IGCSE FLE Overview

Cambridge IGCSE First Language English allows learners to:

  • develop the ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively when speaking and writing
  • learn how to use a wide range of vocabulary, and the correct grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • develop a personal style and an awareness of the audience being addressed.
  • Learners are also encouraged to read widely, both for their own enjoyment and to further their awareness of the ways in which English can be used. Cambridge IGCSE First Language English also develops more general analysis and communication skills such as inference, and the ability to order facts and present opinions effectively.

Cambridge IGCSEs are accepted and valued by leading universities and employers around the world as evidence of academic achievement. Many universities require a combination of Cambridge International AS & A Levels and Cambridge IGCSEs or equivalent to meet their entry requirements.


All candidates take two papers. Paper 1, and one of Paper 2 or Component 3. Candidates will be eligible for grades A* to G. Component 4 is optional and assesses speaking and listening skills. This component is separately endorsed and marks will not contribute to a candidate’s overall grade.

Paper 1

  • 2 hours
  • Reading 50%
  • 80 marks
  • Structured and extended writing questions
  • Questions will be based on three reading texts
  • Externally assessed

Paper 2

  • 2 hours
  • Directed Writing and Composition 50%
  • 80 marks
  • Extended writing question and a composition task
  • Externally assessed

Component 3

  • Coursework Portfolio 50%
  • 80 marks
  • Three extended writing assignments
  • Internally assessed and externally moderated

Component 4

Approx. 10–12 minutes

  • Speaking and Listening Test
  • 40 marks Separately endorsed
  • Individual Talk and Conversation
  • Internally assessed and externally moderated


Component 4 is optional and marks for this optional component do not contribute to the overall grade candidates receive for the written components. Instead, where candidates perform to an appropriate standard, certificates record achievement of grades 1 (high) to 5 (low).


Short Answer Questions

Summary Writing

Synonyms and Language Use

Writers Effect

Directed Writing


Persuasive Techniques


Extended Response to Reading