AP Spotlight: English Language and Composition


Emma Robeau, Editor-in-Chief

Welcome back to our AP Spotlight series! In this interview, you will hear from Mrs. Farrell, who teaches AP English Language and Composition. AP English Language, commonly termed “AP Lang,” is a class normally taken by juniors and seniors. The exam itself is 3 hours and 15 minutes long, consisting of 45 multiple choice and 3 free response questions. If you have any questions concerning the course, feel free to contact Mrs. Farrell ([email protected])!

What is AP English Language and Composition?

AP Lang is the first of two English Language courses for College Board. It focuses on the study of rhetoric, which is the art of persuasion. We read primarily non-fiction texts and analyze how authors craft their arguments to persuade their listeners, and we practice writing our own arguments both for papers across the curriculum and for the College Board exam in May.

What is your grading policy?

My grading policy follows the standard guidelines for AP classes at South High. Students are expected to complete work on time – both classwork and work through AP Classroom. Late work is typically not accepted, except in cases where students are struggling or having a family or medical issue, in which case I work with the student one-on-one. Writing makes up a large component of our grades in this class, whether they be full essays or just small pieces, and we also have some independent work that we complete outside the classroom, in addition to our classwork.

What is homework like?

Homework is completed both for independent work and classwork, although the amount of homework varies widely from night-to-night and week-to-week, where some nights we have nothing for several nights in a row and other times, we are doing a lot of writing during the week.

Why should students take the class despite the challenge?

I might be biased, but I feel that AP Lang is the most important course you can take before you get to college because it really teaches you how to write at the college level, and you will have to do that in every course you take. It crosses all curriculums, and it prepares you for what your professors will expect come freshman year.

Who should consider taking this class?

Who should consider taking AP Lang? All students should consider it if they did well in their freshman and sophomore English classes. Anyone who has the ability to challenge themselves and complete their homework will be successful in AP Lang; there is always an opportunity to improve your grades and refine your work, so everyone can do well!

Do you have to take 11th grade English along with AP Lang?

No, you do not have to take 11th grade English if you are taking AP Language; it takes the place of your English credit that year, so you only have to take one class!

Anything else you’d like to say?

In addition to improving our writing and getting prepared for college, we also have an adorable tortoise named Gulliver, who encourages us and is emotionally supportive!