Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I didn't get a chance to register for the classes that I need, and classes have already started. Can I still add?

A: Sometimes it's possible to add. You need to go to the classroom a few minutes early and ask the teacher if he or she is accepting additional students. If the answer is yes, be sure to get a signed add card and process it before the deadline - usually the end of the first week of classes.

Q: I’m an ESL student, and I have a long way to go to really master English. What are the best courses for me?
A. Be sure to go to the counseling department in the Administration Building and ask to take the English placement exam. You’ll learn what level of ESL will help you the most, and which departments specifically help ESL students. Of course the English Department has the most courses, but there are also some helpful classes in the Speech Department and the Developmental Communications Department. Remember though, that almost all the courses at LAVC are taught in English, and if you are already good at a subject, such as Math, or Computer Science, taking a course in that subject at LAVC will definitely improve your speaking, reading, and writing.

Q: I speak English fine, but I have poor writing skills. However I have already passed English 101. What else can I take to improve my grammar?

A: If you passed 101, your teacher feels that you are ready for all varieties of college work, and the English department does not offer any advanced grammar classes. Linguistics 1, also known as English 105, does spend two or three weeks analysing the structure of English, and this can be helpful. Otherwise, remember that any course in any department on campus, as long as it involves reading and writing in English, will give you practice and improvement. Written English takes a lifetime to master - keep reading and writing!

Q: I'm thinking of majoring in English, but I'm not sure it's a good career move. What are typical study/career paths for English majors?

A: Students who major in English go on to a wide variety of careers. Proficiency in written English is a highly valued skill in hundreds of professions, and a broad knowledge of literature and culture is a basis for success in such areas as law, psychology, sociology, education, political science and many more. Perhaps the most popular field for English majors to enter is teaching, and take it from those of us who teach - few careers are more rewarding!


Q. I love to read, but my skills are stronger in writing poetry and/or fiction than in writing critical essays about literature. Is English still a good major for me?

A. Absolutely! Be sure to take all the creative writing courses we offer, and even take them more than once, as they can be repeated for credit. Then look into transferring to a four-year college that has a good creative writing degree or track. Cal State Northridge, for example, offers a highly respected B.A. in English with emphasis on Creative Writing.