Placement and Proficiency Testing

Need an advisor?

Arabic:  Dr. Joshua Mabra (written), Ms. Amira Ben-Amer Orr (oral)
Chinese: Ms. Haili Du (written), Dr. Maan Broadstock (oral)
German:  Dr. Elfe Dona
French: Dr. Kirsten Halling (written), Dr. Pascale Abadie (oral)
Italian: Ms. Rosalba Nickelman
Japanese: Ms. Tomoko Tsuzuki
Russian: Dr. Yuliya Walsh
Spanish: Dr. Melissa Doran


The placement test does not award credit or provide exemption from language study. The proficiency exam can award credit. See below.

There are multiple ways to demonstrate foreign language proficiency depending on your previous familiarity with foreign languages and cultures. To determine your path to demonstrating proficiency, click on the description below that best reflects your experience with foreign language or languages:

  • Why does CoLA have a foreign language requirement?

    A solid foundation in world languages and cultures is a necessary component of a liberal arts education and a must in today’s globalized economy. The study of foreign languages improves your cognitive and communication skills, helps you better understand your own language and culture, and enables you to navigate the complexities of today’s multicultural world.

    All CoLA B.A. students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language at a level that is equivalent to two years of college-level language instruction.

  • What is foreign language proficiency?

    Foreign language proficiency is the ability to understand, speak, read, and write in a foreign language, understand and appreciate cultures of the communities in which the language is spoken, and function in culturally appropriate ways in a foreign language. 

  • How can I demonstrate foreign language proficiency if I'm a native speaker of English without previous exposure to foreign languages?

    You grew up speaking English and have never studied or spoken another language.

    Native speakers of English who have never studied or spoken a foreign language demonstrate proficiency in a modern language by taking a sequence of four progressive courses: 1010, 1020, 2010 and 2020 – in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian or Spanish.

    Please note: students who begin their language study at a level above 1010 may NOT go back and take lower-level courses for credit without permission from the Chair.

    CLICK HERE to begin the Placement Test. There is a $10 fee.


  • What course correlates to my French, German or Spanish placement score?
    French WEBCAPE Placement Test Scale
    Score Course
    0-259 FR 1010
    260-336 FR 1020
    337-402 FR 2010
    403-500 FR 2020
    500-600 3000-Level French
    600 & Above Meet with Advisor
    German WEBCAPE Placement Test Scale
    Score Course
    0-291 GER 1010
    292-383 GER 1020
    384-492 GER 2010
    493-550 GER 2020
    550-600 3000-Level German
    600 & Above Meet with Advisor
    Spanish WEBCAPE Placement Test Scale
    Score Course
    0-269 SPN 1010
    270-345 SPN 1020
    346-427 SPN 2010
    428-510 SPN 2020
    510-600 3000-Level Spanish
    600 & Above Meet with Advisor

    PLEASE NOTE: no matter what your major is, it is Department Policy that you may receive Prior learning Assessment credits back only at either the 1000-2000 level OR the 3000 level, not both.

    If you have any questions or concerns about your placement, please call or drop by the department of Modern Languages and speak to the Administrative Support Coordinator.

  • Should I take a foreign language placement test?

    CLICK HERE to begin the Placement WEBCAPE Test in French, German or Spanish. There is a $10 fee.

    • If you have studied French, German or Spanish, use this online  WEBCAPE test to see what level course (beginning, intermediate, advanced) you should take.
    • The placement test does not give you credit.
    • The placement test does not waive the language requirement.
  • What is a foreign language proficiency exam?

    If you are fluent in a language, this exam with a language professor is for you.

    A "B" grade or better gives you the option to have course equivalencies added to your transcript.

  • How can I demonstrate foreign language proficiency if I'm a native speaker of English with previous exposure to a foreign language?

    You have studied a foreign language either formally (e.g. in high school or at another college or university), informally (e.g. by living or traveling extensively in a foreign country) or through some combination of formal and informal study (e.g. by taking language classes while living abroad).

    As soon as you enroll at Wright State, you should either:

    1) Take the WEBCAPE placement test in French, German or Spanish to determine your level of placement. WEBCAPE usually takes around 25-30 minutes. After taking the exam, see your recommended course below.


    2) Contact an advisor of Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Japanese or Russian for placement.


    Once you begin language study at a certain level, you may not skip courses in the sequence without permission from the Chair.

    CLICK HERE to begin the Placement Test. There is a $10 fee.



  • How can I receive Prior Learning Assessment credits to advance my college career?
    1. Take the WEBCAPE placement exam in French, German or Spanish
    2. Receive a score of 497 (for example), and place into 2020
    3. Finish the course, achieving a 'C' or better
    4. Pay for courses below that level for $150 (1010, 1020, 2010)
    5. Fill out the Prior Learning Assessment Registration Form, available from the Administrative Office in 225 Millett.
    6. For all other languages, please contact the Department of Modern Languages at (937) 775-2641.
  • How do I demonstrate foreign language proficiency if I'm a native or heritage speaker of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish OR if I scored above 600 on the WEBCAPE test for French,German or Spanish?

    You grew up speaking one or more of those languages or you currently use them at home  and consider yourself to be fluent.

    If you learned a foreign language from relatives or parents, but have had little formal study of  grammar or writing, or if you scored 600 or above on the WEBCAPE Placement test, you are eligible to take the Proficiency Exam to receive up to 6 hours of graded credits. Each exam requires a $150 registration fee.
    Please note that you MAY NOT receive Prior Learning Assessment from the 1000-2000 level  if you receive proficiency credit at the 3000-level; only one of these two options is available to each student.
    Students who claim their native language as English but would like to take a proficiency exam in Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, or Russian, may do so by arrangement with the department. Students can take one of these exams to exempt themselves from the CoLA foreign language requirement, but cannot  receive PLA credit unless they take an upper-level course and receive a "C" or better in that course.
    The language proficiency exam is a three step process. 



    • Visit the Department of Modern Languages, 225 Millett and ask for the Administrative Support Coordinator to aid you in completing the Prior Learning Assessment Registration form.
    • Take the form and go to the Bursar’s Office in the Student Union and drop form + payment of $150 (cash, check, or cashier’s check made out to Wright State University; for credit card/debit card payments, ask the ML administrative Support Coordinator for this form) into drop box – envelopes are provided at the drop box.
    • When your form is returned to the Modern Languages Department office, the Administrative Support Coordinator will send you an email with the contact information of the faculty member who will  administer your test. You will then need to contact the faculty member and schedule the date your test will be given.

    Arabic: Dr. Joshua Mabra (written), Ms. Amira Ben-Amer Orr (oral)
    Chinese: Ms. Haili Du (written), Dr. Maan Broadstock (oral)
    German:  Dr. Elfe Dona
    French: Dr. Kirsten Halling (written), Dr. Pascale Abadie (oral)
    Italian: Ms. Rosalba Nickelman
    Japanese: Ms. Tomoko Tsuzuki
    Russian: Dr. Yuliya Walsh
    Spanish: Dr. Melissa Doran

    • Go to the ML Department the day that you have scheduled your exam with the professor
    • After the exam is given, your professor will sign the form and return it to the Administrative Support Coordinator in the ML Department office. Your professor will email you the results of your test. 


    • The Administrative Support Coordinator will  then send the form to the office  of the Registrar for processing.
    • Your credits will be applied to your transcript during the grading period at the end of the semester.

    NOTE: You must be registered for classes at Wright State during the semester in which you take the proficiency exam.

  • How can I demonstrate foreign language proficiency if I'm a speaker of a language not offered at Wright State?

    You are fluent in a less commonly taught language, such as Hindi, Tagalog, Turkish, Swahili, etc.

    Students who claim as their native language a language not offered at Wright State can be tested by a qualified professor at another local college or university who speaks that language  and officially verify to the Chair of the Department of Modern Languages that they are proficient. In this case, the student can be declared exempt from the College of Liberal Arts language requirement, but cannot receive Prior Learning Assessment credits. Please see the Administrative  Support Coordinator for assistance.
    Students who claim a language other than English as their native language may complete their CoLA foreign language requirement by passing ENG 1100 and 2100 with a grade of C or better.  Please contact the English Department for further information.

  • How can I demonstrate foreign language proficiency if I'm a student who took an AP (Advanced Placement) exam?

    Wright State University follows the Ohio Board of Regents Advanced Placement (AP) policy governing the application of transfer credit for a score of 3 on AP examinations. Course equivalencies for this score have been identified by individual academic departments in accordance with the guidelines in the statewide policy.
    Individual academic departments have determined the equivalent courses for which credit will be granted for scores of 4 and 5. Click here for more information.

  • How can I demonstrate foreign language proficiency if I'm taking American Sign Language (ASL) or Latin or Greek?

    You may fulfill the language requirement by taking four semesters of ASL or Latin or Greek, for class availability, consult the schedule of classes or contact the professor. 

  • How do I demonstrate foreign language proficiency if I have a documented disability preventing me from successfully learning to comprehend, speak, read or write a foreign language or American Sign Language?