit their exams.

Marked Exemplars

Prepare your students in exam technique with the help of exemplar student answers and examiner commentaries that show how examiners interpret the mark scheme. Marked Exemplars for International GCSE English Language will be available from the first teaching day of the 2016/17 academic year.

Enhanced Results Analysis™ tool

Our free Enhanced Results Analysis tool (ERA) gives you instant analysis of your students’ results. You’ll see how students performed in each unit, topic and marks they received for each question. This allows you to see which questions proved the most challenging, or how different classes performed, so you know what areas to focus on in following years. The tool will be available following published results from the first cohort of International GCSE English Language students in 2018.

Download this specification

(PDF, 439 KB)

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