Grade 12 University English: Should it be Mandatory?

Many students argue that grade 12 University level English should not be required for entry into all university programs.  Some believe that it is an unnecessary requirement, especially if the program they wish to pursue is not English based.

I have to disagree with the beliefs of those students. I believe that taking an English class at the University level in grade 12 is crucial.  For virtually most university  programs, speaking, writing, and critical thinking are basic skills you must possess in order to succeed.  At the University of Western Ontario, ENG4U is a prerequisite for a variety of

Admission Requirements
UWO Admission Requirements

programs, from the fine arts to Engineering (Ontario Secondary School Admission Requirements, 78).  For instance, although Science is not directly focused on English, you must still be proficient in English.  You must be able to clearly write a procedure in order for other scientists to recreate the lab.

Most university programs require the ability to accurately and appropriately present academic work.  If a student is unable to communicate thoroughly in English, their marks will suffer.  Imagine standing in front of your university class and using improper grammar or lacking proper communication skills.  This would likely be embarrassing, but may also give the illusion of incompetence.

Grade 12 University level English class prepares adolescents so that they can succeed at a post secondary level.   CultureWorks published a blog, titled “Top 4 English Skills You Need to Succeed at University” which states that you need to be able to write essays clearly and persuasively.  The blog also mentions that university classes demand verbal comprehension skills and the ability to take clear notes.  I believe that grade 12 University level English class

Skills necessary for post-secondary success

helps students acquire these skills.  For instance, if your writing skills are not up to par in grade 12, you will not be able to receive full marks for any of the written assignments in university.  It is for this reason that it is necessary to ensure that your speaking, writing and critical thinking skills are perfected upon entering university.

Although some students dislike English class, it increases a student’s academic preparedness for university.  For example, a student will likely have stronger communication skills and critical thinking abilities after completing this course.  Taking grade 12 University level English establishes the groundwork for fundamental skills needed to succeed at the post-secondary level regardless of the program.


Works Cited

“Canadian Secondary School.” Canadian Secondary School – Canadian Secondary School Admissions – Welcome to Western – Western University. Western University, n.d. Web. 05 July 2017.

“Class Info.” REV – Real English Victoria. Real English Victoria, n.d. Web. 05 July 2017.

“Top 4 English Skills You Need to Succeed at University.” CultureWorks. CultureWorks ESL Inc., 30 June 2015. Web. 05 July 2017.


2 thoughts on “Grade 12 University English: Should it be Mandatory?

  1. Hello Katie! I agree with your statement of how all students would be required to take grade 12 English if they want to have a fighting chance in University. Without it they just wouldn’t stand a chance as in University no matter what subject you choose you will always need English. English also helps you build up very important habits such as time management skills. However, if Canada became more French orientated and Universities everywhere started speaking French and English alike, would it be necessary to take all grade of French? Thanks!


    1. Thanks for your comment! As for your question, I believe that it would be necessary to take 4 years of French as well. I am in the French immersion program at my school and if I desired to study my chosen program in French at the University of Ottawa, grade 12 French would be a prerequisite. That being said, I’m not sure if it would be the same case for every university in Canada in this hypothetical situation.


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