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?
Need an advisor?
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:
Native speakers 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.
Native speakers 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 take the WEBCAPE placement test to determine your level of placement. Once you begin language study at a certain level, you may not skip courses in the sequence without permission from the Chair.
The Modern Languages Placement Test is available in French, German, or Spanish. Speakers of Arabic, Chinese and Russian should contact an instructor for placement.
WEBCAPE usually takes around 25-30 minutes. After taking the exam, see below the course equivalency and credit buyback policy:
CLICK HERE to begin Placement Test. There is a $10 fee.
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
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
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 buy back credits 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 Specialist.
Students, please NOTE the following possibilities and restrictions:
How to Buy "Back Credits" to Advance Your College Career
- Take the WEBCAPE placement exam
- Receive a score of 497 (for example), and place into 2020
- Finish the course, achieving a 'C' or better and
- Purchase optional credits for courses below that level at $50 /credit hour (1010, 1020, 2010 – at 3 credit hours each)
- You need to fill out the Credit by Examination Registration Form, available from the Administrative Office in 325 Millett.
For all other languages, please contact the Department of Modern Languages at (937) 775-2641.
Native or heritage speakers of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish
- You grew up speaking one or more of those languages or you currently use them at home and consider yourself to be fluent.
Speakers of French, German, or Spanish with a score above 600 on WEBCAPE test
- You have taken a WEBCAPE placement test in the Department of Modern Languages at Wright State and scored above 600.
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 ($25 fee) to receive up to 6 hours of graded credits for $50/credit hour.
Please note that you MAY NOT buy back credits from both the 1000-2000 level and 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, Portuguese and 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 again, cannot buy back any credit unless they take an upper-level course and receive a "C" or better in that course.
This is a three step process.1
Before you come to campus, send an email to the appropriate professor below to request an appointment to take the test (during step two), at least three days after you have completed step one.
- Arabic: Mr. Joshua Mabra
- Chinese: Ms. Haili Du
- German: Dr. Elfe Dona
- French: Dr. Kirsten Halling
- Italian: Ms. Rosalba Nickelman
- Japanese: Ms. Tomoko Tsuzuki
- Russian: Dr. Yuliya Walsh
- Spanish: Dr. David Petreman
Visit the Department of Modern Languages, 325 Millett and ask for the Administrative Specialist, who will fill out a form with you.
ake the form and go to the Bursar’s Office in the Student Union and drop form + payment of $25 (cash, check, or cashier’s check made out to Wright State University; for credit card/debit card payments, ask the ML administrative Specialist for this form) into drop box – envelopes are provided at the drop box.2
- Return to the ML Department the day that you have scheduled your exam with the professor; pick up your approved form in 325 Millett.
- Take the approval form to your professor who will administer the exam. It will be graded; the grade will be entered on the form and the form signed by the professor, who will then return it to the Administrative Specialist in the ML Department office.
- The Administrative Specialist will email you when he/she receives the form from the tester. You will need to pick up the form from the ML Department.
- Take the form to the Bursar’s Office in the Student Union and drop form + payment of $50 per credit hour (cash, check, or cashier’s check made out to Wright State University; for credit card/debit card payments, ask the ML Administrative Assistant for this form) into drop box – envelopes are provided at the drop box. For example, if you are buying 3 credit hours, you must pay $50 x 3 = $150.
NOTE: You must be registered for classes at Wright State during the semester in which you purchase credits. Your proficiency credits will be entered on your transcript during the grading period at the end of the semester.
Speakers of languages 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 (such as Hindi, for example) can find a qualified professor at another local college or university who speaks that language to test them 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 buy back any credits.
Students who claim a language other than English as their native language may complete their CoLA foreign language requirement by taking one of several ESL or ENG classes. These students should contact the English Department at (937) 775-3136.
Students who took AP (Advanced Placement) exams
- You took an AP exam in a foreign language or literature at your high school.
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.
You will fulfill your language requirement by taking the American Sign Language (ASL)
You may fulfill the language requirement by taking four semesters of ASL. For more information, contact the College of Education and Human Services or consult the schedule of classes.
You have a documented disability preventing you from successfully learning to comprehend, speak, read or write a foreign language or American Sign Language
Please contact the Office of Disability Services