Dr. Hill and students

Foreign Language Study at Wofford

Wofford’s foreign language general education requirement reflects the commitment of the college to support your growth as a globally engaged student and citizen and to see you succeed in your study of language and culture. Because it is our priority to give you the opportunity to build the most proficiency possible during your time in college, your first semester class schedule will include a foreign language. Your engagement and motivation to learn play a significant role in your success, and our dialogue with you throughout the placement and selection process helps us support you during your time with us. You are welcome either to build upon your knowledge of a language you have previously studied or to choose another language that interests you, provided seats are available in the introductory level class for that language.

Placement

Wofford does not give formal placement examinations in foreign languages, but instead uses a personalized approach to advising and placement. Wofford language faculty have decades of experience placing students in language classes based upon a review of incoming students’ previous academic work, including high school courses, AP or IB scores, or any pre-matriculation college credit. Your placement is determined from that information. In addition, we make supplemental evaluations of student language placements based on your first week of class work, so you have the optimal placement possible to succeed.

What is the basis for my language placement?

You are welcome either to continue the foreign language you studied in high school or to begin a new language, if seats are available. The Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (MLLC) has found that students are more successful and reach a higher level of proficiency when they continue to study the language taken in high school or when they are highly motivated to learn a new language. Students are guaranteed a placement at the appropriate level for them in the language with which they have the most experience or, if multiple languages have been studied, the one they studied most recently. Faculty language coordinators take into consideration common variations like block scheduling and other differences among high school curricula. Placement is determined at the appropriate level for students to have the opportunity for maximum success and continued learning.

What if I want to change my language of study?

If you would like to study a language you have not studied before, you may do so by filling out the Foreign Language Change Request form, available on the FYI tab of myWofford. The form is a mechanism we use to learn more about your interests and to advise you about how to succeed in your new course of study. On the form, you simply select the new language you would like to take and provide a brief description of your motivation. You may also use the form to indicate if you are a native or heritage speaker of a language we teach, in which you wish to undertake advanced courses, rather than continue in a language you studied in high school. Your request will be sent to an MLLC faculty member and your updated course options (your initial placement in a language previously study and the new language selection) will be communicated to both you and the Registrar. If seats are available, you will be able to register for the requested course during the last week of July. If seats are not available, or unlikely to become available, we will let you know that, too, and will place you on a wait list at your request.

The Foreign Language Change Request is available from June 27 through July 7.  If you would like to request a new language, you need to complete your request by July 7.

What if I need to move down a level once classes begin?

Modern Languages faculty spend the first week of classes assessing student readiness. The assessment includes a first-day-of-class survey and oral and written evaluative exercises. Students who place into a 200-level course and lack the preparation necessary to function at that level will be invited to move down to a lower level, usually during the first week of the semester, but occasionally this can extend into the second week. Students must attend the language class into which they were placed for at least the first two class periods to complete these assessments. 

What if I need to move up a level?

If a student understands the vast majority of what is happening in the 200-level course, has spent time abroad, is a heritage speaker and/or has outstanding academic preparation, s/he may be ready to move up to the 303 level. Students wishing to move up must meet with an MLLC faculty member in order to determine if the 303 course is appropriate for them. Students who move up to 303, and complete it with a grade of ‘C’ or better, will receive the six credit hours for the 201 and 202 courses, as well as the three credit hours for the 303 course. We invite students who would like to continue their language study at Wofford at the 303 level to let us know; our faculty also contact those students whose records indicate 303 might be an appropriate level for them early in the summer prior to registration.

What if I have AP credit?

Students with the appropriate AP or IB exam scores will receive credit for the 201/202 courses and will be invited to take 303.

Placement Guidelines 

Students are placed in a language course according to their years of experience in high school:

Arabic:

  • 0-2 years: ARBC 101*
  • 3 years: ARBC 201 with permission of instructor; students may enroll in 101 if they prefer.

*ARBC 101/102 are 5-credit-hour courses that meet daily (M-F) for 50 minutes. ARBC 201/202 are 4-credit-hour courses that meet four times a week (MWF) for 50 minutes.

Chinese:

  • 0-2 years: CHIN 101 
  • 3 years: CHIN 201 with permission of instructor; students may enroll in 101 if they prefer.
  • 4+ years: Students may enroll in CHIN 201 or 301; the Chinese program will make the final determination of placement.
    * CHIN 101/102 and 201/202 are 5-credit-hour courses that meet daily (M-F) for 50 minutes.  

French and German:

  • 0-2 years: FREN 101 or GER 101 
  • 3 years: FREN 201 or GER 201
  • 4+ years: Students are invited to FREN 303 or GER 303, but they may enroll in 201 if they prefer.

Latin:

  • 0-2 years: LATN 101
  • 3 years: LATN 201

Spanish:

  • 0-1 years: SPAN 101 
  • 2 years: SPAN 200
  • 3 years: SPAN 201
  • 4+ years: Students are invited to SPAN 303, but they may enroll in 201 if they prefer.