English too hard for students, principal says

English too hard for students, principal says

Sydney, Australia

THE head of one of the nation’s elite private schools has questioned whether English should be compulsory for the senior years, saying the courses being taught are beyond the intellectual ability of most students.

The headmaster of Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore) in North Sydney, Tim Wright, told a symposium on a national curriculum in English at the weekend that parents felt alienated from the English syllabus and were deeply cynical about it.

In his speech, Dr Wright said the NSW English course for Years 11 and 12 was a major challenge for many students.

“The intellectual challenge is, in fact, beyond many students,” he said.

“It is seen as arbitrary and from time to time the anguished cry comes: ‘Why can’t we just read the book?’

“I question whether it (English) ought to be compulsory … at senior level. It is not enough to simply say that like cod liver oil, English is good for you.”

By Dawn Pedersen

Science advocate, web designer, educator, artist, and mommy.

One reply on “English too hard for students, principal says”

I’m a secondary English teacher in a public school in Sydney Australia. I believe Dr Wright, like many parents reflects on his own methods of learning and eductional experiences when making such comments. Students in NSW schools are being taught to think for themselves and place texts and learning in context. They do it brilliantly too. English as a subject is no longer a list of facts about texts that need to be rewritten in essay format for arbitrary marks from teachers. The problem here is certainly not a problem with students.

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