GCSE English Language Paper 2 - A* / Level 9 answer 

October 12, 2018

English language paper 2 – model answer 

**Please download the attached sample paper to understand the model answer**


Q1. Read again the first part of Source A from lines 1 to 14. Choose four statements below which are true.



A, B, E, G


Q2.You need to refer to Source A and Source B for this question. Use details from bothsources. Write a summary of the differences between Blackpool and Verona.



The writer of source A describes Blackpool’s light show as ‘tacky’ and ‘inadequate’. These adjectives convey the writer’s sense of dismay and disappointment at the supposedly renowned light show that they put on. This stands as a contrast to Source B’s description of the Amphitheatre. The writer uses a simile: ‘like the inside of a prodigious hat of plaited straw’. This shows his very nostalgic and positive view of the colosseum. 

Secondly, the writer of source A uses very informal and colloquial language to portray Blackpool as very low end. This is evident in the following quote: ‘has more holiday beds than the whole of Portugal’. Here, the use of colloquial language and the hyperbole shows him to be quite sarcastic towards Blackpool. This offers a contrast with respect to the second extract. The writer of source B uses very formal language that shows how he is in awe of the city. This is illustrated in the quote: ‘charming country’ as the alliteration of ‘c’ connotes feelings that the writer finds the place to be extremely endearing. 

Finally, the writer of source A uses facts and statistics to illsutrate that Blackpool – in spite of its downsides from his perspective – is becoming an increasingly popular destination. He asserts that the city ‘increased its visitor numbers by 7 per cent’. Here, we are shown that more people are visiting Blackpool and it is becoming a popular place to holiday. However, in Source B, the writer uses the repetition of the adjective ‘pleasant’ to echo the nice and pleasant time he is having in Verona. This shows him to be having a very good time, as the adjective ‘pleasant’ connotes feelings of wealth and riches. This shows him to be having fun and enjoying himself through the repetition of the adjective. 


Q3.You now need to refer to lines 8 to 21 in Source B only. How does Dickens use language to describe his impressions of the Roman Amphitheatre?



Dickens uses adjectives, verbs and adverbs to describe his impressions of the Roman Amphitheatre. This is evident in the adjective ‘unbroken’ which suggests that there is great history in this place and it is still standing. The verb ‘preserved’ alerts the reader to the fact that this is a very monumental place. The adverb ‘carefully’ coupled with the verb ‘maintained’ shows how much care has been invested to preserve this iconic Amphitheatre. It has connotations of loving and nurturing something. This clearly shows that the writer has feelings of love towards this building, that holds a deep history of the Romans.  

Secondly, Dickens uses the simile ‘like the inside of a prodigious hat of plated straw’ to describe the Ampitheatre as very impressive and extraordinary. He describes the  Ampitheatre in a very nostalgic and  familiar manner. We get the sense that he feels like he has been there before and he deeply admires the Ampitheatre’s pedigree and history.

Finally, Dickens uses violent imagery to describe the Ampitheatre, showing his awareness that it also involved bloody matches in the past. This is evident in the quote: ‘fierce thousands… intent upon the bloody show of the arena’. Here the reader can vividly imagine the Ampitheatre when a battle is taking place. Dickens’ impressions of the place are shown through the adjective ‘fierce’, and we understand the underlying violence behind the making and preservation of this colosseum. Dickens is awed by the weight and power that the Ampitheatre’s history brings with it. 


Q4. You need to refer to Source A and Source B for this question. Compare how the two writers convey their different attitudes to the places they have visited.



At the beginning of the extract the writer of Source A seems to be enjoying Blackpool, however spending a day there leads him to grow feelings of hate towards the city. At the beginning of the extract Bill Bryson writes: ‘Blackpool…it never stops being amazing’. Here, the use of the adjective ‘amazing’ shows his appreciation for the city. This however changes – and Bryson bluntly states: ‘Goodness knows what they find in the place.’  This simple sentence portrays Blackpool as monotonous and underwhelming – the writer is bored of the city and he wishes to end his day and have ‘another early night’. 

In contrast, Charles Dickens portrays Italy as beautiful and idealistic throughout the whole extract. He does not seem to find it moribund like the writer of Source A and he would be happy to wander the streets of Verona all day. Dickens is in awe of the city and this is evident in the repetition of the term ‘Pleasant Verona!’ The adjective ‘pleasant’ coupled with the exclamatory sentence echoes Dickens’ view that Italy is a lovely city and it shows his joy and happiness that he is now visiting the city. This statement is repeated in the beginning, the middle and the end of the extract and it shows his admiration for the city. 

The writer of Source A also uses colloquial language and humour to portray the quirky aspects of Blackpool. This is evident when he says that it has ‘more public toilets than anywhere else in Britain; elsewhere they call them doorways.’ However, there is a slightly mocking undertone to this quote. Bryson’s sarcasm conveys his underlying loathing and dislike for the city. 

Both extracts are written in the first person narrative but they both convey different messages. The writer of source A uses first person perspective to convey his annoyance and boredom of the city. This is illustrated in the quote: ‘I walked… couldn’t understand the appeal of it’. This describes to the reader his negative attitude towards the city. The writer of source B writes: ‘I walked through and through the town for the rest of the day’. In contrast to Bryson, Dickens is extremely positive as describes his view as he walks, and he explains that he could continue this walk all day. 


Q5.‘These days, there is no point in travelling to see the world: we can see it all on TV or on the Internet.’ Write an article for a teenage magazine in which you explain your point of view on this statement.





The 21st century introduced to us the revolutionary invention of the internet. These days you can watch and experience the rest of the world from your living room. Shows such as Blue Planet allow everyone to explore the rest of the world whilst enjoying a nice brew at home. Would you rather battle the elements and climb Mount Everest or comfortably watch Bear Grylls do it on TV? 

Travel is too high a cost 

Travelling the world costs money. Did you know that nearly one fifth of British people earn below the minimum wage? How are these people going to be able to experience new cultures? How are they going to see new things without having the money to travel the world? The revolutionary invention of the internet allows these people who don’t have enough money to travel and to be educated about the rest of the world. If they can’t point out Bangladesh on a map – all they need to do is fire up their laptop, consult Google and in a few seconds – they will have access to thousands of videos, images and fact files – telling them all they need to know about the country. 

79% of the people in the UK have full time jobs – and travel is simply not an option. The average job gives only 20 days holiday leave, and most people have families to feed, parents and relatives to visit and within this they also have to schedule in relaxation time for themselves as well as time to enjoy with their own children and partners. The weekend is simply not enough to do this – and so these 20 days are a good time to use and invest into personal rest and time with family. Moreover a package trip to the Maldives or Bali costs upwards of £1000 per person. Considering a majority of people have at least a partner and two children – this also means travelling is forbiddingly expensive. An alternative is to experience the agriculture and wildlife of Peru through David Attenborough documentaries where they can indirectly learn about a different culture but also save money while doing so. 

Why bother packing and waiting in airports, and flying and driving in a new city, and then unpacking and then repeating the process again and again in different countries? Why bother when you can enjoy the same experience at home? The dangers are high too: going to tropical countries exposes people to many parasites and creatures that can cause major illnesses. 


The upside of travelling

However, there are advantages of traveling and experiencing the world first hand. You will learn things that stay with you forever, while a documentary or a Youtube video will be forgotten in less then a week. Travelling allows you to form new friendships and try new foods and experience new cultures. Whilst traveling, you can interact with different people. You can’t interact with your laptop nor can you reach out to people on your TV screen. How will you know the difference between the taste of food in Portugal compared to cuisines in England if you have never travelled? Travelling first hand opens so many doors for you as you transform into a new and more experienced person. 

Some who are opposed to travelling may say it’s more relaxing to enjoy a big glass of red wine in front of the TV. However perhaps it's even more relaxing to feel the breeze of a foreign land brushing across your face as you lie sunbathing in an exotic beach. A romantic bike ride through the winding streets of Paris or an intimate boat ride with a lover down the enclosed rivers of Venice is much better than a snooze in front of the TV at home. How can someone experience these events in front of a screen?  

Consider the cost

The upside to travelling is that it opens up the mind and also enables people to gain a new perspective on their home – by ironically seeing a distant and different land. That being said, travelling is for the elite – it is costly for most and we do not necessarily need to be well travelled to experience new cultures and to be open minded. Travelling is good but not essential as we are fortunate to have access to devices like laptops and mobile phones that allow us to experience new cultures at a fraction of the cost. 




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