As students’ progress through high school and graduation approaches, they progressively think of what they want to do in post-secondary. Not only do they have to envision what they want to do in their future, they must make sure they receive their Ontario Secondary School Diplomas by getting the required credits to graduate, among other things. In regards to that, there are still plenty of choices in what courses high school students want to take, especially in grade twelve. The reason we have options is because depending on the post-secondary program students chose to go into, many courses are not mandatory. For example, many of the programs offered in university, allow the option of using a university level math and/or sciences as one of their top six courses that they apply with, however, it is not obligatory. Whereas university level English is a requirement for all university programs we apply to, as well as having all the other courses be of university level.
In my opinion grade 12 university English should be mandatory for all university programs we enter.
As for my reasoning, I believe that the skills obtained from the English course are going to be crucial in preparing students such as myself for what is to come in university. No matter what program it is, we will need to be proficient in writing whether it is for essays, labs or resumes. Grade 12 university English provides a good sense of what the quality of work will have to be to achieve the marks we need to be successful. In each year of English I take, my understanding of all the topics discussed has expanded. Personally speaking, since grade 9 my reading and writing skills have significantly increased. After each year, I continued to improve, so now when I finish high school I feel like I will be in the best possible position entering university. With any language, even if it is my mother tongue, there is always room for improvement and needs to be continually practiced. Thus, if English is only taken up to grade 11, it will make it more difficult to remember what was learnt during high school. Due to forgetting basic rules and conventions when writing essays, to a professor teaching at any university, the quality of a paper written will be lower than expected. When I look at my first grade 9 essay and compare it to my grade 11 essays I have produced, I can see a big improvement. My own development has proved that taking English for four years is not pointless and can be helpful especially as I progress in post-secondary education and the jobs I will get after that.
In English class, there is plenty of repetition in what is being taught and required of students to complete each year of high school such as essays, presentations, and readings. Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.” From this statement, it is understood that when essays, readings, and presentations are repeated, the hope is that after high school, all students will know it so well that it will be like an automatic reflex. These are skills that are expected to be excellent coming out of high school. Seeing as though what is learned in English provides the most help for all the programs in university, it really should be the only mandatory course. In all university courses students need to use a textbook and do lots of reading to understand everything being taught by a professor, so doing the readings in English repeatedly will be beneficial in the long term. In all university programs, even if it is not English related such as Journalism, the students will need to write essays on a scientific discovery or labs about the experiment they conducted, so the skills acquired through the four years of school will be extremely valuable.
English skills are even going to be necessary outside the classroom in certain situations as well. Such as when having a job interview. Discussions which are frequently conducted in an English classroom will really help you feel prepared communicating with people one on one like someone might in an interview. University classrooms tend to be very large so students will end up needing to ask peers for some help on certain topics when outside the classroom with no teachers. Students that participated in a grade 12 university discussions will be more comfortable with sharing a problem they experienced with fellow classmates or working within a group on a university assignment while still contributing their ideas. English is very important for this as well and that is why it should be mandatory for university to learn it in Grade 12.
I plan on going to Kings for management and organizational studies. Of course, for this I will need the grade 12 university English credit and friends in this program have told me many skills learned in grade 12 university English will be crucial for this program. As shown repeatedly, English being mandatory for university is very important, even with me.
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