The Under-Achieving English Majors

Nicholas Goldberg: Where have all the English majors gone? After a year and a half, where have all the English major’s gone? Perhaps the answer is easy to find – they got kicked out….

The Under-Achieving English Majors

Nicholas Goldberg: Where have all the English majors gone?

After a year and a half, where have all the English major’s gone? Perhaps the answer is easy to find – they got kicked out. How did they get kicked out? By one of the many, many, of the English majors that started in the past and are now gone. But I think I know the answer.

It wasn’t just a matter of where those students came from, but who they left to. I know many of the English major’s that have left, and their reasons for leaving. They came to America, and were unable to adjust to life in the US. They got tired of the stress – the culture clash that you often hear about. Other students simply moved on to the other majors. Many of these students that left because of the culture clash, are now working in the professions, or are working in the field they left to when they decided to leave (or are currently working in the field they left to).

I have spent many years teaching English, and I have seen many students leave without actually quitting education entirely. Many of these students have taught, and moved around the world, and I know many have still taught. For a college degree to be useful in the workforce, students should be able to do what they wanted to do in the first place. That means that the college degree is only valuable if it is valued and used by the student.

English majors who leave have no place in the education system. They can teach English as a second language, but they are not qualified to teach English to begin with, and then they end up teaching it to their children or grandchildren, and they have no use for the degree.

Many of those that are now left are what I call ‘the under-achieving English majors’, and this is my definition of a ‘successful’ English major. The first problem with ‘the under-achieving English majors’ is that the English majors that leave tend to go to schools that are far too small. That means they may have had a very limited perspective. They also may have had a limited opportunity. They have not had the chance to experience large classes, or large classrooms with a variety of learning options. In a college of only 800 students, these students would be competing with

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