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FAQ: Foreign Language


Replies to: FAQ: Foreign Language

  • Steglitz90Steglitz90 Registered User Posts: 173 Junior Member
    edited February 13
    I had the opportunity to ask USC's (SoCal, not South Carolina) Director of Admissions this question after he spoke at my son's elite private HS: "My son wants to take AP Econ Senior year instead of Spanish 4. Will this hurt him in the eyes of USC or other elite universities?"

    The answer was: No, absolutely not! If he is replacing "rigor for rigor" the schools do not have a problem with it. (Especially replacing a likely "B" in Spanish 4 for an A in AP Econ -- which is what happened with my son, and my son wants to be an Econ major.) He did tell me that AdComs will have a problem with dropping a 4th year of language for another free period or "basket weaving" type class.

    We'll see if my son gets into USC (& other elites) based on this advice. He's already in at UMiami, Pitt & Fordham, at least he's going to college :) :) :)

  • chb088chb088 Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member
    @HRSMom yes they look at French 1 in 8th grade because it was a high school course. so your child is getting credit for 4 years of high school language. My junior is in Spanish 4 and doesn't want to take AP Spanish. He is swapping it out for a different AP class.
  • Bpositive15Bpositive15 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    My daughter has over 4 years of high school level French. She does not really want to take French in college but it would be great if she could get some credit for what she has learned. Any ideas on the "easiest" path to accomplish this through exams? She currently is signed up for the AP French exam but is hesitating. As background, she was in an elementary school French immersion program beginning in 1st grade (NO French speaking at home). They focused on conversation but didn't do as well with grammar. When she got into the "regular" French classes in high school a lot of the kids had difficulty because they could "listen" to the French but made many grammar mistakes that had to be re-learned correctly. She is a HS senior now and took her last French class her Junior year (the highest level offered at her school). Her guess (based on friends experience with the same French background) is that she might make a 3 on the AP exam and that may not translate into college credit. Any other thoughts? SAT subject matter test? I understand that 1x per year there is a different version that also involves listening/speaking (I may be wrong about these details - it has been a while since I was investigating that).
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 60,926 Senior Member
    My daughter has over 4 years of high school level French. She does not really want to take French in college but it would be great if she could get some credit for what she has learned. Any ideas on the "easiest" path to accomplish this through exams?

    AP and SAT subject scores may be used by colleges for placement in foreign language courses. Colleges often have their own foreign language placement tests, since some students enter with some knowledge of a foreign language but do not have any AP, SAT subject, or other test score to help a college determine placement.

    How a college handles foreign language placement, and how that relates to fulfilling any foreign language graduation requirement the college has, depends on the college.
  • oak2mapleoak2maple Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    If a student has three years of Latin and two years of Greek, since both of these languages are in the Classics department, would this count for the four years of the foreign language requirement that so many of the top schools "strongly recommend" ?
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 60,926 Senior Member
    edited March 24
    Usually, it would count as whatever the highest level completed was. For example, Latin 3 + Greek 2 = "3 years", while Latin 4 + Greek 2 = "4 years" (though the additional language would be seen as academic electives at least). But ask the college in question to be sure.
  • AimingTop50AimingTop50 Registered User Posts: 409 Member
    edited March 29
    I'm going to be a Senior next year and I can either take Organic Chemistry Post AP or Chinese AP
    I have already taken the requirement amount of years for a language (3), but my school said it would look bad to not do a Foreign Language for 4 years.

    What do you guys think? What looks more impressive?
    I'd probably bomb the Chinese AP exam too...
  • AimingTop50AimingTop50 Registered User Posts: 409 Member
    I would also be taking Bio AP in addition to Organic Chemistry
  • AnonymouseyebalAnonymouseyebal Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I am fluent in French and I study Arabic at a high school in Jordan. Besides the SAT 2 for French, is there any way for me to prove my proficiency in Arabic?
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 24,447 Super Moderator
    is there any way for me to prove my proficiency in Arabic?
    There are Arabic proficiency tests, but colleges will likely not ask you to "prove" proficiency. For that matter, and SAT2 (or an AP for that matter) will not prove proficiency in French; both test to a much lower level.
  • Mom2aphysicsgeekMom2aphysicsgeek Registered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
    @Anonymouseyebal You can create. ZeeMee page with videos of recitations and images of essays you have written in both languages. .
  • randomstudent789randomstudent789 Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    Hi all,

    I'm currently a junior in high school planning to take Chinese IV next year. I'd say I'm better at Chinese than most of the other people in my class. I am learning in Chinese III, but my skills are improving quite slowly.

    I was wondering, what are some ways I can improve my skills outside of the class, and are there any efficient methods you all use to memorize vocabulary? I want to take Chinese in college and eventually become fluent. I'm just hoping I can improve my skills and get ahead of the game before college.

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 60,926 Senior Member
    edited May 12
    Re: #87

    Are any of your friends native or heritage speakers whom you can practice speaking with?

    However, note that Chinese is more difficult for English speakers to learn than some other languages like Spanish, so that the same amount of instruction in school may not get as far with Chinese as Spanish. I.e. a student completing high school Spanish 3 is likely to be better at Spanish than a student completing high school Chinese 3 is at Chinese. Language courses in college and specialized language training schools tend to require for fluency more courses or hours of instruction for Chinese and other languages that are difficult for English speakers than for Spanish and other languages that are less difficult for English speakers.
  • ScreensurnameScreensurname Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I'm interested, will only 2 years of foreign language would be a disadvantage. F ex. if child doesn't want to learn language, but wants to double up on honors Math courses instead.
  • gigi24gigi24 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    edited June 28
    I have a question about foreign language as well: How much do colleges consider your grades in these classes? I've had a counselor tell me that they understand that language is not always an easy thing to grasp so they don't consider it as much, while others have told me that they think it's as important as math, english, or science. The reason I'm asking is because I have all As in all of my classes... except my Spanish class, in which I consistently get B+s (even when I try my hardest).
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