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    I've always felt that GCSE English should be based on how effective a person is at communicating ideas rather than how well you can come up with an interpretation of a piece of text which might not even be true.
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    (Original post by S.R)
    Poetry is useful to everyday life? Really?
    Yes understanding Shakespeare's language is vital to everyday life, same as having a PhD in cellular biology is very important to a historian

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    (Original post by winningjojo)
    Really? Most schools I know of near me everyone takes both English language and literature. And to be fair when it comes to comprehension etc that was what is tested in gcse English language and in the old SAT papers that the government stopped for yr9.


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    I went to a comp so we had upper and lower band. Upper band pupils did English and Literature, lower band pupils did English and Media Studies.
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    If you are capable of learning the language techniques and you are able to apply those effectively, there should be no problem. I didn't know a whole load of fancy words, but I definitely learnt how to write consisely and effectively.

    You know how you learn things in biology and then slightly adapt your answer to suit the relevant question? Yep, thats what you do in english.

    I started speaking english 3 years before my GCSEs. I wasn't surrounded by posh kids that knew fancy words, I went to a **** comp. Still managed to get an A and A* in lang and lit respectively.
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    Your suggestion forces children to select which route they go down in life at the age of 13 when they barely know what a career is!

    English is learned to improve communication skills and understanding and interpretation of the written word. You were lucky, you coped. Many do not without that skill.


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    As much as I hated babbling on about poems and Shakespeare in high school, I think having "english for scientists" is ridiculous. The vast majority of 14 year olds don't know that they want to be a scientist at that stage. Also I'm struggling to see what it could possibly teach you. You mention how to read scientific papers, but do you remember trying to read journal articles when you were in 1st year of uni?! You have no idea what's going on. They are so complex and so in-depth and use so much technical language that it isn't even worth reading them because it's just like a mush of symbols and numbers. You can't teach pupils how to analyse and interpret something that doesn't even make sense to them. Even if you are trying to teach it theoretically - just imagine trying to do that right now. You couldn't. You can't even say,
    "ok so firstly read the abstract..."
    Pupil: "what's a leukocyte"
    Teacher : "it doesn't matter, you're just going to get the feel for what the paper is about"
    Pupil: "what does glutaraldehyde-fixed red blood cells mean?
    Teacher: "That's not important, this is just a summary...."
    Pupil: "I don't get it."

    If the students don't understand the technical language then they can't take ANYTHING from it. They wouldn't even be able to see that the abstract is a summary of the paper because none of the words would make sense and they wouldn't be able to see where the information came from in the results section. The only way the students could take anything from it would be to teach them all the complex stuff for each example paper, which at that age, they wouldn't be able to grasp.

    Not to mention, if they are actually going on to study science at uni then they will learn all the appropriate skills as they go along anyway.
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    (Original post by Jakaroo94)
    I went to a comp so we had upper and lower band. Upper band pupils did English and Literature, lower band pupils did English and Media Studies.
    Oh I see


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