Our language classes focus on proficiency. All of our French and Spanish majors take the ACTFL OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) and ACTFL WPT (Writing Proficiency Test) to objectively determine their levels of proficiency in speaking and writing and to provide them with an internationally recognized rating. Students begin their language study by taking a placement test or proficiency exam in French or Spanish if they have had previous language study in high school.

Proficiency Exam

Students taking proficiency examinations will be required to present evidence that they have developed those abilities and aptitudes expected of students who have taken the course involved. When possible, this evidence should be in the form of recognized standardized tests and must be approved by the school dean and the Director of Academic Services.

Upon passing the examination with a minimum grade of “B,” the student may be given credit toward graduation provided this does not duplicate credit accounted for admission to Lee University and the course is acceptable in his/her curriculum.

Proficiency examinations may not be taken to repeat coursework or be used in lieu of “I” or “F” grades. In order to take a proficiency examination, the student must be enrolled for other courses and may take the proficiency test only once. Credit earned through proficiency and advanced placement shall be recorded with a grade of “P” and will not affect the student’s GPA. Students interested in proficiency credit should inquire with the respective department chairperson for the course.

Native speakers (those educated in target language countries) of Spanish, French, German or Chinese may not receive proficiency credit by examination for either 211 or 212. Native speakers may have their foreign language requirement waived by successfully completing both ENGL 105 or 106 and ENGL 110. Native speakers who minor or major in Spanish or French must begin their coursework with any course numbered SPAN 310, FREN 213 or above. Additional upper-level courses must be taken to complete the required 36 hours in either major.

Heritage speakers (those who learned Spanish or French in the United States, not formally educated in target language country) must pass both a writing exam and a speaking proficiency exam to receive proficiency credit for either 211 or 212. If passed, they begin their minor or major coursework with SPAN 310, FREN 213 or above.

If placed into Spanish or French 212 and are in a B.A. program which requires 6 hours of intermediate language, then your options are:

  • Sign up for and take the Proficiency test for Spanish/French 211 at the beginning of the semester you will enroll in SPAN/FREN 212. The test costs $30 to take, whether you pass or fail the test. If you pass the test you will be charged an additional $30.00 per credit hour for a total charge of $120.00 added to your school bill and you will receive 3 credits for SPAN/FREN 211. The proficiency tests are given on the first Thursday of classes at the beginning of each semester at 6:00 p.m. in the Vest Building. You may contact the department office at 614-8210 or any of the Spanish/French professors for more information.
  • Take Spanish/French 212 for 3 credit hours and then take SPAN/FREN 213 to complete your required 6 credit hours.

Spanish Placement Test

This is a two hour, online, multiple-choice format diagnostic source that allows students to learn which Spanish course to take when s/he decides to start taking classes at Lee. The test consists of questions on communication, grammar, reading, and listening comprehension. There is no oral part to the exam. Since it is a computer-adaptive test, the length varies from one individual to another, with the average time being one hour and 30 minutes. There is a survey required to be completed before the test is taken: Student’s Language Background.

The scores and the language background data will be used to place students into the appropriate level of Spanish. The test is only for course placement to determine the student's proficiency in Spanish. No credit will be given. To receive the credits for intermediate levels students need to take the Spanish Proficiency Exam. The Spanish Placement test helps instructors balance their classes with students at the same level, and at the same time, it helps faculty advisers to plan educational programs.

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