When it comes to English class many people feel that it is an unnecessary course. And yet, it is the only course required every year of grade school, from kindergarten to grade 12. In researching programs I’m interested in applying to for university, I’ve noticed that no matter what type of program you apply to whether arts, sciences or social sciences, grade 12 university level English is a requirement.
It makes sense to require university level grade 12 English. No, you probably won’t be using Shakespeare in a biology lab, but the skills you learn in an English course extend far beyond the specific situation that they were used in class. You learn to think about deeper meanings and extract the essential information when analyzing texts, connect and question the factuality of information, clearly convey information through writing, as well as being able to support an opinion or statement. No matter what course or program you go into, presenting information in writing and extracting information when reading will be required. For most university classes textbook readings are essential, however,
textbooks contain enormous amounts of information, so, being able to find the most relevant information is crucial for success.
These are skills which also apply in real-life situations, even though you may not realize it at the time.Listening to or reading the news is a practical example of a time when you probably connect what you hear or read to other stories trending in the media, and maybe question the accuracy of the perspective of the reporter. In nearly any job you might have in the future, you will most likely have to present information in writing, whether requesting money or providing information in a report. No one likes to read pages and pages of rambling, and so, being able to keep writing relevant and concise is an essential skill, which you ideally improve upon in English class.
Granted, everyone has their own opinions about the curriculum content of high school English courses. Some people like the course, some people hate reading and writing and therefore it isn’t exactly their favourite course. When I think about why we as students are required to take English class every year, and by talking to the teachers I’ve had, I’ve realized that it’s to help us in our other courses by teaching us to think, question information and read in a more meaningful way; not to simply take things at face value and accept them as factual. What are some situations outside of English class that you’ve used information or skills you learned in class? (In other courses or outside of school).
On that note, to me anyways, it definitely makes sense for grade 12 university English to be an acceptance requirement for all university programs since the thinking and writing skills that are learned apply to pretty much all academic studies.
If you’re interested in some applicable reading, the links below are for Western University and University of British Columbia’s websites with their English requirements. Essentially, it says that in order to be successful at an English university in Canada there is a minimum level of competence in English reading and writing required, for the reasons I mentioned earlier.