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English Language & English Literature GCSE

OCR J351 and J352

Why study English?

GCSE English Language develops all areas of your communication skills, applicable to all your subjects. GCSE English Literature gives you the opportunity to respond to, and enjoy, many different kinds of texts, discovering the place of Literature in its social, historical and cultural context. English Language and English Literature are taught as a combined course leading to two separate qualifications.

You will study:

  • Non-fiction and literary non-fiction texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries
  • A range of literature: poetry, prose and drama, including a Shakespeare play

You will learn:

  • How to write effectively for a variety of purposes, both creative and practical
  • How to organise Literature essays, including textual reference/quotation and develop critical appreciation of the use of language.

Assessment in GCSE English Language

Communicating Information and Ideas (J351/01)  

This exam focuses on reading and writing non-fiction texts.  

You will read and compare non-fiction texts: one 19th century non-fiction text and one 20th or 21st-century text. You will also write one piece of original non-fiction.  

Exploring Effects and Impact (J351/02)

This exam focuses on reading literary prose texts and creative writing. You will read and respond to literary prose texts; one text may be literary non-fiction. Both texts are 20th or 21st-century literary prose. You will also complete one piece of original creative writing.

Spoken Language (J351/03)

You will present information and ideas in spoken presentations, and listen and respond to others appropriately.

Assessment in GCSE English Literature

Exploring Modern and Literary Heritage Texts (J352/01)

This exam will include questions on the studied modern drama text, ‘An Inspector Calls’, including making connections with unseen extracts from a thematically-linked modern play.  

You will also write an essay on your studied 19th-century prose text, ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’.

Exploring Poetry and Shakespeare (J352/02)

This exam will include questions on the ‘Love and Relationships’ poems from the OCR Poetry Anthology, including making connections with a thematically linked unseen poem. 

You will also write an essay on your studied Shakespeare play, ‘Romeo and Juliet’.  

Both Literature examinations are closed text.