Mastery of the English Language is not only essential to one’s success as a student, but is a critical life-skill in itself. English is generally recognised as the de facto global language and ,in fact, has become a global currency in its own right.
When learners ask that inevitable question: “Why do we need to know Shakespeare?” many teachers are at a loss for words because where does one begin to explain the concentration of value located in any Shakespearean play? At NHHS we believe the answer lies in developing literary appreciation just as one would develop a systematic understanding of the subject itself.
In the GET Phase (Grades 8-9) we make sure that our learners are equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills needed for the FET phase but we also focus on the remediation of backlogs where the former primary school might have been deficient in having laid a proper foundation for English Home Language. This backlog might be evident in one or more of the four critical components of the English curriculum:
- Listening and speaking
- Reading and viewing
- Writing and presenting
- Language structures and conventions
More importantly, we want our GET learners to develop a love for English. So, although there are many features of the subject to master and skills to develop in laying the foundation for high school English, we strive to do this in colourful and exciting ways. We do not overtax our learners by raising the bar unnecessarily high, but we do maintain a high standard.
The GET phase allows for more of an overlap with other subjects, so whenever the opportunity for integration presents itself we pursue it. It alleviates the workload of the learner, but also emphasises the relevance of English to all subjects.
GET learners are also exposed to a range of literary genres ranging from plays to short stories which broaden the base of their literary appreciation.
FET learners (Grades 10-12) are exposed to fewer features of study, but these are advanced and more demanding in terms of content and complexity.
Our FET learners are expected to engage with the kinds of challenges in comprehension, writing and speaking which will be presented to them in the real world of tertiary studies and work. They are essentially being prepared for their matric year which means that they need to put in the kind of effort which is able to meet not only the national standards set by the DBE, but also those expected by the tertiary institutions where they hope to continue their studies.
Careers which relate to English are manifold: author, journalist, lawyer, teacher, public-relations, communications, researcher and many more.
It is fair to say that the mastery of English enhances any prospective career.