English in High School

Stone Yurich, Journalist

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English may be one of the most important subjects they teach us through school.  Since a young age we’ve been taught how to speak, read and even write in the English language.  It’s important that we learn these skills if we want to be able to properly communicate with our fellow peers; and thus you would expect that we learn and master the English language.  Yet it seems most still lack in this subject.  I believe one of the main reasons students lack in English is because of the courses content.

Through the years we took English to create a better understanding of the language and you know, because it was required.  But in what case did reading Shakespeare help me understand if I should be using a comma or semicolon in a sentence?  In most cases, alongside with learning proper English, we would be reading poetry that had been written some centuries ago.  This poetry typically wasn’t written in today’s “proper” English and would leave me guessing at what the poet had even been writing about.  This poetry in most cases was not only difficult to follow, but also difficult to decipher.

What I’m getting at is that the school needs to re-evaluate the content of its English classes.  Taking out unnecessary content that will have no use in the future or as they say in school “the outside world.”  The content I’m talking about is the poetry I mentioned before, along side plays and other older works we have been reading through the years.  Mythology is included with these also.  I hate to say this because I found mythology interesting at the time, but now that many years have passed I don’t even remember most of the subject of mythology.

Now, I’m not saying that we completely get rid of poetry, the subject of mythology, or play reading.  The school should instead just make them separate electives that students can take, and in some cases the school already has them offered as a separate elective. But I think a class that focuses mostly on poetry could easily get full attendance and enough content for a whole semester.  Even a class based entirely on a subject such as mythology sounds quiet interesting to me.  With these subjects being their own separate elective it would then allow the students to chose if they’re interested in the subject and not have to be forced into learning something that is useless.

After getting rid of all the useless parts of English class the school could focus on whats important.  That being how to properly speak and write in the english language.  After students get this down and mastered, the class could then focus on learning more advanced vocabulary and also on reading.  And I’m not talking about the literature pieces that you read in Contemporary Literature or American Literature.  I’m talking about literature that pushes students reading abilities. No student is going to excel or grow in a subject if they aren’t pushed.

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