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    I really struggled with GCSE English at school, yet my physics teacher consistently praised me for my clear and concise use of English when conveying my scientific ideas in exams. I volunteered and wrote an article for a youth magazine once; they said it was really good and were amazed that I knew how to use a semicolon. At university I got top marks for my scientific essays.

    For these reasons I propose that GCSE English Language be split into two streams; A GCSE for the scientifically minded and a GCSE for those interested in Humanities. Each GCSE would be tailored the use of English in Science or Humanities. I think it's a little unfair that some universities such as Imperial bar students with lest than a B even if they have an A* in physics which proves that they are more than capable of using English in a scientific context. Furthermore I believe that the current English qualification does not give you the proper skills to succeed when using English in a scientific context.

    PS: This is TSR so I know that someone is going to point out a grammatical mistake just because I claimed to have good English. I have not proof read this so go be pedantic elsewhere
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    (Original post by S.R)
    I really struggled with GCSE English at school, yet my physics teacher consistently praised me for my clear and concise use of English when conveying my scientific ideas in exams. I volunteered and wrote an article for a youth magazine once; they said it was really good and were amazed that I knew how to use a semicolon. At university I got top marks for my scientific essays.

    For these reasons I propose that GCSE English Language be split into two streams; A GCSE for the scientifically minded and a GCSE for those interested in Humanities. Each GCSE would be tailored the use of English in Science or Humanities. I think it's a little unfair that some universities such as Imperial bar students with lest than a B even if they have an A* in physics which proves that they are more than capable of using English in a scientific context. Furthermore I believe that the current English qualification does not give you the proper skills to succeed when using English in a scientific context.

    PS: This is TSR so I know that someone is going to point out a grammatical mistake just because I claimed to have good English. I have not proof read this so go be pedantic elsewhere
    Science is arguably about communication as well. If you can't use language effectively enough to get your ideas across, and the university can afford to be picky, then tough luck really.

    To be honest, GCSE English Lit is for those who are into humanities and Language is for everyone else. Why do you believe it doesn't prepare you for studying scientific material?

    P.S - spotted a spelling mistake in your post, but I won't be pendantic and upset you by pointing it out


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    (Original post by Xiomara)
    I won't be pendantic and upset you by pointing it out
    Just as well, really.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Just as well, really.
    Mobile typing!

    Still, I'm not sitting here going, "I'm so good at English but I fail all the exams so make them easier!"
    :awesome:

    OP- In addition, don't you think splitting Language into two streams would just further specialise children at a fairly young age? Many people have no clue what they want to do in life at 14, and education from then onwards can become a game of "keeping options open" which often entails doing mainstream subjects that they may not fully enjoy and consequently get poorer marks in. Just a thought.
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    English really isn't about "being able to spell" - It's about being able to assess literature and the such. Which is unfortunate, because I had to proof-read A-level work for misspellings of your/you're and the such. They had to give spelling classes to A-level students. Maybe they should've spent more time doing that at GCSE?

    In many cases, English is just about being able to interpret literature, and usually in a bizarre manner - Trying to guess what authors and poets meant in the most complex way just to prove that you're somewhat analytical.


    Perhaps they should find a third way to assess students... English Analysis, or something? Being able to write reports has been a massive part of my degree so far, and really wasn't a focus in English other than P.E.E. Just a part of English dedicated to writing as a professional? I got an A*/A in English at GCSE, but that clearly doesn't make me good at English. If they're worried about your ability to use the language, they should find a more direct method of testing it. Being able to tell that a poet was upset "because the sky was blue" really is quite awful.
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    (Original post by Xiomara)
    Science is arguably about communication as well. If you can't use language effectively enough to get your ideas across, and the university can afford to be picky, then tough luck really.

    To be honest, GCSE English Lit is for those who are into humanities and Language is for everyone else. Why do you believe it doesn't prepare you for studying scientific material?
    Yeah but I'm saying that a lot of people who are good at science struggle at English Language GCSE yet they can do well in a science degree so it should be tailored to suit how people think rather than one blanket test for all. And Poetry has absolutely nothing to do with science. Thee is a lot of english skills that are actually more specific to science such as how to interpret equations in plain english. For instance a lot of students see dp/dt and the most that they can infer from that is "change in momentum over change in time" this is right but a deeper understanding could be had from interpreting it as "the rate of change of momentum with respect to time i.e it's an analysis of how quickly the momentum changes over a period of time. Too many students just plug numbers into equations without knowing what they mean. It is even more important in biology because students take the lack of equations to mean you don't need to be as logical in your answer but you do.

    (Original post by Xiomara)
    P.S - spotted a spelling mistake in your post, but I won't be pendantic and upset you by pointing it out


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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
    English really isn't about "being able to spell" - It's about being able to assess literature and the such. Which is unfortunate, because I had to proof-read A-level work for misspellings of your/you're and the such. They had to give spelling classes to A-level students. Maybe they should've spent more time doing that at GCSE?

    In many cases, English is just about being able to interpret literature, and usually in a bizarre manner - Trying to guess what authors and poets meant in the most complex way just to prove that you're somewhat analytical.


    Perhaps they should find a third way to assess students... English Anlysis, or something? Being able to write reports has been a massive part of my degree so far, and really wasn't a focus in English other than P.E.E. Just a part of English dedicated to writing as a professional? I got an A*/A in English at GCSE, but that clearly doesn't make me good at English. If they're worried about your ability to use the language, they should find a more direct method of testing it. Being able to tell that a poet was upset "because the sky was blue" really is quite awful.
    This is very true. Spelling and grammar take a backseat to the most prized "skill" of being able to guess what an author is trying to say. There is just no logic to it.
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    No I disagree, generally I think the basic skills of english are transferable from scientific writing to more traditional forms of english writing. I've never heard of anyone being very good at one and below average on the other, you are very much the exception rather than the rule.
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    (Original post by S.R)
    I really struggled with GCSE English at school, yet my physics teacher consistently praised me for my clear and concise use of English when conveying my scientific ideas in exams. I volunteered and wrote an article for a youth magazine once; they said it was really good and were amazed that I knew how to use a semicolon. At university I got top marks for my scientific essays.

    For these reasons I propose that GCSE English Language be split into two streams; A GCSE for the scientifically minded and a GCSE for those interested in Humanities. Each GCSE would be tailored the use of English in Science or Humanities. I think it's a little unfair that some universities such as Imperial bar students with lest than a B even if they have an A* in physics which proves that they are more than capable of using English in a scientific context. Furthermore I believe that the current English qualification does not give you the proper skills to succeed when using English in a scientific context.

    PS: This is TSR so I know that someone is going to point out a grammatical mistake just because I claimed to have good English. I have not proof read this so go be pedantic elsewhere
    Why aren't you head of education?

    My older brother at gcse got a C grade in english language and a D in english literature , rest at A*/A. He just got off of medical school and is a junior doctor now. Universities nowadays for most courses require a B in english language, isn't that unfair? Just because you got a bad mark on romeo and juliet why would it affect your scientific career?
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    (Original post by S.R)
    Yeah but I'm saying that a lot of people who are good at science struggle at English Language GCSE yet they can do well in a science degree so it should be tailored to suit how people think rather than one blanket test for all. And Poetry has absolutely nothing to do with science. Thee is a lot of english skills that are actually more specific to science such as how to interpret equations in plain english. For instance a lot of students see dp/dt and the most that they can infer from that is "change in momentum over change in time" this is right but a deeper understanding could be had from interpreting it as "the rate of change of momentum with respect to time i.e it's an analysis of how quickly the momentum changes over a period of time. Too many students just plug numbers into equations without knowing what they mean. It is even more important in biology because students take the lack of equations to mean you don't need to be as logical in your answer but you do.


    Well yeah, but if I make the argument that many people who do GCSE P.E and GCSE Additional Maths struggle with GCSE English, shall we make two seperate ones for them? And many people (such as myself) who took GCSE Music had difficulty with GCSE Maths so I propose a new GCSE Maths option in which modules revolve around music theory.

    While I'm sure lots of Science students aren't as good in English, there are equally loads who are very good at English. A C = standard grade across the country at GCSE. The universities that you've mentioned that actually sort candidates for seemingly "unrelated" GCSE disciplines such as English by using a grade as high as a B seem to be the really well respected ones like Oxbridge and Imperial. Those places appear to want incredibly well rounded people who had academic brains from very early (I'm not talking about intelligence, I'm talking about being aware that getting very good grades at a very young age would help them in later life, such as in applying for higher education) and hence could attain straight A* grades. They're not necessarily looking for the super duper Maths genius who struggles with crossing the road - though this obviously depends on the course, sometimes they are.

    Unfortunately, nationwide standardised examinations are a 'blanket test for all'. They have to be, otherwise how would you compare people? You seem to be advocating doing away with exams altogether, a proposition I'd love to support as long as it could be implemented before my first exam on the 11th!

    (there is some flexibility in choice of exam boards, etc - for example, AQA have the ISA element at A-level whereas other boards like Edexcel ask you to submit an essay, so I guess that's something to consider)

    Finally, you seem to have a bit of a science superiority complex :P Why is it English's job to prepare you for a life in science? I think the current syllabus (at least the one I studied) went well enough in planting the seeds of analytical reasoning and critique, which served well in my science exams, but that was as far as it needed to go. Surely the rest could be taught in, I don't know, your science lessons?

    Oh, and I'd love to know your thoughts on my 'specialisation' comment in my previous post.

    The last part seems to be a general gripe with the education system as a whole which I do find quite intriguing. I get what you mean about a lack of critical thinking when it comes to numbers and equations at GCSE and even A-level. I myself am guilty of it. Apparantly, in some other countries on the continent they have quite an emphasis on this sort of thing at an earlier level which could perhaps be implemented here. But I think that's the sort of thing you need to be drumming home in your year 7 "How to spell algebra" maths lessons. GCSE seems a little late.
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    (Original post by CoolRunner)
    Why aren't you head of education?

    My older brother at gcse got a C grade in english language and a D in english literature , rest at A*/A. He just got off of medical school and is a junior doctor now. Universities nowadays for most courses require a B in english language, isn't that unfair? Just because you got a bad mark on romeo and juliet why would it affect your scientific career?
    I'll run if you promise to vote for me

    Exactly what I'm saying. Thank you for your input.
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    (Original post by Xiomara)
    Well yeah, but if I make the argument that many people who do GCSE P.E and GCSE Additional Maths struggle with GCSE English, shall we make two seperate ones for them? And many people (such as myself) who took GCSE Music had difficulty with GCSE Maths so I propose a new GCSE Maths option in which modules revolve around music theory.

    While I'm sure lots of Science students aren't as good in English, there are equally loads who are very good at English. A C = standard grade across the country at GCSE. The universities that you've mentioned that actually sort candidates for seemingly "unrelated" GCSE disciplines such as English by using a grade as high as a B seem to be the really well respected ones like Oxbridge and Imperial. Those places appear to want incredibly well rounded people who had academic brains from very early (I'm not talking about intelligence, I'm talking about being aware that getting very good grades at a very young age would help them in later life, such as in applying for higher education) and hence could attain straight A* grades. They're not necessarily looking for the super duper Maths genius who struggles with crossing the road - though this obviously depends on the course, sometimes they are.

    Unfortunately, nationwide standardised examinations are a 'blanket test for all'. They have to be, otherwise how would you compare people? You seem to be advocating doing away with exams altogether, a proposition I'd love to support as long as it could be implemented before my first exam on the 11th!

    (there is some flexibility in choice of exam boards, etc - for example, AQA have the ISA element at A-level whereas other boards like Edexcel ask you to submit an essay, so I guess that's something to consider)

    Finally, you seem to have a bit of a science superiority complex :P Why is it English's job to prepare you for a life in science? I think the current syllabus (at least the one I studied) went well enough in planting the seeds of analytical reasoning and critique, which served well in my science exams, but that was as far as it needed to go. Surely the rest could be taught in, I don't know, your science lessons?

    Oh, and I'd love to know your thoughts on my 'specialisation' comment in my previous post.

    The last part seems to be a general gripe with the education system as a whole which I do find quite intriguing. I get what you mean about a lack of critical thinking when it comes to numbers and equations at GCSE and even A-level. I myself am guilty of it. Apparantly, in some other countries on the continent they have quite an emphasis on this sort of thing at an earlier level which could perhaps be implemented here. But I think that's the sort of thing you need to be drumming home in your year 7 "How to spell algebra" maths lessons. GCSE seems a little late.
    I'm not saying do away with English I'm saying that Science and humanities are two very different skills and the vast majority of people are only good at one therefore it should be split into a GCSE aimed at future science students and a GCSE aimed at future humanities students. This will have the added benefit of being able to focus on the English skills that are specific to that discipline such as logical writing and interpreting sentences as equations.

    I have no science superiority complex, this whole thread was borne out of my realization that science is not harder than humanities it's just that less people are good at it. If it were "harder" then how can I be bad at something that is by extension "easier"?

    To illustrate my point further take university science courses. Every scientist needs to know maths but they don't force science students to take courses in complex analysis or Galois theory, they have a special mathematics for science course that is tailored to the needs of scientists and recognizes that most of them aren't as good at maths as pure mathematicians. Galois theory is about as relevant to biology as Shakespeare is so why are we forcing future biologists to learn Shakespeare?
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    I think that's a good idea :-) as I did terrible in English gcse D: but I did really well in mathematics and science and ICT etc..

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    (Original post by S.R)
    I'm not saying do away with English I'm saying that Science and humanities are two very different skills and the vast majority of people are only good at one therefore it should be split into a GCSE aimed at future science students and a GCSE aimed at future humanities students. This will have the added benefit of being able to focus on the English skills that are specific to that discipline such as logical writing and interpreting sentences as equations.

    I have no science superiority complex, this whole thread was borne out of my realization that science is not harder than humanities it's just that less people are good at it. If it were "harder" then how can I be bad at something that is by extension "easier"?

    To illustrate my point further take university science courses. Every scientist needs to know maths but they don't force science students to take courses in complex analysis or Galois theory, they have a special mathematics for science course that is tailored to the needs of scientists and recognizes that most of them aren't as good at maths as pure mathematicians. Galois theory is about as relevant to biology as Shakespeare is so why are we forcing future biologists to learn Shakespeare?
    OK, perhaps I misunderstood you. I'd argue the bit in bold is simply not true though, especially at GCSE level when a little extra work quickly overcomes most natural lack of talent. I'm a fairly terrible mathematician, but I managed to get a B at GCSE by going over the past papers and making use of online revision resources. You seem to be saying that it's quite common for a science student at GCSE to attain A*s in the sciences and Ds in English language which I really doubt is true, not least in part due to the introduction of 'Quality of Written Communication' marks in the science exams.
    (again, you haven't replied to my point about other subjects and their interlinking - do you advocate a Musical Maths course or not? And you seem to be confusing English Language with English Literature a lot. They do teach and require different skills.)

    And like I said, what of the students that don't know what they want to do in life? They don't know if they're going to be future biologists or authors? Kids at just 14 years old in this country already have to select disciplines that could pertain to their future. If, in the summer after GCSEs, a change of heart happens i.e "I'd like to study Art at A-level, but I don't have an Art GCSE and therefore can't because I didn't take it as I wasn't that interested two years ago." then that potentially has ramifications for their future uni courses etc. Adding more choice to the mix just makes it worse.

    I've geniunely never heard of Galois theory but I'd put money on the idea that most Britons have knowledge of Shakespeare, and not just from education. It's the sort of thing that is casually referenced in every day life and on which films/plays/ballets are created. School's purpose isn't just to prepare you for a future career, it's also to round you as a person, and by teaching you about a well known play or piece of music or geographical location, it's helping you to be able to interact with society as a whole. It's only up until compulsory education ends at 16. After that, you are more than free to choose exactly what you want to study. What's the problem? Spearman's rank isn't that useful to an artist, but they learn it anyway and don't demand Mathematical Art, cool as that sounds.

    Compromise: Exam boards should alter specifications, including more written communication questions and perhaps blocks of text for analysis. This would force teachers to focus more on teaching the skills that you're talking about, and would have the same outcome, but wouldn't lock students in to a certain discipline of study before they'd even left compulsory education age.
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    I get do the point to your argument however when English is assessed in essays for science and what not, it's just examined on your basis to put forth a coherent argument with decent spelling and grammar.

    However that's only a part of the actual English subject, although it's a vital part. Even if you write an excellent essay on Henry V if you can't use full stops, capitals and paragraphs you're going to massively fail.

    The fact that you get A* in Chemistry, Physics, Biology shows that you can use English to a good standard in that specific context, as that is what you're examined on.

    However GCSE English is meant to show that you can couple good writing skills (and being able to apply them) with good analysing skills. Not just being able to use good spelling and grammar.

    Also with regards to universities and what not, if you have A* in science subjects they know that you can use a good degree of English in that context, however I'd imagine they'd want B's in English as well to 'narrow down the pool' and to get all round students.
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    (Original post by rmpr97)
    I get do the point to your argument however when English is assessed in essays for science and what not, it's just examined on your basis to put forth a coherent argument with decent spelling and grammar.

    However that's only a part of the actual English subject, although it's a vital part. Even if you write an excellent essay on Henry V if you can't use full stops, capitals and paragraphs you're going to massively fail.

    The fact that you get A* in Chemistry, Physics, Biology shows that you can use English to a good standard in that specific context, as that is what you're examined on.

    However GCSE English is meant to show that you can couple good writing skills (and being able to apply them) with good analysing skills. Not just being able to use good spelling and grammar.

    Also with regards to universities and what not, if you have A* in science subjects they know that you can use a good degree of English in that context, however I'd imagine they'd want B's in English as well to 'narrow down the pool' and to get all round students.
    Well said.

    Not sure OP's interested, I said the bolded part in my earlier posts and he just ignored it, lol.
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    (Original post by Xiomara)
    Well said.

    Not sure OP's interested, I said the bolded part in my earlier posts and he just ignored it, lol.
    Not necessarily, I got As in gcse IT,Bio,chem,Phys, and maths I got A D in English, spelling grammar and punctuation is not the hard part of gcse English anyway. Gcse English for scientists could teach other skills. The Harvard reference system,lab logs,reports hypothesis and conclusion and spotting if the question is scientific in nature. Is there a speed faster then light? (science could answer) Or is there a god (science couldn't answer) I'm having to retake GCSE English alongside My A-levels and it is probably harder for me than my A levels are IMHO. If I'm Lucky enough to get A/B grade I'll probably be as happy as if I got a C/B in AS level chemistry I'd say what makes it hard for me is that I have to be creative in a way that's not the same in science, I good at imaging experiments not stories.

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    (Original post by jreid1994)
    Gcse English for scientists could teach other skills. The Harvard reference system,lab logs,reports hypothesis and conclusion and spotting if the question is scientific in nature. Is there a speed faster then light? (science could answer) Or is there a god (science couldn't answer)
    I think that would be brilliant. I am forever using references, writing reports, making lab logs. I have to present a lab report every other week (even in engineering) and you're pretty much at a loss unless you are just naturally good at reporting. You spend so much time learning about metaphors that you forget how to write facts.

    English, currently, is not a "factual" subject like science. It's more of an arts. If they want it to be a core subject, they should keep it more broad and less about creative writing. Currently, it's like calling R.E a science - Reading literature, analysing it and interpreting what it means. English as a core subject should be about grammar, spelling, constructive writing and "real world" skills. It is too artsy at the moment.
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
    I think that would be brilliant. I am forever using references, writing reports, making lab logs. I have to present a lab report every other week (even in engineering) and you're pretty much at a loss unless you are just naturally good at reporting. You spend so much time learning about metaphors that you forget how to write facts.

    English, currently, is not a "factual" subject like science. It's more of an arts. If they want it to be a core subject, they should keep it more broad and less about creative writing. Currently, it's like calling R.E a science - Reading literature, analysing it and interpreting what it means. English as a core subject should be about grammar, spelling, constructive writing and "real world" skills. It is too artsy at the moment.
    I think it could actually work, as English is essay based but not the sort of skills I need, my teaches said I could have had a realistic chance of Places like Nottingham for chemistry or pharmacy if I had just got B damn. Well to be fair when is knowing about hamlet extensively going to help me is a clinical/laboratory setting? It isn't for goodness sakes. That's like me saying that knowing how cyclohexane is so non polar would help me in court.

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    Although as a scientist I would have preferred not to have studied some of Shakespeare's sonnets and a lot more science I have to say that, in my opinion, a 'Scientific English' GCSE should not replace the English GCSEs we have now.

    Firstly, there are elements of the English Language GCSE that did examine an ability to interpret facts and write coherently on them. This would therefore render the proposed GCSE moot.

    Secondly, as we have science GCSEs to examine the scientific aptitude for students. Why not have a qualification to examine their aptitude for English?
 
 
 
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