Should Grade 12 University-level English be a requirement for entry into all university programs?
50 years ago, most workers had jobs in factories or a manufacturing plants. Today, they are is nearly guaranteed to be found in an office instead. This shift has dramatically changed the competencies required of employees. In today’s job market, language and communication skills are more relevant than they’ve ever been. Whether it’s writing an email to a boss, composing a report, or anything else, the ability to write well is crucial to professional success in the 21st century. That’s why I believe that Grade 12 University-level English should be a requirement for university programs.
Today, nearly a third (Forbes.com) of Americans have a Bachelor’s degree, and this number only continues to grow. Most of these graduates will continue into public sector work or move to an office/corporate career, and success in these environments depends heavily on communication skills. Clear and concise writing allows for efficient communication, quickly answering questions, sending updates, and clearing up misconceptions. For example, a well-composed cover letter can make the difference between being hired and not. A well-written letter stands out from the pile; it demonstrates higher competency and ability. As hiring managers can sort through hundreds of resumes day, poor writing or grammar mistakes can be a death sentence. Writing quality also has an impact on others’ perception of the writer. Good writing inspires credibility and sophistication, while poor writing projects the opposite.
Reading ability is just as important, depending on the medium. In formats such as email or instant message, there is no tone of voice or intonation from which a reader could glean meaning. The reader must rely on his own reading comprehension and knowledge of writing conventions. A poor reader, in a corporate environment for example, can misinterpret a memo, causing productivity losses for him and others. On the other hand, a good reader speeds up and simplifies communication for all parties.
I believe that English 12 builds the foundation for strong language skills, which are vital in today’s age. I see English class as practice for real life. We practice reading and writing to prepare for the future. Many find English class to be boring, but I think that it’s vitally important for people my age who are about to enter the job market.
Benjamin, Tia. “The Importance of Using the Proper Grammar on a Resume.” Work, 21 Nov. 2017, work.chron.com/importance-using-proper-grammar-resume-2860.html.
Nietzel, Michael T. “New From U.S. Census Bureau: Number of Americans With A Bachelor’s Degree Continues To Grow.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 22 Feb. 2021, http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltnietzel/2021/02/22/new-from-us-census-bureau-number-of-americans-with-a-bachelors-degree-continues-to-grow/.