English is one of the core subjects children are taught at school, as it’s vital for the development of their communication and thinking skills. The skills they develop are also essential for other areas of the school, such as writing and the ability to form arguments. Below is a list of reasons why children need the subject from a boarding school in London.
The Difference Between English Language and Literature
Firstly, it’s important to distinguish the difference between English Language and Literature as they are two different subjects in the English Curriculum children have the option to study. English language focuses on helping children with their writing skills, whereas English literature looks at the art of writing and studies the use of English through poems etc.
In English literature children explore the use of language and the choices that authors make. It encourages them to read beyond the lines, think analytically and interpret literature in a whole new way.
How Language Has Changed
They also develop a greater understanding of language and how it has evolved throughout time. In doing so they can learn more about British culture and heritage.
Exploring Historical Themes
The texts they explore will be both old and contemporary, and so will the themes discussed. This allows them to learn about different times throughout history, such as Shakespearean times.
Improves Their Writing Skills
If your child has a passion for writing, they can learn and improve their writing skills through reviewing other literature.
Develop Transferable Skills
Children can develop transferable (or “soft”) skills through English literature as it requires a higher level of thinking in comparison to English language where children are simply taught how to write. Examples of the skills they build are creative thinking, problem solving, and critical thinking.
Broadens Their Horizons
Through reading children are introduced to different ways of thinking and themes which can broaden their horizons and their understanding of the wider world.
They also can pick up new words, such as those we use less now in our dictionaries.
Opportunities from English
There are many great opportunities studying English literature can bring. I’ve recently covered the different careers you can do with an English Degree, and let’s not forget that, as Salman Rushdie said:
“Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart.”
While a difficult subject, there are many advantages to studying English Literature at school, as can be seen from this list.