Annoying Facts about Studying English in School

Annoying Facts about Studying English in School
Is studying English in school fun? You on the other side of the intellectual/professional divide, have you ever paused to ask yourself this question? Have you? Well, let’s see some annoying facts about studying English, and you’d answer that for yourself.

Contrary to popular opinion, English studies is a really taxing discipline to delve into. The journey comes with a lot of literary texts, academic papers and other inexhaustible materials to read. The tight corner is the limited time available for students within a semester to digest all of these materials. Can you imagine being obligated to study up to 20 or 35 literary texts for only one course? As if that is not enough, the last straw that usually breaks the camel’s back is the tying of these texts together in examination questions. This always spells doom for students who may not have read all recommended texts for the course. The workload is usually massive.

Another annoying fact is that one can work very hard and still fail. One can write so well in examinations and still not succeed. English Studies is not for hard workers. It’s for smart workers. The quality of one’s study technique would determine how each semester goes.

Deriving meaning from poems that seem meaningless to you is another really annoying experience that English students face. The poem analysis process and methods aren’t the favourite part of the work for many students. Overtime, it has been observed that a larger percentage of students wish they could do away with this third genre of literature. The ability to accurately identify and deal with lots of symbols and images hidden in literary works that many people can’t see is a requirement. As a student of English, a closed mind would drown you. There are really no formulae here so one has to be open-minded and thorough. Sometimes, it feels like being trapped in the bramble, trying to find one’s way out. This is the lowest point for most English students.

It is also a very annoying fact that rapt payment of attention to details, smartness, proactiveness and the likes are requirements. Non-negotiable. These are attributes that many people build consciously under hard weather but English students have just little or even no time to build. The need for these attributes becomes clear to students immediately they take up the course and if they are not able to settle in on time, they start on a faulty foundation.

Furthermore, studying certain strange and overwhelming courses can also be truly frustrating. Few of these generally dreaded courses include: Chaucer to Milton, Neo-classical to Present, Advanced English Syntax, Advanced Phonology, etc. The syntax tree diagram and Noam Chomsky’s TGG are a matter for another day.

The oral English/transcription dilemma is another huge and annoying one for students of English. While this is an integral part of the study, many students are usually frustrated by it. Meanwhile, learning oral English or transcribing does not necessarily guaranty a change of accent. That demands even more serious personal work on the part of the student.

Another angle is that as an English scholar, conversations with some persons become irritating as you tend to pay more attention to their errors. This interrupts the flow of information and it’s usually involuntary.

As an English scholar, you suddenly possess some form of linguistic super powers. People expect you to automatically know every word and its meaning, synonyms, antonyms and all. High demand is placed on you, especially in a setting like ours where English is a second language and a lot of persons are only trying to get along with peripheral knowledge of the language and its rules, in a bid to communicate across language barrier points. Errors from English scholars become forbidden; a taboo.

Last but not the least, no one really rejoices in English department until results are actually out. This is one part that cuts across all levels and cadres of students in the department. English can shock you. So, everyone keeps calm until they are sure of where they stand at every point in time. This is another annoying fact about studying English. Although not much is said about it in linguistic scholarly circles, every English scholar goes through this.


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