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English Language

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Language is central to students’ intellectual, social and emotional development and has an essential role in all key learning areas. English is vital for communicating with others in school and in the wider world, and is fundamental to learning in all curriculum subjects. It should be considered in a holistic way, taking account of the integral nature of the attainment targets. Talking, listening, reading and writing extend across all areas of the curriculum. Talking and listening should sometimes be ends in themselves while at other times they may arise as preparation for and/or responses to reading and writing.

The importance of English in the curriculum is recognition of its role as the national language and increasingly as the language of international communication. Proficiency in English enables students to take their place as confident, articulate communicators, critical and imaginative thinkers and active participants in society

The study of English enables students to recognise and use a diversity of approaches and texts to meet the growing array of literacy demands, including higher-order social, aesthetic and cultural literacy. These programmes are designed to promote a sound knowledge of the structure and function of the English language and to develop effective English communication skills.


In studying English, delegates develop skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing that they will need to participate in society and employment. Delegates learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others confidently and effectively.

The learning experiences provided in this syllabus will assist students to become competent in English and to use language effectively in a range of contexts. Competence in English will enable students to learn about the role of language in their own lives, and in their own and other cultures. They will then be able to communicate their thoughts and feelings, to participate in society, to make informed decisions about personal and social issues, to analyse information and viewpoints, to use their imaginations and to think about the influence of culture on the meanings made with language.

The approach taken in this syllabus is based on the three main interrelated uses of language:

  • to interact with others;
  • to create and interpret texts;
  • to develop understandings about the world and ourselves;
  • for career progression.


The study of English should include, across speaking and listening, reading and writing:

  • spoken language variation and attitudes to use of standard and non-standard forms;
  • the ways in which language reflects identity through regional, social and personal variation and diversity;
  • the differences between spoken and written language in terms of vocabulary, structure and grammar;
  • the importance of sentence grammar and whole text cohesion and their impact in writing;
  • the development of English, including its development over time, current influences, borrowings from other languages, origins of words and the impact of technology on spoken and written communication;
  • the importance and influence of English as a global language.


Speaking and listening skills are unique personal qualities of individuals and play a role in the interpersonal and social skills which all of us bring to life, learning and work. This programme of study will consolidate and extend the delegate’s ability to:

  • Listen to complex information and respond critically, constructively and cogently in order to clarify points and challengeideas.
  • Synthesise what they hear, separating key ideas from detail and illustration. They should also be able to listen with sensitivity, judging when intervention is appropriate.
  • Speak fluently, adapting talk to a wide range of familiar and unfamiliar contexts and purposes, including those requiring confident and fluent use of standard English.
  • Present information clearly and persuasively to others, selecting the most appropriate way to structure and organise their speech for clarity and effect.
  • Use appropriate quality of speech and voice, speaking audibly and clearly, and begin to vary the register according to the purpose and audience.


Reading is an enjoyable experience. Delegate should acquire significant concepts about the nature of print and the activity of reading. Listening to stories, engaging in shared reading and handling a range of picture, story and information texts will give delegates a wide range of experience.

In the context of these activities, delegates should develop the ability to:

  • analyse and evaluate writers’ use of language in a range of texts, commenting precisely on how texts are crafted to shape meaning and produce particular effects.
  • identify the purposes of texts, analysing and evaluating howwriters structure and organise ideas to shape meaning for particular audiences and readers.
  • analyse and evaluate how form, layout and presentation contribute to effect.
  • learn that different reading purposes require a variety of reading skills, for example, reviewing, recalling, skimming andscanning.


The process of writing involves the compositional aspect and the secretarial aspect. The compositional aspect includes the selection, ordering and organisation of ideas and the expression of feelings and beliefs while the secretarial aspect involves spelling, syntax, punctuation and handwriting. Whilst the meaning may be obscured if the secretarial aspect is neglected, ideas, expression and form are fundamental to writing.

  • Within the context of this programme, delegates should be able to:
  • Write fluently, adapting style and language to a wide range of forms;
  • Observe the conventions of writing, punctuation including grammar and sentence structure;
  • use connectives and pronouns appropriately and avoid or reduce repetition and ambiguity in their writing;
  • use appropriate words needed to discuss their writing, for example, adverb, adjective, paragraph tense, story-plan and plot.

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