Grade 12 University English – Yay or Nay?

In this post, I will be discussing my opinions on grade 12 University level English courses in high school. The question is this: should grade 12 University level English be a requirement for all University programs?

This is a very debated topic; on the one hand, having a firm grasp on the English language is highly important for further learning in post secondary settings, however on the other hand, not taking the course could free up space in a students grade 12 timetable, reduce stress, and most importantly, a grade 12 University level English course could be of no use for someone going into a program that doesn’t touch the English language at all.

In my own personal opinion, I believe grade 12 University level English should not be required for all University programs. As stated before, not taking the course would open a space in a students timetable, which would allow the student to either take a different course more geared towards their post secondary education, or to take a spare, which would reduce stress. A survey on Canadian students found that “almost 90 per cent of students said that they felt overwhelmed by all they had to do in the past year, while more than 50 per cent said they felt hopeless and 63 per cent said they felt very lonely” (Miller), which is undoubtedly alarming. Removing grade 12 level University English courses from the requirements of University programs that do not deal with English could aid in lowering these statistics.

In addition, many University programs do not use any information learned in a grade 12 University English class. For instance, no amount of knowledge on Shakespeare or proper essay writing would help you towards an education in the trades, whereas a course on construction or urban planning would.

Lastly, with modern day technology, it would be easy for an individual to learn the skills from a grade 12 University English course themselves. For instance, Grammarly* is a free online tool that will check your grammar as you type, and give you the corrections you need. In a grade 12 University English course, you may learn one or two new grammar concepts, but a site like Grammarly would definitely be more useful for the future. There are also websites like Sparknotes** and Cliffnotes*** which will give you a summary of each chapter in a book that would be studied in a grade 12 University English course without having to attempt to translate Shakespearean English all on your own. There are also countless sources online that will give you in depth explanations about literary devices used in novels, or any other aspects of a novel you would learn in a course

To conclude, it is evident that while a grade 12 University level  English course may be useful to some students, the vast majority of students would be better off without it.





“An Open Letter to Stressed Students.” Her Campus. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 July 2017.

“Book Photos.” Free Stock Photos. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 July 2017.

Miller, Adam. “Canadian students feel stress, anxiety, have suicidal thoughts, survey reveals.” The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press, 02 July 2013. Web. 05 July 2017.



One thought on “Grade 12 University English – Yay or Nay?

  1. Hi Claire, I think that grade 12 University level English should be a class that is required for all university level courses. I do see where you are coming from in terms of timetables and it freeing up space potentially. There are also wonderful websites that aid students in their English homework and help with assignments however there are many skills that you need to learn in case the internet may not be available. If you have a job interview and are speaking to a potential employer, you will not have the website Grammarly readily available to help you sound professional. One could potentially lose a job due to improper grammar usage, which could easily have been fixed by a short unit in grammar in 4U English. In the long run I think one extra high school course would not hurt to take especially if you plan on going to university.


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