There is something to be said when a person takes a course, passes it, moves on to the next level, and still did not learn anything. LAU graduates are traveling abroad, diploma in hand, yet completely clueless about writing an essay. Forgive me if I am generalizing. There are many students that recognize the potential in these skills and seize the opportunity to enhancethem. However, something is severely wrong with the system, when so many students,who wrongly believe they will not need these skills, make it through Remedial,English 1 and 2, Sophomore Rhetoric and Oral Communication. I am not saying that professors are to blame. There are a few professors who changed my life and the way I see the English language. There is a grave phenomenon of cheating in ways teachers couldn’t imagine, not that they even try to. I know at least five LAU students who can testify that they made it all the way to graduation without learning a single thing from English courses and I am sure you probably know more. Many professors will pass students by a hair because the student has made a convincing case of needing to pass. What they fail to realize is that this student has used the same technique to pass the prerequisites and that this student plans to use that same technique in the following English courses, until they graduate. I know you wonder why I care. This doesn’t even affect my life. Right? Well my concern lies with those unsuspecting students that are being sent off into the real world without even the ability to write their own résumé. The rate of unemployment in Lebanon is extreme… I wonder why.
Again, I am not blaming the teachers, it could very well be the teaching system, I don’t know, the only thing I am sure of, is that something is wrong.
I took an English course in St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. After I received an A in the course, I realized that young Lebanese students are being cheated out of this powerful knowledge here. In Austin, students in English courses are graded on how well they criticize their fellow classmates, attendance rules are abided by, and it is a system based on merit. Students leave the semester with a significant improvement in their writing skills, and that is just not something I always see at LAU. The university obviously recognizes the problem and the proof is that it has established a Writing Center. Still, there are, until now, too many loopholes that allow students to make it without actually doing or learning much.
This was previously published in the LAU tribune.