Faced with critical decisions in pursuit of post-secondary school education, many students are faced with choosing the right course to fulfil the prerequisites and requirements for university programs that interests them. Increasingly, many students are wondering if grade 12 English should be a requirement for all university programs. Students who are not in pursuit of studies in English or literature question the value of the grade 12 English course and believe it should not be a prerequisite for their university programs. Many students planning to study science or mathematics do not see the value of committing time and effort on an English course. A superficial glance at their debate and opinions would tend to support their point of view. However, upon a deeper and more profound reflection, the value of grade 12 English becomes unmistakable, both as a university prerequisite and as a prerequisite for life in general.
I believe that grade 12 English should be a requirement for all university programs because proficiency in English is vital to all fields of studies, contrary to what some people may believe. A common belief among people studying math and sciences is that studying English adds no value to their chosen fields. I am here to challenge that belief and offer a differing perspective.
A major part of the English study is communication, which is an important aspect in all fields of study. No matter what career you decide to pursue, you have to be able to effectively communicate your ideas and findings, while understanding those of others. Let’s take science for example. As a scientist, how do you expect to be able to communicate your ideas to other scientists or even teach students? Well the answer is a proficient working knowledge of English. The English course helps you to organize your thoughts and ideas into words that can be effectively communicated to others either in speech or written text. In relation to this idea, many believe English is “the method through which we share our ideas and thoughts with others” (Naved). English is also known to be the language of science, which highlights the importance of the English language (Porzucki). These are a few of many ways of how English can be applied to the sciences, which shows the importance of English, which at first glance might not be as apparent.
To further emphasize the importance of grade 12 English to university we can examine the relevance of English to mathematics. When faced with what many call a “word problem” in a math class, what you are really doing is applying your comprehension skills learned from English class to solve the problem. Without comprehending the problem, you will not be able to solve it even if you are “great with numbers” or a great mathematician. Studies actually show that students abilities to solve math problems correlate with their knowledge in the English language (Parker), proving yet another importance of English.
Many universities are beginning to acknowledge the importance of the study of English as a they require the grade 12 English course as a prerequisite. Some universities have even gone as far to require English entrance exams, or any standardized testing to evaluate students’ knowledge of English (DegreefromCanada).
School aside, in general, a good grasp of the English language is useful in daily life. From something as mundane as reading street signs to something as interesting as reading a good novel, a good working knowledge of English is needed for us to function in everyday life. Being a functioning and contributing member of society requires us to be well informed. To do that, we have to be able to read and understand newspapers, news websites and magazines. Even to surf the web requires a good working knowledge of English. How else can you be instructed on the use of computers or comprehend the texts on web pages? Grade 12 English also teaches writing skills, which are of vital importance when filling out job applications or preparing resumes.
A common misconception is that English only teaches you how to read and write. What many fail to see is that there is so much more to English than just reading and writing. Through the many class novel studies of Shakespeare’s great works, we learn about life lessons and the history of English. Whether it be the love story of Romeo and Juliet or ambitions of Macbeth, there are always lessons to be learned in the English classroom. One of the reasons Shakespeare is relevant to this day is because “his works are universal and enduring, as are his characters” (Boston). Learning about the English language is such an important part of the curriculum that so many people fail to understand. This is why I believe in the importance of English and why it should be a requirement for university programs.
In conclusion, grade 12 English, like all English courses, is a prerequisite course in educating students, preparing them for post secondary education and preparing them to be literate, contributing members of society. This is why I believe in the importance of English and why it should be a requirement for university programs.
Boston, Michelle. “Six reasons Shakespeare remains relevant 400 years after his death.” USC News, 10 Feb. 2016. <https://news.usc.edu/91717/six-reasons-shakespeare-remains-relevant-400-years-after-his-death/>. Accessed 5 July 2017.
DegreeFromCanada. “7 Entrance Exams for Higher Education in Canada.” Degree From Canada, 4 July 2017. <http://www.degreefromcanada.com/blog/7-entrance-exams-for-higher-education-in-canada/>. Accessed 5 July 2017.
Naved, Zeeshan. “The Importance of the English Language in Today’s World.” Owlcation, 12 July 2015. <https://owlcation.com/humanities/importanceofenglishlanguages>. Accessed 5 July 2017.
Parker, Clifton B. “Stanford research shows long-run benefit of English instruction.” Stanford University, 24 Feb. 2014.<http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/february/math-english-teaching-022414.html>. Accessed 5 July 2017.
Porzucki, Nina. “How did English become the language of science?” Public Radio International, 6 Oct. 2014. <https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-10-06/how-did-english-become-language-science>. Accessed 5 July 2017.