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  Weekly Feature (September 15, 2008)


English 12: A Realistic ViewEnglish 12: A Realistic View
Rick's Weekly Feature



It is exciting to see so many students eager to get their BC high school diploma. A diploma is often a requirement for various jobs in the province. For many students, English 12 is the most difficult course to complete. Successful completion of English 12 requires an understanding of the language that many native speakers do not have or need in their day-to-day lives.  In recognition of these facts, the government also accepts Communications 12 as an alternative course for graduation.

The point I am trying to make is that success in English 12 can only come after intensive experience with reading and writing in the English language. A diploma that includes English 12 tells the registrar at the university that a student can understand difficult readings and effectively communicate, in writing, difficult ideas. It tells a future employer that a job applicant can easily understand spoken English and will be able to communicate orally or in writing with a high degree of professionalism.

Consider this.  I speak only English, have a university degree in science and studied the French language a few hours a week until Grade 9. If I were in a French Adult Learning Centre in Quebec, I would probably be in Patricia’s Level 5 or 6 class—maybe Level 7.

If I wanted to be a science teacher in a French speaking school, realistically, I believe that, with hard work, I could reach my goal of speaking and writing French well enough to teach Biology in French in four to five years. If I started studying now, I could get my Quebec diploma by 2013 or 2014.

I hope that all students in the ALC get their high school diploma. It is a valuable document and something to be proud of. But don’t expect the path to English 12 to be easy. It is a long, hard but rewarding journey. There are no shortcuts to a true A or B, especially at Pearson ALC. Do not be discouraged by the length of time it takes.


Visit Last Week's Feature:

A New Beginning—Again!

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