English Overview and FAQs
English Department Overview
Welcome to the Leigh High School English Department. We currently have sixteen members, including two Special Education (SPED) teachers and two English Language Development (ELD) teachers, making us the largest department at Leigh. Our co-department chairs are Carol Leah-Martin and Allegra Ullrey.
We offer seven English courses at Leigh: English 1/2/3/4, English 2 Honors, AP Language, and AP Literature. To find out more about these courses, click the menu on the right. Additionally, we offer English classes with ELD support, as well as SPED English and workshop classes.
Below is a chart showing the English pathways at Leigh:
English 2 Honors
AP English Language and Composition
AP English Language and Composition
AP English Literature and Composition
English Department FAQs
Why does Leigh only offer honors English at the sophomore level?
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that were adopted several years ago were more rigorous than California's previous English standards. For this reason, Leigh revamped its freshman curriculum to prepare all students to meet the new, higher-level standards. With this strong base, students may opt to take advanced English courses starting sophomore year with English 2 Honors. At the junior and senior levels, students may take AP English courses.
How do I know if I should take an honors or AP English course?
The best way to know if you should take an advanced English course is by gauging your own interest in English, thinking about your post-high school plans, and talking to your current English teacher. If you love English and would welcome a faster-paced course with a deeper dive into certain topics, advanced English could be for you. Some students choose to take advanced English courses to look more competitive for college applications. Your current English teacher will have firsthand knowledge of your skills and can recommend advanced or on-level English.
We encourage ALL students to attend the tutorial information sessions in January and February before deciding which English course to enroll in. These sessions go into detail about each course, and you'll have a chance to ask both the current teacher(s) and students questions about the course.
Do I have to take English 2 Honors as a sophomore to enroll in AP Language as a junior?
No; there are no prerequisites for AP Language.
Do I have to take AP Language as a junior to take AP Literature as a senior?
No; there are no prerequisites for AP Literature.
Can I take AP Language as a junior and/or as a senior?
Yes, AP Language is open to both juniors and seniors; however, you may not take AP Language more than once. You may take it either your junior year or your senior year.
Can I take AP Literature as a junior?
While this is allowed, we strongly discourage taking AP Literature as a junior. We recommend that students wait until their senior year to take AP Literature in order to build their literature reading and analysis skills as much as possible to prepare for the kinds of work you will be doing in AP Literature.
Can I take English 4 as a senior if I took AP Language as a junior?
Yes. You are not required to take AP Literature in your senior year if you took AP Language as a junior. However, we strongly encourage junior AP Language students to continue into AP Literature as seniors because many of the unique skills needed for success in AP Literature have already been developed in AP Language.
What should I do if I have a problem with my English teacher or class?
Your teachers are here to help you! Help us help you by communicating with us. When you have a problem with either the teacher or the class, you--the student--should always speak directly to your teacher before doing anything else. This can be in person or by email. If you are not able to resolve the problem by speaking directly to your teacher, you may want to include your parents in the next round of communication (for example, copy them on your next email). If this still does not resolve the issue, the next step is to contact your Guidance Advisor if the issue is academic (grades, workload, testing, etc.) or your Assistant Principal if the problem is behavioral (academic honesty, unfair treatment, etc.). Always remember to be as professional as possible for best results.