In the United Kingdom, the study of the English language (insofar as it extends to secondary and sixth-form education) entails what many might refer to as "analytical reading". In other words, students are given a text and asked to analyse it for meaning. Let me give you two examples, from a GCSE English Language past exam paper (AQA):
(November 2020) How does the writer use language here to describe the garden? You could include the writer's choice of: words and phrases; language features and techniques; sentence forms.
(November 2020) How has the writer structured the text to interest you as a reader? You include write about: what the writer focuses on at the beginning of the source; how and why the writer changes this focus as the source develops; any other structural features that interest you.
Similarly, here are two questions from an A-level English Language past exam paper (AQA):
(November 2021) Analyse how Text A uses language to create meanings and representations.
(November 2021) Explain the similarities and differences in the ways that Text A and Text B use language.
Now, there must obviously be a reason that "analytical reading" is included as a vital part of the study of the English language in UK education. I am not so familiar with the curricula of other countries, but I presume it must be similar. My question, then, is this: why is there so much focus on analytical reading in every secondary course on the English language, when it is given so much less attention in higher education (as far as I know). Most research articles on the English language do not deal with analytical reading; instead, they are about its history, its syntax, its dialects, its cultural significance. Or am I wrong? Does analytical reading have as much significance in academia as it does in education? Thank you