Home >  Blog >  Should English be compulsory in Years 11 & 12?

Should English be compulsory in Years 11 & 12?

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President on 2 May 2016

An edited version of the letter below was published in The Courier-Mail of Friday 29 April 2016. Underlined words were deleted and the bracketed ones inserted. The paper's heading was "Enforced English Unwise". In the version I submitted I identified myself as Past President of ETAQ but the paper did not print that detail. My original paragraphing was also adjusted.

English compulsory in Years 11 and 12?

The Premier's reported (Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's) intention that English should be a compulsory subject in Years 11 and 12 by state edict is well-intentioned but misguided ("New chapter in learning", April 27).

Arrangements at school level already make a form of English a compulsory senior subject for most students, apparently 98% (of students).

Anyone who thinks that compelling (it will be productive to compel) the remaining 2% to also take the subject will be productive understands little about schools or teenagers.

The old saying that one volunteer is worth ten pressed men is relevant here.

What the Premier and Education Minister (Kate Jones) should be more concerned about is the form of subject English (subject) that students study.

Because of pressure on schools for published OP results to look good, too many students are currently counselled into (taking) the less challenging English Communication, the non-OP eligible form of the subject.

Garry Collins

Immediate Past President, English Teachers Association of Queensland (ETAQ) 

Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past PresidentAuthor: Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President
About: Garry Collins was ETAQ President from mid July 2005 to 15 March 2014. He taught English in state high schools for around 35 years and now tutors in English curriculum courses in the School of Education at the University of Queensland.
Tags: General news

Post comment

Upcoming Events

Tony Hytch presents

Tony will present a session entitled  "Getting students assessment ready for Essential English" at Pimlico State High School, Townsville on Saturday 2nd May, 2020. Teachers will explore teh possible options for assessment in Units 1 and 2. In particular how to develop an assessment program which best prepares students for the t...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 2nd May 2020
Venue:   Pimlico High School
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


May Masterclass 2020: Diving Deep into Feedback

This event will offer participants an opportunity to streamline their skills in assessment for learning, moderation and quality feedback processes at a series of workshops for teachers of years 7 -12 to be presented by colleagues and academics. We are investigating the possibility of running this event online on 16 May. Further details wi...

Category:   Master class
Start Time:   8:30 AM
Date:   Saturday 16th May 2020
Venue:   To be confirmed


2020 AATE/IFTE 'IF' Conference

2020 AATE/IFTE 'IF' Conference

The 2020 AATE / IFTE 'IF' Conference will be held in Sydney from 6 - 9 July 2020. The conference website is https://aateifte2020.org.au/ Promotional video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdDJCQONsUQ&feature=youtu.be ...

Category:   National Conference
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Monday 6th July 2020
Venue:   Sydney Grammar School


JCU Spectacular

"Double, double toil and trouble": Creative Writing and Macbeth Professional Development Workshops
Dr Emma Maguire and Dr Claire Hansen

In this double workshop PD session, join Dr Emma Maguire for a one-hour workshop on creative writing, and Dr Claire Hansen for a one-hour session on teaching Macbeth. Discover the essential e...

Category:   Workshop
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 25th July 2020
Venue:   James Cook University
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Pre-conference Institute 2020: Diving Deep with Jeff Wilhelm

This event has been cancelled

Category:   Pre-conference Institute
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Monday 10th August 2020
  Repeating On specific dates
Venue:   Ipswich Girls Grammar School and Nudgee College


< Previous | 1 | 2 | Next >
View all

Latest News

View all

Blog Feed

Grammar myths

Sep 12 2017
An edited version of the letter below was pu...

Impact on learning

Sep 12 2017
The following letter was submitted to The Au...
Read all

Testimonials

Read All

This is the first time I have been to an ETAQ conference and it was really sensational to get so much at all of the sessions.

ETAQ conferences always have sessions that make me excited to be a teacher.

I know that ETAQ conferences in the past have never disappointed - valuable, relevant, practical, inspiring so I came again.

Read All

Newsletter

Receive updates
from ETAQ

PO Box 3375, STAFFORD,
Queensland, Australia, 4053
(07) 3284 3718
ABN: 17 689 278 512

Connect to a great range of people who are passionate about English and have their finger on the pulse.

Be Connected