When I was in high school, English was one of my least favorite subjects. I dreaded classic literature and grammar rules the most; there were only so many times I can dissect Shakespeare and Charles Dickens before it got repetitive and dull.
The only comfort I had in English class was creative writing, but that was few and far between. For such an expressive subject, it doesn’t give you much leeway to express your ideas. Plus, the subject in itself was incredibly mind-numbing. Why is English class so boring?
Why Is English Class So Boring?
1. Reading Is Too Difficult
English class consists of several areas of study: reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. For a lot of students, reading is the most difficult—and the most boring.
English is designed to help students read and comprehend words better. Because of this, the subject forces its students to read books and stories with complex words and advanced concepts, like classic literature.
Such topics can be incredibly challenging to read, especially if the student isn’t too interested in the subject matter or reads at a significantly slower pace.
2. Alternatively, Reading Is Too Easy
There are always two sides to the same coin. Some students find reading too difficult, while others find them too easy—so easy, in fact, that the entire subject becomes boring.
There’s no challenge or motivation to pay attention in class because they’re way ahead of everyone else. Most of the time, they’re just waiting for the rest to catch up.
This won’t be much of an issue if they can partake in advanced English classes, but not every school has this option.
Some teachers may recommend books or give the student extra work to challenge him or her, but since the extra work is outside the curriculum, the student may not be motivated to complete the assigned work.
This leaves the student feeling bored and uninterested in the class, waiting for it to be over.
3. Classic Literature Isn’t Interesting To Many
Don’t get me wrong, I love classic literature.
I adore the works of Charlotte Brontë and Edgar Allan Poe. I read Jane Austen for breakfast.
But even I can’t deny that classic lit isn’t really the most interesting—at least, not when compared to today’s literature, which is fine-tuned to grab the modern audience.
Here’s the thing with classic literature: they’re slow-paced, dry, and lengthy. They take several dozen pages to explain the simplest of concepts or ideas.
Moby Dick, for example, spends 50% of its narrative giving dry prose about whales, life out on the salty seas, and marine life. Informative? Yes. Interesting? Far from it—not from a story perspective, at least.
Also, there’s a difference between choosing to read classics and being forced to read classics.
In English class, students don’t get to choose which classics to read. This naturally causes them to put up a resistance and approach the task of reading classics as a chore.
4. So Many Essays To Write
Essay writing is a big part of the English curriculum, which is unfortunate for those who hate writing or have difficulties putting their thoughts into words.
This is further exacerbated by the fact that writing essays take a lot of effort to complete.
To receive a passing grade, you’ll need to, at the very least, understand the essay question and gather proper information about the topic.
You’ll also need to organize your thoughts, write the draft, edit the draft, proofread your work, and win your teacher’s approval upon submission.
There are just so many layers to perfect. It makes the task both difficult and boring, especially if the topic you’re forced to write about doesn’t interest you in the slightest.
5. Grammar Isn’t Fun
Grammar is the backbone of English studies.
It’s one of the first things you need to learn upon stepping into class.
You’re forced to memorize dozens of grammar rules and identify which is which in a sentence.
You need to remember the correct order of words, the different ways to spell a word, and how to correctly use punctuations, to name a few.
There’s also syllabication, verb congregation, and a ton of other grammar rules you need to understand.
It’s repetitive and, in most cases, confusing. It’s info-dump after info-dump, making the class boring and stressful.
6. Doesn’t Give Students Much Creative Freedom
For such an expressive subject, English classes don’t give students a lot of creative freedom.
Teachers would give students some books to read, some essays and poems to write, and, occasionally, some text to read out loud.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be given several creative writing tasks here and there.
But that’s all there really is to it.
English isn’t like Chemistry class, where you get to experiment, research, and explore.
It isn’t like Gym or Physical Education, where you get to partake in regular physical activity.
English is just a class where you sit around and listen to the teacher talk about grammar and read about old books. It doesn’t give you the opportunity to explore your inner creative work.
7. English Class Is Long-Winded
In high school, my classes took exactly one hour each—including English.
However, English always felt as if it took longer than it really is.
Perhaps this is because English class is so long-winded. It’s repetitive and boring. It seems to go on and on, with no end in sight.
8. English Teachers Are Uninteresting
Let me preface this statement by saying that not all English teachers are boring.
Some are fun, expressive, and enjoyable to listen to.
However, some contribute to the “English teachers are boring” stereotype. It’s these teachers that make English class lame and uninteresting.
Teachers are educators, not entertainers. It’s not their responsibility to keep you awake and active during class—that’s all on you.
Still, teachers need to at least give their students the motivation to learn. They need to inject a bit of fun and personality into their classes.
If the teacher is boring, the subject also becomes boring. They won’t make their class worth paying attention to if they’re just “going through the motions.”
9. Outdated Lecture Methods And Textbooks
The English curriculum uses a lot of outdated lecture methods and textbooks that span over a period of at least 50 years.
Some of these lecture methods and textbooks are incredibly dull, designed to teach students the bare minimum.
Outdated textbooks make learning boring and ineffective because they don’t mirror the modern world.
Technology changes the way we learn and teach, and this is evident in most subjects—Chemistry, Biology, Computer, etc.—but not in English.
The English curriculum remains unchanged, and it’s as droll as ever.
10. Too Much Homework
I always felt that English class gave out the most homework.
This is perhaps due to the fact that the majority of the homework is essay-related, which takes a lot of time to complete.
If it’s not essay-related, it’s reading comprehension, grammar exercises, or other work that takes a lot of brainstorming and focus.
It feels like English class is taking up the majority of my homework time.
11. Poetry Is Confusing And Mind-Numbing
You can’t escape poetry in English class, which is bad news for those who find it confusing, uninteresting, and boring.
I like reading poems in my own time, but I hate being forced to read them. I also dislike writing them.
Whenever the topic is poems, my brain automatically shuts down. I’m not expressive or creative enough to write about my inner emotions and embed them with heartfelt desires and thoughts.
If you’re like me, a dislike for poetry probably contributes to why you find English class so boring.
For the most part, English class is boring because it’s packed with repetitive grammar exercises, outdated lecture methods, and long-winded reading comprehension.
The fact that there are so many essays to write, homework to complete, and classic literature to consume doesn’t really make things a lot better for its students.