The English Language: Practicality Over Literature

Earlier this month, I was asked: “Should grade 12 University level English be a requirement for entry into all university programs?”  The benefit of learning the English language is undoubtedly high (Kaplan International English). This knowledge has been said to be “used as an international language of communication…” and a “huge asset” (Knight); as a result, further proving the value of this language. Unfortunately, with all this said, the question still remains: is the English curriculum taught to its full potential in high school?

Grade 12 English should be an absolute requirement for all university majors, granted that the English program prepares the students for their chosen major. To ensure that all majors are covered, the grade 12 English course must focus on practicality rather than on just literature.

Image: Abstract Light Bulb; Retrieved from:

Despite the fact that reading Shakespeare could boost one’s intellect at a sophisticated party, will it prove to be useful elsewhere? Supposing a student majoring in the field of Science must write a research based paper, the plays (ie. Shakespeare) read in grade 12 English will serve no value to that science student. Indeed it is great to learn about literature to enhance your knowledge, however it would be much more effective to be able to apply that knowledge to a report; which is not always the case. As a result, the English curriculum should be promoted, providing that it’ll focus on practicality.

Art Of Practicality
Image: “Art of Practicality”; Retrieved from:

Regardless of the language,  language has always been changing and evolving (Birner). Since language is constantly shifting and altering, the English language must have developed certain style or format of writing for fixed majors. That is to say a student would not write a law report using the format or style of Middle English; a certain dialect of language that is used in plays like Hamlet and Macbeth (Pressley). In spite of what career path or major you will choose, your chosen program will require you to use a different style and format of the English language. To be specific, if a chemistry student was to write a report about matter, he or she would not write the paper using casual dialect [slang], or Old English. That student would write by using proper grammar and an appropriate use of Modern English. For that reason, the English language should grant practicality over literature.

Unfortunately, the grade 12 English curriculum mainly focuses on English Literature rather than improving the students’ grammatical skills, which will certainly be needed for the variety of different majors. Ultimately, the grade 12 English should be required as long as the program will promote a practical use of the language that will prove to be valuable in all areas. In some way, to be practical is to be smart.

Works Cited

“Art Of Practicality – Medium.” Medium. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

“Benefits of learning English.” Kaplan International. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

Birner, Betty. Linguistic Society of America. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

Knight, Kelly. “Life Changing.” Benefits of learning English – Professional opportunities – Regent. N.p., 3 Dec. 2015. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

Pressley, J. M. “Shakespeare’s Language.” Shakespeare Resource Center – The Language of Shakespeare. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

Quinn, Chris. “Practicality Marketing.” Insight180. N.p., 06 Apr. 2016. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.