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Many of the negative comments about English related to writing:

  • "If I had a choice, I would not take English – too much writing."
  • "Essay writing is too hard."
  • "An over-focus on the written aspect."

The challenge of the technical side of English also featured strongly:

  • "Too confusing. We need an easy way to remember verbs, adjectives, rules, spellings, and meanings."
  • "[We] don't all think they [the students] should be able to do whatever they want to do. They have to learn how to use grammar properly and to learn how to write."
  • "English is about spelling and reading, so if you don't know how..."
  • "You can't rely on the computer to correct you."

Debating, arguing, and discussing seemed to be appreciated more than writing. When asked what they learned in English, several students mentioned speaking in some form: "The art of conversation – articulation," "Debating, arguing skills," and "How to speak English." One student, however, asked: "Speeches – what does it have to do with English?"

Comments on what students felt they were learning included:

  • "Improves mental health."
  • "Important for future careers"
  • "How to express yourself."
  • "Learning to discover what hasn't already been discovered."
  • "How to express thoughts and feelings; why you like and dislike things, and how to express it constructively."

Published on: 20 Sep 2007