The month of June brings with it different expectations to many people. To the holiday makers, it is the time for that summer holiday they have longed for. It is a chance to briefly get away from home, work or school and have a good time away from the duties of life. To the lovers of sport, it is that time again to feel the adrenaline rush related to the NBA playoffs. It is a time to dust off their favorite jerseys and support the teams they love. To the graduating high school students, it is the beginning of a new life. It is a step towards the realization of their dreams in their careers. It is a time to be independent and gain freedom at least as far as making decisions in their lives is concerned.
This article, therefore, will focus on comparing high school and college or university especially regarding the learning and use of English.
On joining the university, one will realize that the expectations on expressing oneself are quite different especially in written English. In high school, the teachers of English encourage their students to unleash their potential when it comes to expressing themselves in written language. They expect students to write more and usually get excited anytime a student shows an attempt to produce a long grammatically and structurally correct piece of work with a few opinions.
However, things become radically different when one joins the university. Either due to a large number of students attending or the expectation that the students have already tackled basic English in high school, lecturers do not have time for long pieces of writing and instead prefer short and concise essays presented in a formal way with the analysis backed by evidence.
Assignment handling at the university is quite different from how it is done at the high school level. Teachers in high school keenly follow up on how assignments are done making sure that there is honesty in what a student does. Everyone has to do their own work for the teachers to be able to grade them according to their abilities. This helps in determining the individual student’s weak points and the appropriate steps needed to be taken to help them.
Things are, however, a bit different at the university. When one’s professor gives them an assignment, all that is expected from them is work is done in time and within all the standards of the discipline. If the work is done following all the grammatical rules, the materials used are up to the standard required in the module and the right sources are indicated, the student’s sincerity is much less of a concern to the professor.
Grading of the work is another aspect that shows the difference between how things are done in these two levels of learning. Teachers at the high school level may at times grade their students according to the improvements shown.
One might not have achieved the required grades but still be recognized for having improved from their last achievement. This changes when one joins the university. The only determinant of success is the ability to attain the English language standards that your lecturer thinks are reasonable for your level. These standards are quite rigid and cannot be altered in favor of how much a student has improved.
A very evident difference one realizes when they start studying English at the university is the content taught. The high school curriculum concentrates on building a student’s basic English. It largely deals with equipping the learners with a wide range of vocabulary, punctuation knowledge, language style, and the sentence structures.
However, while the university curriculum builds the basic English as well, the main objective is to use it as the foundation for advanced writing, formal and also informal interaction. Here the language learning involves a lot of essay writing, individual research, and group work. There is minimal lecturer-student interaction at this level compared to high school. This is meant to foster independent thinking and instill a sense of discipline and self-drive that would be needed in one’s later career life.