What do Hamlet, Scarlet Letter and Great Expectations all have in common? They all succeed in putting students to sleep during class. Within the American education system, there is heavy emphasis placed on literary classics, which students feel uninclined to read. Teachers should introduce more current, international writers to their curriculums to instill a sense of worldliness, expose students to different writing styles and ease into the reading process for students.
People in this day and age are interconnected because of a surge of technology; however, students are largely unaware of the political or social issues that each country faces. If students read more books written by international authors that focus on world events, they can better understand these events beyond the factual evidence that they read in newspapers. Students would be able to explore how international writers incorporate various writing styles as people in other countries express ideas and colloquialisms differently.
“Although British literature is important to our culture, modern works [from around the world] would add a more accurate and sophisticated interpretation of the culture and society we live with now,” said sophomore Stephanie Zhu.
In addition to keeping up with major world events, students will avoid Internet sources for information. Students get summaries from websites such as Sparknotes.com, and depend on them as the source of information. Most teachers want their students to interpret the information from the book instead of memorizing a quick, easy summary on Sparknotes.com. To avoid this problem, teachers should introduce time-relevant books, so students will want to engage in the curriculum.
Since the English curriculum focuses heavily on British and Anglo-Saxon literature, students often have trouble comprehending the author’s intended meanings. There is extreme difficulty in reading old literature, which causes students often to skim the text without analyzing or understanding the message the text is trying to convey. Students would find more enjoyment and ease in reading more current pieces, and would perhaps develop more of a liking for the curriculum. With modern literature, students can relate certain incidents or characters to their own lives. A captivating yet simple story would not only spark an interest in the curriculum but also allow students to appreciate and value literature more than they currently do with the unrelatable pieces they currently read.
With the implementation of more modern-day, international authors in our English curriculum, students would benefit from the teachings of the pieces and become more knowledgeable about the world. With more engaging books, students can cultivate their reading skills and develop a love for the literature they study. A modern global English curriculum can change the way students and educators view the English subject and the world around them.