Female reading a sheet of paper

Reading Department

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can a Reading class help me?

Answer: Reading assignments in college tend to be in-depth and complex. Our reading classes emphasize analysis and synthesis of college level texts. We do this through focus on comprehension, vocabulary and critical thinking skills.

Q: How much work is required for a Reading class?

Answer: Reading 200 and Reading 211 are each 5 unit courses and therefore require an average of 10-15 hours of outside class time.

Q: Why have I been advised to take a Reading class when I already passed all my required high school English classes?

Answer: Approximately 70% of all students who take the Reading Placement Test at De Anza (and also at all community colleges throughout the nation) have been placed into a Reading class. Many of these students have completed high school English requirements, but not all high school classes demand that students be proficient in college-level reading. Also, many students enroll at De Anza after being out of school for a while, and they need to review and improve their reading skills before enrolling in classes that require college-level reading.

Q: What can I do if I cannot get into a Reading class, but I want to begin studying to improve my reading skills?

Answer: While you wait to get into a Reading class in the following quarter, you can enroll in a self-paced Reading class in the Academic Skills program. Be sure to enroll in a class as soon as possible because they fill up quickly. Visit the Academic Skills Center to view available classes.

Q: I know I am going to need extra help in a Reading class. How can I get it?

Answer: All full-time and many part-time instructors hold regular office hours for the purpose of helping students outside of class. Take advantage of this opportunity. If you would like to meet with a tutor either on a drop-in or a regular basis, make arrangements by contacting the Student Success Center as soon as possible in the quarter.

Q: What is the difference in taking a Reading class in the ESL program rather than in the Reading Department program?

Answer: Students who are advised through the Placement Test system to take an ESL class should be in that program. Reading Department classes are not designed for students whose native language is not English.

Q: How many Reading classes do I have to take to be ready to take English 1A?

Answer: It depends on where you are first placed after taking the Reading Placement Test. If you begin with Reading 200, you must complete it and then take Reading 211. However, be aware that if you need to take English Writing 200 and/or 211, you must also complete those courses before taking English 1A.

Reading Department Chairperson

Kristin Skager

Office: F-11G
Hours: By Appointment
E-mail: skagerkristin@fhda.edu
Phone: 408.864.8477


Last Updated: 7/19/12