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Why study English?

English offers the freedom to explore

English gives us the freedom to travel to other places, discover other cultures, and visit other times. We explore learning through a wide range of experiences and often choose what and how we learn. This makes it enjoyable.

Students say:

'English is provocative. It allows you to have your own personal response.'

'English gives me the freedom of self expression, the ability to convey my own personal thoughts and beliefs.'

'I enjoy the expressive, subjective nature of English.'

English fosters creativity

English enables us to enter new worlds. We can use our imagination to interpret and visualise these worlds, and they provide windows through which we can view our own world.

English develops creative thinking. It encourages us to use our imaginations both when we interpret texts and when we create our own. This process is challenging and satisfying. English gives us a voice.

Students say:

'English offers the chance to express my ideas and imagination on paper and other places.'

'I love exploring the use of language and pondering the themes that literature presents.'

English enables learning

English develops the skills and communication competencies we need to access and engage with learning across the curriculum.

Through studying English, we work out how to understand and ask questions of ourselves, of other people, and of texts.

We learn to consider other ideas and to form and express our own. We broaden our experience and our perspectives. English opens our eyes to limitless possibilities.

Students say:

'English teaches me to form opinions as well as the skills of writing for a range of purposes.'

'By studying English I will use my skills to create well-structured pieces of writing, wherever that is.'

'English is like a stepping stone in your life, a basic thing you need to have, in order to survive the world after school.'

'English is a fundamental aspect to life and you need a good grasp of it.'

English develops thinking

English gives us the skills we need to take a stand – to research, evaluate information, think, justify, argue an opinion, and share it with confidence.

English helps us to become critical thinkers and make better sense of the world around us. It enables us to become “confident, connected, and actively involved” in our communities (The New Zealand Curriculum, p. 8).

We learn how to use language more powerfully, and how to have our say through written, spoken, and visual language.

We critique personal, local, and global issues so that we can understand, comment on, and ultimately control the direction of our lives.

Students say:

'Poetry and literature contain an insight to all types of human feeling that will help me in later life.'

'There is no real ‘manual’ for English. You develop your own style.'

'English develops an open minded, critical-thinking approach to new ideas.'

'English is truly a holistic study of humanity and the thinking person’s subject.'

English promotes participation

Through studying English, we learn how to contribute with respect, and we learn to value our own voice, and the voices of others.

We listen to the stories of others, and we tell our own stories from our own experiences, values, beliefs, whakapapa, languages, culture, and wairua.

When these are validated in the context of our learning, we learn what makes us unique. We also learn how to connect with others, how to find common ground, and how to celebrate difference. English gives us confidence.

Students say:

'I enjoy listening to other opinions, arguments and debates.'

'I have gained a greater understanding of the real world and how a simple piece of writing can impact the thoughts of others.'

Last updated November 23, 2011