From a very young age, I have always had a passion for the English language. I find writing very therapeutic and enjoy using my vocabulary to communicate my thoughts and ideas. English classes have always intrigued me as I love discussing literature and learning about the world around me. Sadly, many of my peers do not share a mutual love for English. Common opinions include that English courses are “boring,” “useless,” and “outdated.”
I could not disagree more.
Many high school students look at English on a very small scale. They question why it is required to study Shakespeare in 2017 and how this will ever benefit them. While the Shakespeare novel itself may not be a life changing read, the skills they gain from the course, as a whole, outweigh any “boredom”. The skills students learn from taking grade twelve University English, benefit them both within and outside of the classroom.
As a student currently taking grade twelve University level English, I firmly believe that this course is vital for the success of students in post secondary education and agree that it should be required for entry into all universities.
Many authors also share my point of view. In Steve Strauss’ article entitled Why I Hire English Majors, the Huffington Post author writes about the skills associated with English students. Not only are these students able to write and speak eloquently but they have a reputation for being critical thinkers, proficient in time management and confident in their ideas (Strauss). These skills will aid students in their future careers by allowing them to stand apart from the crowd with their unique abilities. Had they not taken grade twelve University English, they would be unable to perform as well as those who took the course. I firmly believe that by taking this course, students will benefit greatly as their skills will be recognized by future professors and employers.
The way an individual speaks tells a story about who they are. When someone speaks using a wide range of vocabulary to convey concise and clear points, it can be assumed that they are intelligent and highly educated. This proficiency in speech translates into writing as well and increases the credibility of the individual. Contrasting this, if someone writes and/or speaks with errors and does not think clearly, they will be viewed as less than their peer who has the ability of proficiency. Matt Mayberry of Entrepreneur writes on the importance of word choice:
Within the words we speak is an emotional potency. Each word that we use can have a colossal impact. A word from a manager or boss, may, at first glance, seem inconsequential. But never think of words as inconsequential. Instead, think of them as powerful. Words can build up or tear down. They can motivate or discourage. Words influence others and build relationships at work and personally. They can tear down relationships. Simply put, language holds massive, colossal power to manifest change, whether it’s good or bad (Mayberry).
Having English as a required course aids students in learning how imperative language is while simultaneously preparing them for their future in any workforce.
English courses provide a solid foundation of skills that are applicable to each and every University program. Whether a student pursues an education in the sciences, maths, humanities or any other studies, use of their linguistic skills will be required on regular occasions. Regardless of the area of study, writing, reading and speech are key components of learning and are essential for success. Without having taken grade twelve University level English, students will be ill prepared for their future area of study and will likely fall behind the rigid expectations of University.
With English being the language that is most frequently studied throughout the world, the English speaking population continues to rise from its estimated 527,000,000 native speakers (Noack and Kamin). As the popularity of English is on the rise, omitting the grade twelve University level English course as a requirement would hinder the opportunities available for students in their future careers.
Without the high school students being required to complete their English courses before University, they would miss out on the opportunity to refine employment skills, increase their credibility and professionalism and be well versed in the most studied language in the world.
Do you agree?
As I’ve voiced my opinion on this debate, I now open the floor to my readers. Do you think that grade 12 University level English should be a requirement for entry into all University programs? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Until the next post,
Emily R. Kacer
“English ENG4U Online Course.” Virtual High School (Ontario), (n.d.), https://www.virtualhighschool.com/courses/outlines/eng4u.asp.
Mayberry, Matt. “Your Words Have Impact, So Think Before You Speak.” Entrepreneur, www.entrepreneur.com/article/251290. Accessed 5 July 2017.
Noack, Rick and Kamin, Lazaro. “The World’s Languages, in 7 maps and charts.” The Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/04/23/the-worlds-languages-in-7-maps-and-charts/?utm_term=.9f4e2d393e7a. Accessed 5 July 2017.
Strauss, Steve. “Why I Hire English Majors.” Huffington Post, www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-strauss/hiring-english-majors_b_3484409.html. Accessed 5 July 2017.