School of Social Sciences and International Studies

Modern Languages Policies and Procedures

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Your high school language classes will save you time and money if you are wise enough to:

  • Take a language as soon as you begin your university career (If you don't, you might forget your language, lose your self-confidence, and end up wasting your time in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, or Spanish 1010).

You can follow the guidelines for placement below, however, we strongly advise you to take the placement test as soon as possible.  Students in Arabic and Chinese should contact the respective language advisor.

  • If you have taken three years of French, Spanish, or German, you are strongly advised to place into FR, GER, SPN 2010. Why?
    • 2010 is an intermediate review course, which begins with the present tense.
    • At WSU, if you earn a C or higher in a language course over 1010, you can apply for Prior Learning Assessment credit hours for the course(s) you skipped! (Speeds up graduation).
      • Example: you take FR 2010 in your freshman year. After earning a C or higher, you may apply for PLA credit for FR 1010 and 1020 for $150 (cheap).
      • This gives you two extra classes (and 6 credit hours) on your transcript!
      • Conclusion: the higher you place, the less time and money you waste.

Placement and Proficiency Testing

View detailed information about our placement tests and proficiency exams.

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

Modern Language professors will be happy to unofficially advise all students expressing an interest in a language major or minor (supplementing your university college advisor).

One of us will become your official college advisor after you are accepted into the College of Liberal Arts and have declared your Arabic, Chinese, French, German or Spanish major or minor.

Statement on Plagiarism

Students should abide by the Wright State University Code of Student Conduct in all classwork, activities, and assignments related to their language classes. Plagiarism is the copying of language and/or ideas from any outside source without proper attribution or documentation, including translations. The direct presentation of anyone else’s translation, or of the output of a computer-based ‘translator,’ as if the translation were your own, is plagiarism.

You are encouraged to use dictionaries and grammar resources to assist you with your writing. However, no other person, resource, or electronic entity may compose an essay or an oral presentation for you or contribute to the ideas or substantive expression of individual assignments.

For more information, see the Community Standards and Student Conduct website.

Letter of Recommendation Protocol

Modern Languages professors receive many requests for letters of recommendation because our relatively small and highly interactive classes allow us to know our students by their first nameand on a personal level. While we are happy to help our students win scholarships, enter graduate school, begin a career, etc., common courtesy must be followed in asking a favor that requires such a significant time commitment. We take the writing of letters of recommendation very seriously and expect our students to do the same. Please respect the following protocol to achieve the best results:

  1. Ask for a letter well before the due date. Give at least 2-4 weeks' notice.
  2. Choose your references (referees) wisely.
    1. Make sure it’s someone who knows you well. For instance, ask a professor to write a letter for you if you traveled with him/her on a study abroad program, if you’ve performed well in a few of his/her classes, if you are active in a club for which he/she is an advisor, etc.
    2. Make sure this recommender is the appropriate choice for the kind of recommendation needed. Modern Languages professors can assess your language skills, your classroom behavior, and many other qualities, but if the letter writer needs to speak about your athletic performance, choose someone in this field.
  3. Ask politely. Write a formal e-mail request.
    1. Do not just drop off forms.
    2. Do not write a short, informal e-mail, with no proper greeting, stating, “I need a letter of recommendation by Friday.”
    3. Do not assume the professor will say yes. You are asking for a big favor, so be sensitive and gracious.
  4. If your professor agrees to write the letter, prepare a folder (or a manila envelope) for your request. Put in the folder/envelope:
    1. The Modern Languages Letter of Recommendation Request Form,” filled out to the best of your ability, bearing in mind that the more information you give us, the easier our task will be.
    2. The waiver form (waiving your rights to see the letter). Recipients have more faith in letters the students have not seen.
    3. A pre-stamped and addressed envelope (check to see if your recommender would like this)
    4. Your updated résumé (not limited to academic pursuits)
    5. Any other supporting documents requested by the recipient (letter of interest, statement of purpose, writing sample, etc.)
  5. Even if you are applying online:
    1. Follow the same etiquette for asking for the letter.
    2. Give your recommender all of the documents listed above (without the stamped envelope) in a folder or a manila envelope.
    3. You will most likely have to fill in an electronic waiver form and send your recommender a link. Make sure to fill in the recommender’s information so he/she doesn’t have to do it him/herself.
  6. If you want your professor to serve as a reference on an application (no letter required), follow the above etiquette for asking permission. If the professor agrees, ask which telephone number (home, office, cell) to list on the application.
  7. If you are applying to many places, give your recommender all of the documents for each application together in one packet.
  8. Do not harass your recommenders. A week prior to the deadline, politely inquire about the letter's status or respectfully remind your recommender of the due date.
  9. Thank your recommenders for their time and effort on your behalf. Send personal, handwritten thank you cards. It’s nice to be acknowledged.
  10. Let your recommenders know if your application was accepted, if you won the scholarship, if you were hired, etc.
  11. Cultivate your references. Stay in touch with your recommenders. They keep your letter on file and can update it if needed.

Modern Languages Request for Letter of Recommendation (PDF)


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