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Language Competency Requirement 2017-2018

Applies to students who matriculated in fall 2017

How to Pass Language Competency

The Christ at the Core Foreign Language requirement is comprised of two components: demonstrating intermediate-level Language Competency and showing Cultural Understanding. Fulfilling this requirement may be done in a number of ways depending on how many years of foreign language study you had in high school and whether you have done other qualifying work prior to entering Wheaton College.

If you studied a language taught at Wheaton College

If you studied French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, or Spanish, and did NOT take the AP, SAT Subject, or IB tests in a foreign language, then satisfying the Foreign Language Requirement will depend on how many years of high school study you had.

  • If you had less than two years of language study in high school (or if you wish to study a language that is completely new to you), take 101, 102, and 201 and pass the Language Competency Exam administered in all 201 courses.
  • If you studied only two years of French, German, Mandarin Chinese or Spanish, take 103 and 201 and pass the Language Competency Exam administered in all 201 courses. If you had two years of Latin, Greek or Hebrew, you should take a language Placement Test to determine the correct course.
  • If you studied three or four years of regular level language in high school, you should take 201. Take a language Placement Test if you were in honors level language courses. 
  • If you are considering enrolling in a 300-level course you must take a language Placement Test and follow the recommendation of the department.
  • If you have high school dual enrollment credit that you are transferring to Wheaton you must take a language Placement Test in order to validate your credit with the Office of the Registrar.

 If you took a test in a language taught at Wheaton College

If you have taken either the AP, the SAT Subject or IB tests in a foreign language offered at Wheaton (French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Greek, Hebrew or Latin), you may satisfy your Foreign Language Requirement as follows: (Please note that results must be sent to Wheaton College prior to enrollment.)

Advanced Placement Test (AP)

  • Score 1 or 2: Take 201 or take the Language Placement Test offered by the Modern and Classical Languages Department and follow the recommendation of the department.
  • Score 3: Language Competency is met but Cultural Understanding needs to be demonstrated (see section below on Cultural Understanding). Four (4) hours of credit earned.
  • Score 4 or 5: Foreign Language Requirement is met (both Language Competency and Cultural Understanding). Eight (8) hours of credit earned.

SAT II Subject Test (French, German or Spanish)

  • Score 580+: Language Competency is met but Cultural Understanding needs to be demonstrated (see section below on Cultural Understanding). Four (4) hours of credit earned.
  • Score 450-570: Take 201 and pass the Language Competency Exam administered in all 201 courses. 
  • Score below 450: Take 103, then 201 and pass the Language Competency Exam administered in all 201 courses.

SAT II Subject Test (Mandarin Chinese)

  • Score 500+: Language Competency is met but Cultural Understanding needs to be demonstrated (see section below on Cultural Understanding). Four (4) hours of credit earned.
  • Score 440-490: Take 201 and pass the Language Competency Exam administered in all 201 courses. 
  • Score below 440: Take 103, then 201 and pass the Language Competency Exam administered in all 201 courses.

SAT II Subject Test (Latin)

  • Score 580+: Language Competency is met but Cultural Understanding needs to be demonstrated (see section below on Cultural Understanding). Four (4) hours of credit earned.
  • Score 440-570: Take 201 and pass the Language Competency Exam administered in all 201 courses (401 for Hebrew).
  • Score below 440: Consult with Classical Languages faculty for class placement.

SAT II Subject Test (HEBREW)

  • Score 500+: Language Competency is met but Cultural Understanding needs to be demonstrated (see section below on Cultural Understanding). Four (4) hours of credit earned.
  • Score 440-490: Take 201 and pass the Language Competency Exam administered in all 201 courses.
  • Score below 440: Consult with Classical Languages faculty for class placement.

IB Higher Level

  •  Score 5:  Language Competency is met but Cultural Understanding needs to be demonstrated (see section below on Cultural Understanding). Six (6) hours of credit earned.
  • Score 6 or 7:  Foreign Language Requirement is met (both Language Competency and Cultural Understanding). Six (6) hours of credit earned.

 IB Standard Level

  •  Score 5: Language Competency is met but Cultural Understanding needs to be demonstrated (see section below on Cultural Understanding). Four (4) hours of credit earned.
  •  Score 6 or 7:  Foreign Language Requirement is met (both Language Competency and Cultural Understanding). Four (4) hours of credit earned.

If you studied a language not taught at Wheaton College

If you took a SAT Subject Test in a language not taught at Wheaton and scored 500 or above, Language Competency is met but Cultural Understanding needs to be demonstrated (see section below on Cultural Understanding). If you scored below 500, consult with the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. Please note that results must be sent to Wheaton College prior to enrollment.

If all four (4) years of all your high school instruction, written and oral, were in a language other than English, you may apply to waive the Foreign Language Requirement – both Language Competency and Cultural Understanding.

If you plan to take a competency test proctored by Modern and Classical Languages

The Department of Modern and Classical Languages has access to examinations for many world languages, but cannot guarantee that it can provide a language competency exam for every request. If you hope to take a language competency exam in a language NOT taught at Wheaton College, in order to ensure that an exam is available, you must turn in your request/application form as soon as possible at the beginning of your first semester as a student here.

The exam must be taken by the end of your sophomore year or by the end of your second semester if you enter Wheaton as a transfer student with junior or senior status. Test availability may change without notice; thus, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages offers language competency examinations in languages not taught at Wheaton only when an acceptable examination and a qualified examiner are available. Exam fees will vary depending on the provider and no academic credits will be given for passing.

NOTE: Cultural Understanding will still need to be demonstrated (see the following section on Cultural Understanding).

CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING

Students who meet Language Competency via independent testing (no coursework at Wheaton College) will need to demonstrate Cultural Understanding via one of the options listed below:

  • Completing an upper-division course (4 credits) in the language for which Language Competency has already been demonstrated
  • Taking a course in a new language
  • Participating in an approved non-English based Global and Experiential Learning (GEL) experience
  • Passing the Cultural Understanding Exam (CUE)

Foreign Language Course Sequence

  • 101, 102, 201 and pass the Language Competency Exam administered in all 201 courses
  • 103, 201 and pass the Language Competency Exam. The 103 course is an accelerated elementary course that covers the same material in one semester as the 101 and 102 courses cover in two semesters.

NOTE: Students may not take any classes for the purpose of preparing for the Language Competency Exam as a pass/fail course, nor as an audit. Students who withdraw from a 201 intermediate language class after Fall or Spring Break will not be eligible to take the Language Competency Exam that same semester.