Out with the old, in with the new

Sanjana Pitti, Opinion Writer

Every year, high school students are assigned classic reading material in their English classes that vary from the works of Homer to the poems of Shakespeare, but they are never very excited about it. Bringing modern literature into high school English classes would keep students absorbed because of the relevant and engaging content.


“I love modern literature” says Stacy Endman, English teacher at Desert Vista High School. “I think it’s important for students to read what is relevant in our world right now. Reading modern literature provides an easy way to encourage readers to become interested in our current climate and make connections to the world around them.”


The classics that are taught in school today have stood the test of time and are considered to be quite artistic, but the English in these books are old and useless to modern English speakers. Instead of spending time comprehending an unspoken language, students should be practicing the modern English language and improve as speakers.  And, for the students who don’t speak English as their first language, it can be even more frustrating.


Granted, older literature has its values. The beautiful complexity of classic literature is what continues to draw people in. Learning about where today’s writing style and language originated from, while also expanding your vocabulary can be beneficial. Also, understanding popular references that come from these classics come with reading them, but students can read them in their own time if they’re interested. Compared to classic literature, modern literature has many more advantages in the classroom setting, especially high schoolers.


Studying material that is related to current events and the lives of students will keep them attracted and interested in the subject. Students would also do better on assessments due to the increase of enthusiasm. Instead of reading the epic poetry from Ancient Greece or tragic plays written centuries ago, students should be reading contemporary books that confront the issues of today and relate to the lives of high school students.