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FAQ: Foreign Language


Replies to: FAQ: Foreign Language

  • the_generalthe_general Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    That would depend on the major/program you are applying to. If you intend to study literature, international relations, or something similar, colleges will wonder why your Spanish grade is lower than your other classes. If you're going into a STEM field or one that has absolutely nothing to do with languages, a B+ in Spanish won't hurt your application.
  • tvpeopletvpeople Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    How does taking multiple high level language courses look? As of right now, I will have taken Honors Spanish III, French II & AP French Language (V), and this coming year Honors German V. Does that actually total to 13 years of language in all technicalities?
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 64,440 Senior Member
    Re: #92

    You will be seen as having level 5 in two languages and level 3 in a third language. That may be somewhat better than level 5 in one language, but it is not that rare for students to have multilingual proficiency due to a head start in one or more non-English languages at home.
  • Mom2aphysicsgeekMom2aphysicsgeek Registered User Posts: 3,804 Senior Member
    @tvpeople What @ucbalumnus stated is what the vast majority of posters on CC will state. It is not our experience, however. One of my children self-taught herself to fluency in one language and with a tutor to proficiency in a 2nd and had 4 yrs of Latin. Her languages were definitely seen as a strength on her application (she applied as an international business/IR/IS major). She was invited to interview for multiple competitive scholarships and at scholarship weekends she was repeatedly told that they were impressed by her love of learning and pursuing studies simply bc she wanted to learn, not bc she had to. (It is true. It is why she studied so many languages.).

    So, it can be seen as a strength. :)
  • tvpeopletvpeople Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    @ucbalumnus Thank you for the reply! I do speak Spanish fluently however, as it's what I speak at home. Should I and how would I go about demonstrating that I do technically exceed the "level 3 proficiency"?

    @Mom2aphysicsgeek That's very impressive! I took somewhat the same route, as I do love learning languages, so I decided to try out the other ones my school's curriculum had to offer. I self-studied a good portion of French on my own, and now I've been studying all of German autonomously. I do concur that it can be viewed as strength, for that's how I view it. :)
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 64,440 Senior Member
    edited August 2017
    For college purposes, SAT subject tests and AP tests are obvious ways to demonstrating some level of proficiency that is not otherwise shown by high school (or college) course work. An AP score of 5 indicates a level of proficiency high enough that it would not be useful to take a course in that language at most US high schools, though there will be more advanced college courses in that language.

    However, if your reading and writing of Spanish is not as high level as your fluent speaking and listening skill (not that unusual among heritage speakers), then you may still benefit from high school or college Spanish courses (some high schools and colleges offer courses for heritage speakers that have a greater emphasis on reading and writing).

    Yes, it can be more impressive that you reached a high level in French and German as a non-heritage speaker.
  • tvpeopletvpeople Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    @ucbalumnus I figured those would be my options. I learned Spanish both from my parents and at school in Mexico, so I think I'll take the subject test in the interest of time! Thank you for your help. :)
  • lucioleluciole Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    Hello! Sorry if such a topic has already been addressed here, but I couldn't find an answer when skimming the thread.

    I have taken two years of French in high school, but didn't do French 3 in my junior year because I didn't like the teacher's methods (he taught French 1 content no matter your level). However, there is a particular college I'm interested in that requires three years of a foreign language.

    I plan on taking a French proficiency certification exam this year, as well as the French SAT II. Would it be possible for my scores on either of these exams be evaluated by college admissions in place of the number of foreign language courses I took?
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 64,440 Senior Member
    Depends on the college as to whether a sufficiently high score on such an exam would be considered fulfillment of the college's foreign language requirement or recommendation. If it does not say, ask the college directly.
  • drildril Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    So If I took spanish 1 freshman year and don't want to take spanish 4 senior year I'll be ok?
  • katewithakkatewithak Registered User Posts: 166 Junior Member
    Hi guys- quick question. I've been taking Spanish since 5th grade, and I'm in AP Spanish right now. I actually took the exam last year and got a 5, but chose to take the class regardless because I love the language. Before you can go to AP, though, you must complete Spanish 1-6 and the advanced, all of which I have done. Would a school look upon this favorably and would it maybe give me a boost? I'm also in French 4 (getting to AP french is the same deal in terms of level progression) and Arabic 2.
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