Should Grade 12 University level English be a requirement for entry into all university programs? I think the answer is yes, they should.

English is a very important and necessary skill in everyday life. You may never need to know how to find the equation of a sinusoidal function beyond high school, but you will need to know proper grammar and how to convey a thought through writing. No matter what your chosen career path may be, you will need to use the skills you learn in English class. So I ask you this: why shouldn’t Grade 12 University English be a requirement?

Photo by Converse College

I am aware that not every career will have a person writing persuasive essays or short stories but that doesn’t mean that they will never use what they learned in English class. They’ll need to know proper grammar and how to write in a formal tone when making a cover letter for their resume, and how to communicate through writing when composing emails. They’ll need to use their reading comprehension skills when examining documents, contracts, and written instructions. Just because a person will never use the skills directly taught to them while they were taking English, doesn’t mean they will never use the skills they picked up while in that class.

Most university programs require that, on top of taking the necessary courses, they must also be university level (when applicable). For instance, in order to qualify for most accounting courses, you have to have two grade 12 university level math credits. This makes sense, right? In order to join something at a certain level, you must qualify for that level. Take a high school sports team for example. In order to join that team, you must already be at a certain skill level in order to qualify during tryouts. In order to reach that skill level, you may have had to join the team the previous year or practice outside of school, so why should university be any different?

Photo by Dominik

Now, I understand that some people may not have the best English skills, but may be geniuses at something else. So should these people be rejected from a university’s program because they had to take college or workplace level English? I still think they should. There are ways that, if a person is motivated enough, they can pass a university English class. They can get a tutor or extra help from a teacher, or they could ask for less hours at their job in order to make more time for their English homework. If a person really wants to get into a university program, they can find ways to boost their English mark. Granted, they may not achieve the highest mark, and it may lower their average, but then they’ll just have to work harder at what they excel at to negate it. Or they could take an extra easy course in order to get a high mark and negate their English mark that way.

What I’m saying is that if a person wishes to take a university course, they need to be able to achieve work at a university level. If their chosen course requires a university level credit in a course that they have difficulty in, whether it is English or not, then there are steps that they can take in order to pass that class and still keep their average high enough for their preferred program. And since English teaches such important skills that will be used during university as well as throughout a person’s life, University level English should be a requirement for entry into all university level programs.

References

Converse Collage. “Classroom”. Flickr. April 27, 2011. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/conversecollege/9070175180/in/photolist-ePv25G-qASYrM-nKTiAH-4w5NVm-bkD56m-oYKGYV-abCwhn-4fuGVH-553hAz-5C7S4N-553gup-5FQ2gG-9irAFi-786B3r-77hrfr-o92hy1-6bK3Wv-2xKTW-4yJyHS-e8qNNY-6Wm4Sc-8xVKeF-92kdTE-8xYP2d-2xKU5-fUM7mV-6Wq3Ao-dq3Cx6-DXCYA-b4neBx-aZBjxF-eq1Mfo-7HCBte-nr49mx-6tdvov-5K11UM-nKUehD-2zJLxq-c3Y4rh-4DUhZU-7PC4pD-6m6ker-7HGwZ5-2TX13W-9efhfx-dyMHYi-8JAQMN-4tbxLm-qYrjF8-hr6vos

N/a, Dominick. “Livingston vs Millburn Girls Soccer 10/21/10”. Flickr. October 21, 2010. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/domdp/5103877384/in/photolist-8M1GVW-gDwhgP-oUtaNy-9qdas6-fJx9q1-aAdFNv-ZM7X3o-p4TuXA-6TtymY-6TtjUd-fJwYwG-6TthAs-fLFu1r-6TpBTx-gCMtbS-p4Tiep-9qfXbu-H9nLa-pm7ey8-4Hhnae-dqrJ93-anurkf-82UrwH-gEvN7C-pFsYLB-QKHd8k-gDMC5P-djKjxQ-gCK6E9-anrAAF-apGcaN-gEB4c6-mkjXcP-fJx5tY-mkkEwa-9Fmxxx-ppihJq-fJfrge-anupEC-gEzJse-2MJYrs-6TtyFA-gCFp8W-fJfusv-fJfuZe-YM9FnY-6TphaZ-6TthXQ-9RKkzF-bANWHp

Yu, Feng. “Dictionary definition of the word english”. Shutter Stock. N/a. Retrieved from https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/dictionary-definition-word-english-154277183?src=4arow14phpkDgjC6hVYuZQ-1-1

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1 Comment

  1. Hey Katlin! Nice blogpost! I could really hear your voice of reason in your post — it was almost like you were talking about this to me in guitar class.

    I like the approach you have, and it’s kind of like Mr. K’s reasoning that I mentioned in my post: You can be the smartest in the world, but if you can’t communicate it, then your intelligence is rendered as useless. Also, the rest of your post is also very convincing, and your use of logos was really compelling me to agree with you, despite myself having an opposing opinion. Your points make it hard for me to prove my case because you prove me wrong throughout your own post! Dang it! But good job! Also please don’t mention sinusoidal functions to me until we have math again…

    So one thing that you didn’t really mention was the student perspective. I know that the Glendale population takes English online so we can avoid rotations and mindmaps. In my blogpost, I mentioned how our English program is more or less just busywork with the rotations, and can be a bit mindless. The course is super stress-inducing, and has caused many mental breakdowns these past years. Honestly, English made my mark drop last semester from the disproportionate amount of time I spent on it compared to other courses. I mentioned this in another comment, but if we integrated English into other courses, like if we made Grade 12 Kinesiology teach proper APA formatting for write-ups and expect proper grammar, and make Grade 12 Physics expect a perfect citation of sources used to create projects, do you think we can remove English as a requirement?

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