Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

FAQ: Foreign Language


Replies to: FAQ: Foreign Language

  • oak2mapleoak2maple Registered User Posts: 168 Junior Member
    Is it okay to use a FL teacher as one of your teacher recommendations?
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 42,926 Super Moderator
    Would taking two years of two languages count as two years or four years of Foreign language? Does this look worse than taking three years of a single language or be an application breaker?
    When a college "suggests" X years of a foreign language, they generally mean the same foreign language. Once you get into different permutations, it's best to ask the college what their opinion is. My opinion is that 3+1 or 3+0 is better than 2+2, and each is weaker than 4+0 for those colleges that ask for for years. Again, as mentioned many times, the level achieved also comes into play, so if 2 years gets to level 4, and the student wants to then do 2 years in another language, that's fine.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 42,926 Super Moderator
    Is it okay to use a FL teacher as one of your teacher recommendations?
    Yes, unless the college dictates otherwise. Although personally, unless that rec is going to be stellar, I would not use a FL teacher below AP/level 4. But that's just me.
  • sm2002sm2002 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    So I took Spanish 4 Honors sophomore year. For the ivies, do they count it as 4 years? I don’t want to take AP Spanish junior year because I find it a boring subject so instead I wanted to take engineering because it is more related to what I will major in. Will this look bad to colleges?
  • blue1516blue1516 Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    Where is a good place in the common app to explain fluency in a heritage language?
  • isla701isla701 Registered User Posts: 40 Junior Member
    I'm a ways off from applying, but here's something I've been wondering about for a while: is there an appropriate place on the app to explain "extenuating circumstances" in course selection?

    I tried to enroll in French 1 in middle school, but my school scheduled the classes in a way that prevented orchestra students from taking French. It was hard to decide between the two but I ended up picking orchestra because I am interested in ensemble playing and representing my schools in that respect.

    Now I'm in French 2 as a 10th grader, and while I do plan to continue to level 4 as a senior, I will be missing out on AP (unless I investigate ways to bypass level 4). I know a lot of colleges really want you to take advanced levels, and a lot of my classmates are in level 4 right now. Level 2 is going great grade-wise but it is easy. To compound this issue, ever since starting French, I've developed an interest in international relations that may continue into college. But my level doesn't exactly match up with that.

    I didn't have a lack of motivation or caring for FL back in middle school- there was a conflict with another important interest of mine. I think it would be important to explain that... can I?
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 5,501 Senior Member
    I wouldn't bother explaining. You made a choice. Schedule conflicts are a routine part of school. Many many school districts don't offer middle school foreign language. Even the most selective schools are just looking for four years of foreign language.
  • isla701isla701 Registered User Posts: 40 Junior Member
    momofsenior1- Okay, thanks, that helps!
  • highschoolparent1highschoolparent1 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    I asked this of a friend whose son struggled in foreign language but is a genius otherwise. They decided to drop spanish after two dreadful years and he got into a top engineering program at a highly regarded school. She said none of those programs cared at all about foreign language in high school. So, depends on what your child is going for. My daughter's counselor called a few of her choices and they urge 3 years of same language but it's not a deal breaker anywhere.
  • kkwkkwkkwkkw Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I have seen a few questions like this but did not get a good answer yet (not sure if there is one). Dd is currrntly 9th grade, she is planning to test out Chinese 1 and 2 (earning credit but not actually taking the courses) then take Chinese 3 in Junior year and AP Chinese in senior year. Does this count as two year of FL or 4 years?

    The FAQ said in most cases it is the the level that counts, but it’s better to check with individual colleges. Anyone with similar experience? We are worried that only two years doesn’t meet some school’s requirement. Should she only test out of 1c take 2, 3, and AP instead? But apparently taking 2 would then be a waste.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 42,926 Super Moderator
    Does this count as two year of FL or 4 years?
    Should she only test out of 1c take 2, 3, and AP instead?
    She should test into the level for which she is prepared.
    We are worried that only two years doesn’t meet some school’s requirement.
    I have come across only one college (a very small one never talked about here) that only considered years taken in HS. But you can certainly verify with the colleges on her list.
  • not2earlynot2early Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    edited February 20
    My son went to an IB elementary school where he studied Spanish in grades 1-5 (it's really not much studying, more like exposure). His middle school was not an IB school and language was not offered until 8th grade. We decided he will lose what he knows if he stops for 2 years so he continued. He took a Spanish I exam while in 6th grade; Spanish II in an online high school in 7th grade; Spanish III in the local high school while in 8th grade (was bused there every other day) and Spanish IV AP as a freshman. He took the AP test and got a 4.
    I am being told now that he might have a problem with college acceptance as he does not have 2 years of language while in high school.
    He also speaks a heritage language for which there are no high school classes or AP exams.
    Otherwise he is an excellent student and will more likely apply to some very selective schools. Will the language present a problem?
  • laxmom2000laxmom2000 Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    I'm so thankful I found this forum. Course selection cards are due today for my 7th grade son (going to 8th grade) My He is currently taking Spanish 1 as a HS credit. The plan was to take Spanish II as an 8th grader to satisfy his HS requirements for foreign language. It was brought to my attention that many colleges do NOT consider MS classes for the HS foreign language requirement and that he would need to take two additional classes for the minimum 2 year requirement.

    I have a senior who took Spanish 1 in MS and Spanish 2 in HS and was admitted to several colleges with no question. I just don't' want to set my younger son up for a bad situation being short 2 foreign language credits. We are in Texas and my senior only applied to southern schools. The post I saw was a Virginia school, and I know my younger son is interested in venturing further away so I wanted to make sure this wasn't a bad choice before we fill out his course selection. Should we just wait until freshman year for Spanish 2?

    I do understand these courses won't count toward his GPA, but would only satisfy the language requirements.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,172 Senior Member
    Re: #133

    Can he take Spanish 2 in 8th grade and Spanish 3 in 9th grade?
  • JESmomJESmom Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    edited March 6
    I researched a variety of college requirements when my S21 was trying to decide when to drop French. He did take level 1 & 2 in 7th-8th grade because his middle school required that. We were told he needed a minimum of 3 yrs but were advised that most students in his HS go through level 4 to be competitive (whether or not some of it is taken in MS). He swore that if he had to take level 4 to go to college he wasn't going to college so we, at the time, accepted that, as a future math/tech major he'd just have to be fine with his options with 3 yrs. The public Us that were likely to be targets for him said 2 years required/3 years recommended (and, really, for a competitive school you need the "recommended" level).

    Surprisingly, after he got a good tutor early in French 3 his attitude turned around. He's now in French 4 and decided to take French 5 next year. I never would have believed two years ago that he'd choose to take French 5!

Sign In or Register to comment.