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Foreign Language Requirement

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Satisfying The Foreign Language Requirement

In addition to satisfying the foreign language entrance requirement, all students applying for a Bachelor of Arts degree from USF must demonstrate competency in a foreign language. To demonstrate this competency, students may take either two semesters of a beginning college-level foreign language, or one semester of a higher-level course and earn a letter grade of “C” (no “S” grades) or above in the appropriate level course, or demonstrate equivalent competency by passing an examination.

Students who studied a foreign language in high school, or who have postsecondary course(s) in foreign language, or who have experiential learning of a foreign language may not enroll for credit in courses in that language without first taking a placement examination administered by the Department of World Languages. Should the placement examination indicate that remedial work is required (1120-1121), the student will be allowed to enroll with the understanding that the grade eventually earned will be either an “S” or “U.” Under no circumstances will a student who places above the first year level or who passes a higher-level course be allowed to register for or receive credit for a lower-level course in that specific language. Students to whom this regulation applies should inquire with the Department of World Languages about the placement examination. The fee for the placement service is $25.00 and can be paid for by debit or credit card. Students without a debit or credit card can request a payment invoice in CPR 419 which can be then be taken to the Cashier’s Office ADM 131 and processed.

The benefits of taking the Foreign Language Placement test:

  1. For most BA majors, you may be able to “test out” of your degree’s language requirement. “Testing Out” means you have satisfied your degree program’s language requirement by demonstrating a certain level of proficiency on the placement test. For most BA majors placement into 2200 (Intermediate level I) is sufficient to satisfy your language requirement. Check with your advisor to determine the level of language proficiency required by your major. Even if you are not required to take any additional world language courses, you are welcome to do so. Please note: no credits are awarded for “testing out”. You will still have to meet your degree program’s minimum number of credits for graduation. Students interested in receiving credit by examination may take the CLEP test in Testing Services SVC 2060 813-974-2741.
  2. Taking the placement test allows you to continue studying a language at the appropriate level.
  3. The placement test supports a better learning environment for all students by grouping students with similar proficiency levels together.

How do I take the language placement test?

The placement tests for French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish, are offered in CPR 419 at the following times:
Tuesdays 1pm-4pm (last test at 4pm), Wednesdays 10am – 1pm (last test at 1pm) and Thursdays 1pm-4pm (last test at 4pm). Please arrive 10 minutes early to complete the required paperwork.

The placement interviews for Arabic, Chinese, Modern Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese and Russian are conducted in person. Contact Patricia Garcia at pgarcia@usf.edu or 813-974-2699 for information.

Elementary I (1120) is designed for true novices of a language. For people who are new to the study of a language, the sequence is Elementary I (1120), Elementary II (1121), followed by Intermediate I (2200), then Intermediate II (2201).

FAQ's about Language Placement Testing

  1. If I want to study a new language, do I have to take the placement test?
    No. If you have never studied a particular language, do not take the placement test for that language. You can register directly for Elementary I after obtaining a permit from the World Languages Office 813-974-2548.
  2. What if I think I’ve been placed into the wrong level course?
    You should talk with your instructor first, then the language coordinator, and if necessary, the Department Chair. You may not register for a higher or lower level course without approval from the professor and coordinator for that language / WLE Advisor.
  3. When should I take the placement test?
    Take the placement test well in advance of the beginning of the semester. You will need your results before you register for classes. If you did not take your placement test prior to the start of your freshman year, please make arrangements to do so as soon as possible. Please note, as placement test results may take a few days, ensure you have completed the placement test well in advance of registration.
  4. What if I took AB/IB exam in High School?
    You do not need to take the placement test, depending on your AP/IP scores; you should enroll in the course equivalency indicated on your test results.