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Placement in Language Courses

Initial Enrollment

Students are welcome to consult with the chair of the department and/or with a language program faculty member in advance of enrollment. The phone numbers and e-mail addresses of the chair and program faculty are available on the department website.

Students who are unsure about course level or about appropriate courses for completing language requirements, particularly heritage speakers and those who have done previous language study, should contact faculty for assistance in placement. Free placements tests are available for French and Spanish to help faculty and students determine appropriate courses.

When students enroll initially, they should follow the guidelines below. If they are in any doubt about appropriate placement, they should consult with their teachers during the first day or two of the quarter.

The first-and/or second-year courses in languages need to be taken in a sequence. The information below intends to provide guidelines for students in determining where they should place themselves in a language course sequence, based on where they ended previous language study:

No Previous Study

Students who have no prior study or knowledge of a language should begin study with 101, normally Fall Quarter.

High School Language Experience

The state of Washington has established equivalency standards for high school and college/university language instruction. Under those official standards, one year of high school language study equals one quarter of university study; two years of high school equal two quarters at university; three years high school equal the entire first-year college/university sequence.

The following guidelines show where students should begin university according to their high school language background. Students ought normally to begin at the highest level indicated. This makes them eligible for maximum "Proficiency Placement Credit" (See below). They may elect to begin at a lower level and/or be advised to do so for reasons of weak background and/or a considerable lapse of time between high school study and university enrollment.

Students with one year of high school language study should place themselves in a 102 section (normally Winter Quarter) at EWU. They may also elect to begin with 101 (Fall Quarter).

Students with two years of high school study should place themselves in a 103 section (Spring Quarter) at EWU. They may also elect to being with 102 (Winter Quarter), but they must have a written waiver from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures in order to receive credit if they begin with 101.

Students with three years of high school study should place themselves in a 201 section (Fall Quarter) at EWU. After competing 201 (and additional course work), they become eligible for Proficiency Placement Credit. They must have a written waiver from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures in order to receive credit if they begin with 103 or lower.

College/University Experience

Students who have prior university credit for language study may not repeat equivalent courses at EWU for additional credit. They should continue language study in sequence from the point they ended previous study.

Other Intermediate or Advanced Language Experience

Students who believe that they have attained intermediate or advanced knowledge in a language through previous experience may take the placement test offered by a program or otherwise consult the program faculty before or at the time of initial enrollment in language courses. (A separate set of guidelines deals with "Proficiency Placement Credit" at the second-year level.)

Proficiency Placement Credit

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers Proficiency Placement Credit to students who enter EWU with some prior training and knowledge of foreign languages at the first- and/or second-year levels. These guidelines explain the conditions under which students may receive placement credit for previous language study. Proficiency credit is not given automatically: students desiring proficiency credits should request a memo from the Department Chair.

First-Year Language Study

Students who through prior training or knowledge are able to skip 101, 102 and/or 103 classes in any foreign language may receive proficiency placement credit for these classes. To do this, they must complete an equivalent number of credit hours in the language program in question at higher course levels in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at EWU. The maximum proficiency placement credit for first-year study in one language is 15 credits. Proficiency placement for first-year language study does not carry a grade and is not assigned a particular course number, but it does appear on the student's transcript and does count toward the student's 180 credit hour requirement for graduation.

Second-Year Language Study

Students who believe that they have attained intermediate or advanced knowledge in a language through previous experience may take the placement test offered by a program (or otherwise consult the program faculty for proficiency screening) to determine an appropriate placement. We emphasize that it is extremely important for students in this situation to consult with the program faculty before or at the time of initial enrollment in language courses. Proficiency placement credit for second-year language carries a grade of "PASS" (P) for 201, 202 and/or 203 and is awarded contingent (1) on passing the proficiency test or other proficiency screening by the program faculty before or at the time of initial enrollment in language courses and (2) on completing a minimum of 5 credits at the 200- and/or upper division level. Students who receive a P credit for second-year language study are also eligible for proficiency credit for first-year language study.
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