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English dominance in schools?

  1. May 26, 2005 #1

    Pengwuino

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    One thing that really confuses me about the US school system (or at least i suspect this is how it is elsewhere) is how English has such a dominance in our curriculum. At my high school, we had to take 4 years of english. We only had to take 2 (and sometimes, 1) years of math though. We had 3 years of science though. We also only had 2 years of history/government/econ type classes required. It seems like we have people graduating that could write essays up the wall yet have no clue what a coordinate system is or know anything beyond figuring out what x^2 + 2x + 1 = 0 is. Is it just me or do you also notice this and wonder why this is?
     
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  3. May 26, 2005 #2
    We talk more than we calculate perhaps???
     
  4. May 26, 2005 #3

    Pengwuino

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    Yah but the last 2 years of english for me had maybe... 1 or 2 months of actual grammer... rest was reading. I'd bet if you could somehow plot grammatical competance vs. years of english, you'd almost see a complete leveling off at the end of 10th grade or so.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2005
  5. May 26, 2005 #4

    Bystander

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    In light of the frequency of misuse of the first person reflexive in spoken and written communications, mispronunciation of "cache" as kash-shay (people been hanging around too many wine and cheese parties: "the brie had the exquisite texture and flavor of drywall with a 'cachet' of old sweatsocks"), confusion of they're, their, there or it's and its --- there ain't near enough emphasis on language skills.
     
  6. May 26, 2005 #5

    Pengwuino

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    Well how do you remember your english classes being in high school? I could have sworn we learned next to nothing about grammer and writting skills compared to how much we read in my high school classes.
     
  7. May 26, 2005 #6
    In our schools there is just as much English as there is in most other countries of their language. However we stop short in math because we feel that students are too stupid to go past some things. Plus, physics is never required in school, ever.
     
  8. May 26, 2005 #7

    Pengwuino

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    It was required at my school, first year. Its kinda sad though, if you ever want to get beyond year 1 of absolutely any subject except english and math... you better hope the school has the appropriate AP class...
     
  9. May 26, 2005 #8
    Despite my tonque-in-cheek comment above Pengwuino, I totally agree that it sucks, but Maths up to 16 year old level in the UK is a waste of space if you want to use maths for Science.
    Pupils that I teach (In a fee paying top school) all seem to get great maths exam grades, yet most have little feel for numbers. Algebra skills are non existant - this is only a small part of the maths syllabus - so most 14 year olds have no idea how to re-arrange say V=IR for example. At 16, maybe 40% have grasped how to do this.

    Maths in English schools seems to be all about Geometry - rotating triangles and the like through angles of symmetry.

    I have tried banning calculators from lessons and that causes uproar. Most of the pupils use them to ADD UP numbers like 17 + 8! I really wish that I was joking here.
    This includes my 17 and 18 year olds who have chosen to study Maths and Physics!

    At times I feel like giving up.......
     
  10. May 26, 2005 #9

    Pengwuino

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    Oh god yah, calculators are just... woo, cant even describe it. I mus tadmit that ive used one to do addition before lol, but thats becuase i was just rushing through and i was in a class where you just lived and died by your calculator because of hte amounts of homework that were given.
     
  11. May 26, 2005 #10
    grammAr........
     
  12. May 26, 2005 #11

    Pengwuino

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    See, and i would have made that mistake in 10th grade too!
     
  13. May 26, 2005 #12

    JamesU

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    You people are depressing :frown:
     
  14. May 26, 2005 #13
    Funny that this should come up, I am writing what I hope to be that last English paper I ever have to write. I better get back to it, time is running out.
     
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