Below you will find links to and information about Modern Languages courses offered, placement information, issues with enrollment, questions regarding advisors, closed/permission only courses, first day attendance policy, and foreign language proficiency for graduate students.
The Department of Modern Languages strives to provide the best possible learning environment for its students, and for this reason we take very seriously the placement of students in courses that match their abilities. Each class in the sequence of our courses is designed so that students advance in reading, listening, writing, speaking, and cultural proficiency. In order to best serve each individual, the Department reserves the right to remove students from the rosters of classes that do not correspond to their proficiency levels. Students who have acquired advanced language skills abroad or at home must consult with Modern Languages staff in order to determine their appropriate entry point in our language sequence. Students who begin their coursework at advanced levels may qualify for retroactive credit in as many as four courses.
If you have never taken any language classes, you can enroll directly in level 1 of the language you are interested in. For Spanish, you will need to request permission to enroll in Eisenhower Hall 5, or by contacting Angélique Courbou at email@example.com with the following information: full name, student WID number, reference of the section you want to enroll in.
If you have taken language classes in the past, and/or are transferring courses, you must take a placement test in the Language Learning Center (Eisenhower 001). The test takes about 20 minutes, though some may take longer. Once you have your test results, please go to or contact the following offices and faculty with the following information: full name, student WID number, placement exam score, number of semesters/years of language you have had:
THIS IS IMPORTANT, if you can test into a higher level and successfully complete the course with a "C" or better, you will receive retroactive credit for the preceding courses for FREE, on a "take one class/ receive credit for one class" basis, and you can finish your Spanish course sequence more quickly as well. All you have to do is fill out a form in the Modern Languages Office (Eisenhower 104).
Go on your Student Center on iSIS, check if you have any holds on your account and contact the person/office listed to take care of it.
Check if the course you need to enroll in requires a permission. If it does, contact the instructor listed.
Check if the course is full/closed. If so, enroll as you normally would, and click on "waitlist" when when prompted to do so by the iSIS system.
Check the iSIS help section.
Majors: If you are a Modern Languages major or graduate student, you need an advisor. Please first check your Student Center on iSIS to see if one has been assigned to you. If you do not have an advisor, and you have declared your major, please contact Angélique Courbou (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the following information: full name, student WID number, language.
Minors: Please note that Modern Languages minors do not have an advisor. Please check the procedures and requirements for the minor here.
The Department of Mondern Languages follows the University's rules regarding first day attendance and will drop students for non-attendance on the first day to allow waitlisted students to enroll:
"An instructor may drop a student from any or all components (e.g., lecture, recitation, lab, etc.) of a course if the student is absent at the beginning of the first class period of any component of the course. Students who cannot be in attendance should arrange prior permission from the instructor in order not to be dropped. For purposes of this policy, enrollment in and payment of tuition for a course do not constitute notification of intent to take a course." (University catalog)
Note: Attendance policies will be determined by the instructor/coordinator of each course. Instructors/Coordinators will determine if, and the manner in which, work and examinations missed may be made up.
If the class you want requires a permission, please contact the instructor of the course or:
- for French I-IV, Dr. Melinda Cro (email@example.com);
- for German I-IV, Dr. Janice McGregor (firstname.lastname@example.org);
- for Spanish I-IV, Dr. Mary Copple (email@example.com).
If the class you want is closed, you need to enroll as you normally would, and click on "waitlist" when when prompted to do so by the iSIS system. Make sure to attend the class for which you are waitlisted from day one, and attend until the instructor tells you that s/he can or cannot accept you in his/her course. If you do not attend a waitlisted class, the instructor has the right to eliminate you from his/her waitlist, you will then lose your place on the list, and your chance to get in the class. The waitlist is on a first-come, first-serve basis, so don't wait until the last minute to put your name on it.
For many years the Department of Modern Languages has assisted departments that require their graduate students to demonstrate reading knowledge of a foreign language by giving a translation exam. Foreign language proficiency examinations are currently required for graduate students in the following departments: English, Geography, History, Mathematics, and Physics. Students should consult with their graduate studies advisor with any questions about their department's policy regarding the foreign language proficiency requirements. Read the guidelines for the foreign language proficiency exam below. For questions about the administration of the examinations please contact the Department of Modern Languages.
- Contact the Modern Languages Office to find out who your examiner will be.
- Choose a test date and select a book or text with your examiner.
- Students should give their book/text at least one week in advance to their examiner, so the examiner can select a passage.
- Students should go to the office of Modern Languages, 104 Eisenhower Hall, to pay the $40.00 fee, and to receive a receipt and a proficiency exam report.
- On the exam date, present your receipt and the proficiency exam report to the examiner.
ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines (1986) [from Omaggio Hadley, Alice, Teaching Language in Context, 2nd ed. (Boston: Heinle & Heinle, 1993, Appendix A, 501-511.]
"Able to read consistently with increased understanding simple connected texts dealing with a variety of basic and social needs. Such texts are still linguistically noncomplex and have a clear underlying internal structure. They impart basic information about which the reader has to make minimal suppositions and to which the reader brings personal interest and /or knowledge. Examples may include short, straightforward descriptions of persons, places, and things written for a wide audience."
"Able to meet a number of practical writing needs. Can write short, simple letters. Content involves personal preferences, daily routine, everyday events, and other topics grounded in personal experience. Can express present time or at least one other time frame or aspect consistently, e.g., non-past, habitual, imperfect. Evidence of control of the syntax of noncomplex sentences and basic inflectional morphology, such as declensions and conjugation. Writing tends to be a loose collection of sentences or sentence fragments on a given topic and provides little evidence of conscious organization. Can be understood by natives used to the writing of nonnatives.
"Able to handle successfully a variety of uncomplicated, basic and communicative tasks and social situations. Can talk simply about self and family members. Can ask and answer questions and participate in simple conversations on topics beyond the most immediate needs; e.g., personal history and leisure time activities. Utterance length increases slightly, but speech may continue to be characterized by frequent long pauses, since the smooth incorporation of even basic conversational strategies is often hindered as the speaker struggles to create appropriate language forms. Pronunciation may continue to be strongly influenced by the first language and fluency may still be strained. Although misunderstandings still arise, the Intermediate-Mid speaker can generally be understood by sympathetic interlocutors."
"Able to follow essential points of written discourse at the Superior level in areas of special interest or knowledge. Able to understand parts of texts which are conceptually abstract and linguistically complex, and/or texts which treat unfamiliar topics and situations, as well as some texts which involve aspects of target-language culture. Able to comprehend the facts to make appropriate inferences. An emerging awareness of the aesthetic properties of language and of its literary styles permits comprehension of a wider variety of texts, including literary. Misunderstandings may occur."