Should grade 12 university level English be a mandatory prerequisite to post-secondary education? It is a prerequisite to be admitted into nearly every university or college program, and this poses the question, why? If I’m not going to get a degree in English, why bother taking it all the way through high school?
Personally, I consistently find myself struggling in English class from year to year, finding it very subjective, and specific to the teacher you have. After struggling for an entire semester to finally establish a style of writing deserving of an A from your teacher, the course has come to an end and a new teacher, with new likes and dislikes, awaits you the following year. There is no concise right (or wrong) answer, and no matter how intelligent the student, everyone struggles to achieve high marks. It just doesn’t seem fair.
Despite this, I do truly believe university level English should be mandatory prerequisite to post-secondary education, regardless of what career path you are choosing to pursue.
The main goal of college and university as a whole is to prepare you for the workplace and everyday life once your educational career has come to an end. Now, when I think about English, the first thing that pops into my mind is essay writing. But when taking a deeper look, the course is important for much more than just learning to write essays (not to discredit the essay writing skills – countless graduate programs require essays to be written throughout their duration, not to mention an essay to even be accepted). But apart from writing essays, when you leave grade 12 university level English you leave with proper spelling and grammar, critical thinking and analysis skills, an increased vocabulary, and overall improved communication skills. When I try to brainstorm a career path that wouldn’t require the use of at least one of these skills on a daily basis, not a single one comes to mind. If two applicants have identical qualifications but one has more refined communication skills, it is obvious which the employer will select.
When you take a step back and consider all the skills taught in grade 12 university level English that can be applied to everyday communication, I believe it becomes evident as to why it should be a mandatory prerequisite for every university program.