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Language Requirement and Placement

Language requirement (From the University catalog)

Students attain second-semester ability in a language other than English. In these courses students practice effective and appreciative communication within another language and across cultures. Students also may satisfy this requirement through a proficiency/placement examination or participation in an off-campus study program in a non-English-speaking country and enrolling in a minimum of two courses, including a language course and a course related to the program’s location. Students whose first language is not English may be certified as meeting this requirement through the Office of the Registrar.

Beginning a New Language

Students who wish to begin a language they have not studied in high school may request the beginning level course in that language during the summer request period. DePauw offers beginning language courses through the Modern Languages department in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish as well as ancient Greek and Latin in the Classical Studies department. These courses are all 100-level. 

Continuing Language Study

Students that have studied language and wish to continue can request courses at higher levels (intermediate and advanced). For intermediate and advanced courses, placement will need to be confirmed by a proctored placement test on campus in August or AP results.

placement

The placement processes vary by language and department. Whatever the process, we encourage students to refresh on the language before taking the placement exam. There are free online services, like Duolingo, that can help you prepare. Students taking the French, German or Spanish placement may practice on the tool used for the placement. Though your scores will not be official, the practice will give you a good idea where you might place and which course to request this summer.

Latin and Greek

Students who have studied two or more years of Latin in high school are required to take a written placement test offered during New Student Orientation in August. Students who have studied ancient Greek should contact the Chair of the Classical Studies Department.

Chinese, Italian, and Japanese

Advanced placement in these languages is done through a placement test and consultation with the corresponding language professor during New Student Orientation in August. See the Orientation schedule for times and locations.

French, German, and Spanish

These languages have an online placement test for students who have previously studied the language. It serves two purposes:

  • to identify the appropriate level course for students continuing to study the language
  • to determine if a student's prior language study is sufficient to fulfill DePauw's language requirement - second-semester ability in a language other than English

When completing the online test, students are provided immediate feedback about their scores and which French, German or Spanish course that best suits their level of proficiency. Students may not enroll a course lower than the one indicated by their placement score, but they may, with the department's and instructor's approval, attempt a course at one level higher level than the level of placement.

Level One

  • FREN 101 - Elementary French I
  • GER 111 - Elementary German I
  • SPAN 131 - Elementary Spanish I

This is the beginning level of language study. Courses at this level are open only to students who have taken no more than two years of classes in the language in grades 9-12.

Level Two

  • FREN 110 - Review of Elementary French
  • GER 112 - Elementary German II
  • SPAN 140 - Intensive Elementary Spanish

These courses are designed for students who have studied the language but need some review in order to attain a second-semester level of proficiency. Many first-year students with high school language experience test into this level. These courses are offered in both fall and spring semesters. Successful completion of one of these courses fulfills the language requirement. Testing out of a first-semester foreign language course gives no DePauw course credit.

Level Three

  • FREN 201 - Intermediate French I
  • GER 211 - Intermediate German I
  • SPAN 231 - Intermediate Spanish I

Students who place into any one of these courses through a proctored test taken on campus have fulfilled the language requirement by demonstrating the required proficiency through the test. Level three courses do not offer any retroactive credit for lower level courses.

Level Four

  • FREN 202 - Intermediate French II
  • GER 212 - Intermediate German II
  • SPAN 232 - Intermediate Spanish II

Students who place into any one of these courses through a proctored test taken on campus have fulfilled the language requirement by demonstrating the required proficiency through the test. Upon completion of one of these courses with a grade of C or better, the student will receive 1.0 additional (retroactive) course credit.

Level Five

  • FREN 305 - French Conversation & Phonetics *
  • GER 300+ - Any 300-level German course
  • SPAN 330 - Spanish Conversation & Phonetics *
  • SPAN 332—Spanish Reading and Grammar

Students who place into any one of these courses through a proctored test taken on campus have fulfilled the language requirement by demonstrating the required proficiency through the test. Upon completion of one of these courses with a grade of C or better, the student will receive 2.0 additional (retroactive) course credits.

DePauw University Modern Language Placement Test Policy

Students must demonstrate a level of proficiency in a second language equivalent to two semesters of college study at DePauw University. They may meet this requirement in either of the following ways:

  • by completing an introductory-level modern or classical language course sequence at DePauw
  • by achieving a satisfactory score on a DePauw placement exam administered during Orientation

Placement tests are offered only during Orientation week and the week before the course request deadline for the following term. Placement tests can only be taken once a day during the testing periods. While a student is registered or enrolled for a course, he/she may not take the placement test without withdrawing from the course.

* Second-semester seniors who have been unable to place into their beginning-level course may petition to test out during their final semester, provided that they are not currently enrolled in a language course that fulfills the requirement, with a petition to the chair of the Modern Language Department.

If you do not have prior experience with the language that you wish to study, you do not need to take the proficiency/placement exam. Simply enroll in the introductory course for that language.

* Heritage speakers of these languages (students who regularly speak them at home with their families) are NOT eligible to take FREN 305 or SPAN 330. They should consult with Prof. Cheira Lewis  (French) or Prof. Maria Luque (Spanish) before registering. Two additional course credits will be awarded only after successful completion of three 300-level courses with a grade of C or better.