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IGCSE English syllabus places an emphasis on language skills. Students are encouraged to employ appropriate vocabulary, proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, as well as display a sense of style and audience awareness in their use of language.

Through reading, students will develop the ability to comprehend and organise meanings, summarise, paraphrase, and comprehend how authors attain certain effects.

Through writing, students will learn to articulate their own experiences; express thoughts, feelings, and imagined ideas clearly; organise and present facts, ideas, and opinions; understand and use vocabulary and register appropriate to the audience and context; and use correct grammar, paragraphs, sentences, punctuation, and spelling.

Key Reading Skills

Overview

This topic focuses on reading for gist and particular information, choosing the most important details for a summary, and the language used by the author. Students will concentrate on mastering crucial abilities including attentively and precisely reading texts, providing evidence for their claims, and making inference. They will also practice mastering summary abilities like taking excellent notes and paraphrasing.

Learning Objectives

This section will help the students develop a range of fundamental reading skills, which they will use throughout their IGCSE course/exam. They will learn how to:

  • Skim and scan the text to locate information
  • Select information
  • Understand explicit
  • Infer and deduce implicit meanings
  • Synthesise information

Subtopics Covered

  • Locating information: skimming
  • Locating information: scanning
  • Selecting information
  • Explicit meaning
  • Implicit meaning: character
  • Implicit meaning: setting
  • Emotive language
  • Sensory language
  • Synthesis

Key Technical Skills

Overview

This topic provides students with some key guidelines and principles about writing which are relevant to any kind of writing task. While working on a writing task, the student needs to think about its purpose and decide what effect this has on the writing style.

Learning Objectives

This section helps the students develop a range of fundamental technical skills that they will use throughout their IGCSE course/exam. They will learn how to:

  • Use a range of sentence types for effect
  • Punctuate accurately and effectively
  • Use paragraphs to organise ideas effectively and to create cohesion
  • Use a wide range of vocabulary to interest and engage the reader
  • Use formal and informal language effectively
  • Cater to the needs of different audiences
  • Write in a variety of voices and roles

Subtopics Covered

  • Sentence types, functions and varieties
  • Sentences for effect
  • Punctuation
  • Paragraph cohesion
  • Vocabulary
  • Audience: formality and informality
  • Choosing the right style for your audience
  • Voice and role

Key Writing Skills

Overview

One of the three situations in which the students may need to produce a piece of writing as part of an examination is directed writing. In this topic, students will examine discursive texts’ structure and content to learn how to distinguish between ideas, facts, and opinions. Students will dissect news pieces, look at the author’s point of view, and spot bias.

In addition, they will look at two intriguing non-fiction text extracts and investigate how authors may sway their audience using form, organisation, and language choices. Students will also examine how authors present opposing points of view in their writing and how they could use persuasive language devices like imperatives.

Learning Objectives

This section will help the students develop a range of fundamental writing skills that they will need for the Directed Writing and composition paper. They will learn the following:

  • Understand the key conventions of different forms of writing: speeches, dialogue and interviews, diary and journal entries, reports, news reports, feature articles, and letters
  • Use some of these conventions in writing various forms
  • Learn how to write for a range of purposes: persuade, argue, analyse, explore and discuss, inform, review, describe, and narrative writing

Subtopics Covered

  • Conventions of speeches
  • Conventions of dialogue and interviews
  • Conventions of diaries and journals
  • Conventions of reports
  • Conventions of news reports and feature articles
  • Conventions of letters
  • Writing to analyse
  • Writing to explore and discuss
  • Writing to persuade
  • Writing to argue
  • Writing to inform
  • Writing to review
  • Writing to describe: Atmosphere
  • Writing to describe: Structure
  • Narrative Writing

Summary Questions

Overview

Writing summaries is one of the main tasks students will be required to do in IGCSE English examination. Although it involves writing, it also tests reading skills. Here, students look at ways to improve analytical abilities by examining some passages from non-fiction. students learn how to comprehend and react to literary techniques, figurative language, and imagery as well as how to express yourself eloquently while discussing a piece of literary work.

Learning Objectives

This section helps students write a selective summary of what they have read. They will need to:

  • Locate the particular section of the passage that the task or question refers to
  • Understand the specific focus of the question
  • Understand the specific meanings of words and phrases in the passage
  • Understand the implicit meanings and attitudes in the passage
  • Select, analyse, and evaluate what is relevant to include
  • Note the key points to include in own words
  • Write in an appropriate style for a summary, concisely, and using own words

Subtopics Covered

  • Understanding summary questions
  • Preparing to answer summary questions

Comprehension & Writer’s Effects Questions

Overview

This topic focuses on comprehension, a crucial talent for understanding and interpreting any written work in its entirety. Additionally, the section tests students’ understanding of writer’s effects – students decipher the texts’ implied and explicit meanings, paying great attention to the author’s linguistic choices. Students examine the descriptive components of fiction writings on this topic, analysing and elaborating on the techniques and philosophies of the authors. Additionally, when reading passages,students consider the distinction between “explicit” and “implicit” comprehension.

Learning Objectives

This section helps students consider the language used by writers and the effect that it has on the reader. They will need to:

  • Locate the particular section of the passage that the task or question refers to
  • Select relevant or appropriate words, phrases, or language features
  • Explain or analyse the effect of these choices using own words
  • Write clearly but also look for connections between the writer’s words and your words-related ideas

Subtopics Covered

  • Understanding comprehension questions
  • Preparing to answer comprehension questions
  • Understanding writer’s effect questions: explaining the meanings
  • Preparing to answer summary questions

Extended Response & Directed Writing Questions

Overview

For many students, directed writing could sometimes be challenging. When writing is directed, students are given a specific assignment with guidelines. The reading assignment will be closely related to the writing assignment, which will be provided to them. Here, students get the ability to contrast and compare various texts and articulate the accumulated thoughts and views from the same. They will also learn how to analyse a text and produce a compelling essay or letter based on it.

Learning Objectives

Part of the assessment tasks will require students to read one or two passages and select points and details from them to then reuse and adapt to create a new piece of writing on a given topic and for a given audience. Here, the students will need to use both reading and writing skills:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the explicit meanings included in the passage
  • Demonstrate understanding of implicit meanings and attitudes in the passage
  • Analyse, evaluate, and develop facts, ideas, and opinions
  • Articulate experience and express what is thought, felt and imagined
  • Sequence facts, ideas, and opinions
  • Use a range of appropriate vocabulary
  • Use registers appropriate to the audience and context
  • Make accurate use of spelling, punctuation, and grammar

Subtopics Covered

  • Understanding extended response questions
  • Developing an extended response
  • Understanding a directed writing response

Composition Questions

Overview

Most English Language syllabuses will include one paper that tests the students’ ability to write in response to imaginative writing tasks. Students will examine the descriptive and narrative components of fiction writings in this section, analysing and elaborating on the techniques and philosophies of the authors. Additionally, when reading passages, students will consider the distinction between “explicit” and “implicit” comprehension.

Learning Objectives

Composition questions will give the students the opportunity to write at length. Here, the students will need to use both reading and writing skills:

  • Articulate experience and express what is thought, felt, and imagined
  • Sequence facts, ideas, and opinions
  • Use a range of appropriate vocabulary
  • Use registers appropriate to audience and context
  • Make accurate use of spelling, punctuation, and grammar

Subtopics Covered

  • Understanding composition questions
  • Planning and developing a composition
  • Descriptive writing: imagery and sensory detail
  • Descriptive writing: structure and detail
  • Narrative writing: structure and detail
  • Narrative writing: characterisation and dialogue

Written Coursework Option

Overview

Students who choose the coursework option must complete a portfolio of three works of writing. These will provide students the chance to delve deeper into concepts and choose a novel or creative approaches to writing, replying, and offering their own perspectives on their observations of the world around them. They will have enough time to try out various points of view, structures, and historical periods, as well as novel forms and in-depth character development.

Learning Objectives

Composition questions will give the students the opportunity to write at length. Here, the students will need to use both reading and writing skills:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the explicit meanings included in the passage
  • Demonstrate understanding of implicit meanings and attitudes in the passage
  • Analyse, evaluate, and develop facts, ideas, and opinions
  • Articulate experience and express what is thought, felt and imagined
  • Sequence facts, ideas, and opinions
  • Use a range of appropriate vocabulary
  • Use registers appropriate to the audience and context
  • Make accurate use of spelling, punctuation, and grammar

Subtopics Covered

  • Understanding the form, purpose, and style of different texts
  • How to approach informative, analytical and argumentative assignments
  • How to approach descriptive and narrative assignments
  • How to approach assignments by engaging with ideas and arguments from other texts
  • Ways of developing own views

Speaking and Listening (Optional)

Overview

Students should be able to organise, articulate, and present each of the types of evaluations on the test, should the school decide to evaluate the student’s speaking and listening abilities via an exam or through a series of coursework assignments. There are four different forms of assessment: individual, group, pair, and discussion-based activities. The right subject must be carefully chosen, and students need to learn what language and tones are acceptable for various audiences.

Learning Objectives

Speaking and listening options will give the students the opportunity to express themselves well and apply the skills learned. Here, the students will need to use both reading and writing skills:

  • Articulate experience and express what is thought, felt, and imagined
  • Sequence facts, ideas, and opinions
  • Use a range of appropriate vocabulary
  • Use registers appropriate to the audience and context
  • Make accurate use of spelling, punctuation, and grammar

Subtopics Covered

  • Using the writing language for your audience
  • Choosing and researching a presentation topic
  • Structuring your presentation
  • Using imagery, rhetorical techniques, and humour for effect
  • Interviews

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