Poll: Was HSC English of any use in your life after Year 12?

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Thread: POLL/OPINION: Does English even help???

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    POLL/OPINION: Does English even help???

    Ok, let me get this clear. I never liked English and by Year 8, lost all point of doing it. I still tried though. At Year 10, I was so bad I got a C in the subject when I legitimately had a good teacher. (I am doing Advanced only because I am moving to Normanhurst Boys) The thing is, what the heck are the abstract bits of English for anyways? I mean, how the hell am I meant to understand it.

    I personally believe that there are no point in doing senior English. It simply seems useless. I now need an actual reason beyond HSC and ATAR to do English. Any reasons, please chuck them below!

    Also, for university students NOT majoring in English Literature (because I know you will vote yes anyways), has senior English helped your life at all? Please vote in the poll!
    Last edited by dan964; 3 Jan 2018 at 10:43 AM. Reason: fixed typo/grammar mistake

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    Junior Member supR's Avatar
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    Re: Does English even help???

    I voted yes although I haven't finished Yr 12 yet, oops :/

    But to give my opinion anyways, English for me has been a struggle, similar to how you describe it. And for me, that's precisely the benefit!
    English is a challenge, and all challenges help an individual to grow and become something greater than when they started. The majority of HSC English is persuasive writing, you are working to convince a responder of something --> Formulating an argument essentially.

    I believe that this is crucial to everyday life, in both personal and business ventures as the goal is almost always to convince someone of your side of events.
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    Senior Member sida1049's Avatar
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    Re: Does English even help???

    Yep. Understanding culture is important. You get less out of reading, watching movies, TV shows, and even gaming, if you can't explain why you like the work apart from "it's cool" or "it made me feel good", and miss 90% of the detail the artists put into their work.

    Also, English will help you with communication, regardless if you think you have already have the communication skills you need for the rest of your life (spoiler: you don't). And even if you study something like maths in uni, you have to communicate your work in written expression, and so even the most mathematical proofs are really just essays in the end. And if you haven't learnt how to properly structure an essay coherently, or enough vocabulary to not make your work sound awfully infantile, your work in any area just simply won't be as good.

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    Re: Does English even help???

    Lol i hated english too

    But it comes back to the importance of language and communication. I guess by writing essays/analysing texts you get a greater understanding of how composers create meaning/the messages they want to send. We are constantly bombarded with these messages everday (media/ads). By writing essays, you learn to communicate ideas (which can be quite complex/abstract, depending on your analysis) with more clarity- which is applicable to every social situation.

    Idk
    I didnt like it but it made me pay more attention to the way i express myself (since i get misunderstood often lol qq )
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    Re: Does English even help???

    Yeah it helped me improve my memory and bsing skills
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    Re: Does English even help???

    Quote Originally Posted by Vankyrie Ludenberg View Post
    I guess by writing essays/analysing texts you get a greater understanding of how composers create meaning/the messages they want to send. We are constantly bombarded with these messages everday (media/ads).
    This^

    We learn to evaluate things more critically - like the news, where almost everything is dramatised by focusing on the more irrelevant details and overlooking hard facts. We would be able to look beyond their bs more easily than for example, the elderly, who are easily swayed by the media.

    But of course - it's hard to think from a more critical perspective irl, especially when you're no longer studying english after the HSC. You don't really just go, "OMG, DONALD TRUMP USED REPETITION, HE IS TRYING TO EMPHASISE HOW GREAT HE IS BUT HE IS FAILING !!!".

    At a Junior High School level, we look at themes surrounding human nature and morals in texts, and they were all very applicable to real life. I actually think this should be sufficient, especially because as pikachu975 said, once you get into the senior years it is mostly reliant on being able to bs with a good memory. Maybe if we actually focused more on grammar and stuff in jnr years, y11/12 english should defs not be compulsory imo :'( not much point except for this one module we did on people and politics, that one was v relevant to real life.


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    Re: Does English even help???

    I'll be honest with you too - I hated English in Year 12.

    However, I do have to say that it has helped me to some extent outside of Year 12.

    First of all, communication skills are paramount not only in the social realm but also in the field of finding jobs/careers. Many employers (even those recruiting HSC tutors) are focusing more and more on your ability to communicate rather than your actual intellectual knowledge, which in my opinion speaks volumes of how important the ability to interact with one another is. Although HSC English does not directly teach you communication skills, it is in my opinion the closest subject that does.

    Furthermore, the way HSC English is structured really improves your critical thinking abilities - it asks you to analyse the hidden messages/meanings behind texts which ultimately extends your ability to 'think outside the box'. This is pretty crucial no matter what degree you do I think.

    And lastly, English allows you to BS so many things in your favour. I'm kind of doing it right now as I'm trying to BS the reasons why English is kind of important. It's up to you to decide if I've convinced you to believe that English is semi-crucial outside of Year 12.

    Anyways, good luck! Don't worry though, English is sort of universally hated by Year 12 students (especially by STEM students).
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    Re: Does English even help???

    It's one of my options to study after Year 12, so the answer for me is yes.
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    Re: Does English even help???

    Yep
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    Re: Does English even help???

    I did Advanced English for the HSC and found that the texts studied in Year 12 to be quite interesting in their relevance to our world today, but I am not sure on whether the subject as a whole (in the way it is being taught right now at least) is entirely useful.

    It would likely depend on what texts your english faculty chose+how they teach it (I did 1984/Metropolis for Mod A, King Henry IV Pt.1 for Mod C, and a range of speeches for Mod B). We studied quite in depth on themes which mainly concerned political and/or societal issues - which I think is important in determining our values in society today.

    Our prescribed text for AOS Discovery (Rosemary Dobson poetry) was okay, even interesting at times, but I disliked the AOS in general. NESA attempts to shoehorn texts to fit their own themes/focus areas - sometimes with terrible results (*cough* Paper 1 2017). In terms of real life "applications", AOS Discovery felt like the most useless of the four modules.

    Anyway to answer your question, I don't think English is entirely useless since it can allow you to explore abstract values and concepts + develop new understandings and whatnot, but it can be irritatingly vague and irrelevant at times.

    In terms of writing skills, I hated essay writing in English because it felt as though my ideas had to be squashed into a rigid structure which prevented me from fully exploring my ideas. Writing FHI reports in my sciences and working as a team during lab pracs were far more helpful in developing my communication skills.
    Last edited by Papercutter; 2 Jan 2018 at 1:19 PM.
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