The Many Positive and Negative Aspects of English Class: One Student’s Perspective

It’s been a long week. Here’s some fun. 

The Many Positive and Negative Aspects of English Class: One Student’s Perspective

            Since the dawn of time there have been many aspects. Some of those aspects have been good (positive). Some of those aspects, I’m sorry to say, have been not so good (negative). Just like all things in life, English class has some positive and negative aspects. In this paper, I will explore the positive and negative aspects of English class.

            Merriam Webster defines “aspect” as, “a particular status or phase in which something appears or may be regarded.” Since English class has many such particular statuses and phases in which it appears or may be regarded, English class does, in fact, have many aspects.

          Some of those aspects are positive. Some such positive aspects are not having to do much in class, being able to chat with friends, and learning to grammar.

Firstly, not having to do much in class is a positive aspect. Many classes require a lot of note-taking or exams. English class, on the other hand, just requires one’s presence. There will be a lot of discussion about personal feelings. If the teacher is talking, one should listen, but there won’t be any exams on what she says. In fact, there are no exams- only papers. Therefore, missing the lecture is not a big deal. Considering how other, harder classes require one to attend every lecture AND pay attention, the less effort needed in English class is a very positive aspect.

Being able to chat with friends is also a positive aspect. Since group work is regularly assigned, but the class is only an English class, it is a great opportunity to get to know everyone in the group and even scroll through for some social media time. The teacher encourages group work for one to be social, which is definitely a positive aspect.

Learning to grammar is probably the most important positive aspect in English class. Some teachers say that the point of English class is not to just learn grammar, but grammar is the number one thing in papers, which is where all of the English grades come from. So grammar learning is very important and very positive.

For all positive aspects in life, unfortunately, there are some negative aspects. English class is no exception. Some such negative aspects are the readings, the attendance policy, and the papers.

To start with, the readings are a negative aspect of the English class experience. While one would expect all discussion in an English class to be about one’s feelings and personal experiences, occasionally the teacher will ask how one’s feelings and personal experiences relate back to the readings. Since there are no tests on the reading, only discussions, it is, of course, optional, though it makes class a little confusing when skipped. If this is the case, one should only talk in class when one has a personal anecdote that is in line with the title of the reading being discussed- or, in a pinch, one can google for a quick summary of the reading. If one is careful, one can avoid the negative English class aspect of readings.

The attendance policy is another such negative aspect. It may seem confusing that the lectures can be missed without incident and taking notes is not necessary in class- but there’s an attendance policy. While it can be frustrating, showing up does not have to be endlessly frustrating. If one would have skipped because one is tired or burnt out from other, actual college classes, one should attend anyway and lay one’s head down on one’s desk. That’s how one can both be present and catching up on rest, thus avoiding this negative aspect of English class.  

The last negative aspect of English class is actually the most negative of all: the papers. While the class material is about nothing in particular, papers will be graded with an iron fist. It is as if the teacher doesn’t realize the class is a relaxed place for personal narratives. She will, instead, write on the paper things like “no thesis,” or “no research,” or “needs citations- plagiarism flagged,” as if she actually believes the class went over these things called thesis, research, and plagiarism.

          Unfortunately, this last and most negative aspect of English classes does not yet have a quick fix. The good news, though, is one can complain about these harsh and confusing grading standards to the teacher’s superiors, such as the dean and school president- and don’t forget the power of student evaluations! Even if one must deal with the negative aspect of harsh paper grades in English class, one can help make sure future students don’t have the same problem.   

          In conclusion, all things have positive and negative aspects, and English class is no exception. While there are many positive aspects, the negative ones show that the world is still a hard place to live.

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