I think grade 12 University English should be mandatory to get into University. I think this because post secondary education teaches students to think. They will come across new people from different backgrounds, values and belief systems and religions and students need to be able to listen to and understand what they are trying to say. To do that students would have to know how to listen effectively and be able to verbally agree or disagree respectfully. I feel this could be a skill taught in 4U English.
Some students enter the science program and need to perform experiments, make observations, describe methods and discuss conclusions. Those students need to write reports that are legible, free from grammatical and spelling errors so people can understand what they are trying to say and take them seriously. As an example someone found a cure for cancer but couldn’t communicate in writing then the scientific community wouldn’t take them seriously, but if they could communicate their thoughts and findings then they could possibly save many sick people.
Any program in University requires students to think critically. As a student I don’t want to be told what to think but be able to form my own opinion and to think critically on things I read and hear. A city in California almost banned styrofoam cups made with dihydrogen monoxide as it could potentially be poisonous. The City Council of this Orange County suburb had been scheduled to vote soon on a proposed law that would have banned the use of foam containers at city-sponsored events. One of the reasons for the ban was that the cups were made with a substance that could “threaten human health and safety.” They avoided embarrassment when they found out dihydrogen monoxide is just water. Critical thinking was much needed here.
Oral communication is important. We need to be able to organize our thoughts and ideas so that what we say makes sense. Now, if you were to ask me if my first attempt at 4U English prepared me to clearly communicate and think critically you would get the tragic answer of, “no”, because I barely passed the course. This was because our class covered archaic Greek plays and myths, like Oedipus Rex and a comedy I don’t know the name of. These don’t help produce oral communication skills, instead they made me question why 4U English was mandatory for University. I think that comedy can be taught in the context of the 21st century. For example, why can’t we cover modern literature in the classroom, so students can identify with it more? Why can’t we learn more about media studies and how to analyze television and text? Why don’t they teach us how to cite websites properly using Easybib or other similar tools, this is the age of computers, not the stone age. 4U English was a tragedy for me, and why do we need the seven stages of tragedy and comedy anyways?
Back to the question; do I believe that 4U English should be required for University admission? I still say yes, but it needs to be adapted for the 21st century.
“Local Officials Nearly Fall for H2O Hoax.” NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, 15 Mar. 2004. Web. 05 July 2017.