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Department of Modern Languages

Modern Languages FAQs

Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Language Courses
  • Levels I and II of each language introduce the student to the structure of the language and provide ample opportunity for practicing the spoken language, including additional experience in the language laboratory.
  • Levels III and IV provide a continuation of Level II with practice in the spoken and written language. They may include intensive grammar review as well as introduction to reading the modern prose of the respective language.
  • Courses on the 500 level refine the speaking, listening, writing and reading skills developed in the beginning and intermediate language courses. Conducted entirely in the foreign language, these courses attempt to build the confidence of the student in using the language while simultaneously increasing his or her knowledge in specific areas of language, literature and culture. They include courses on composition and civilization as well as introductions to the literature of the respective language.
  • The 700-level courses further increase the student's sophistication in spoken and written language skills and train him or her in the specialized techniques of literary study.

Our department encourages students to study abroad in order to enhance their major or minor. While university policy requires courses applied towards the minor and the major to be taken in residence, we will accept appropriate coursework taken toward the minor and the major; provided that at least two 400/500 level courses for the minor, and two 700 level courses for the major be taken on campus. Students are advised to consult with the department regarding applicability of courses taken abroad to their program of study.

Students interested in preparing for graduate school or for high school teaching should be aware of the corollary courses in linguistics: 681, General Phonetics, and 780, Introduction to Linguistics. Six hours of history of the country of the student's major language are desirable.

Certificate of International Business Foreign Language Requirements

International students in the College of Business Administration need to demonstrate proficiency beyond level 4 (equivalent to intermediate-high). The Department of Modern Languages administers an oral and written examination to assess the student's proficiency for a $40 fee. In order to set up this examination, please contact our Modern Languages Administrative Officer: Charlotte Stephens (charlots@k-state.edu).

Double Major or Dual Degree?
  • A Double Major refers to two different curricula within the same college. A student may pursue a Double Major in Modern Languages (B.A.) and another major B.A. or B.S. [for example, History or Math] within the College of Arts & Sciences by completing requirements in two separate programs within the College. The student must complete all course requirements for each major. 

  • A Dual Degree is a degree from another College combined with one in Arts & Sciences:
    • French/German/Spanish & Business
    • French/German/Spanish & Education
    • French/German/Spanish & Engineering
    • French/German/Spanish & Agriculture

Dual degree seeking BA students must fulfill the requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences listed under Additional Requirements of the BA, including the U.S. Multicultural Overlay (starting Fall 2017), and all the requirements in at least one of the three other required areas (Humanities, Social Science, or Natural Science), and half of the distribution requirements in the remaining two areas. The choice of how these requirements will be met will be made with the approval of an advisor within the College of Arts and Sciences.

Students will choose two areas where they will complete only 50% of the requirements out of the following three categories below:

  • 50% of the Humanities category would be two of the following four:

    • One course from Philosophy (3 credits). Philosophy is REQUIRED, but cannot be a Logic course.
    • One course in the Fine Arts (3 credits).
    • One course in Western Heritage (3 credits).
    • One course in Literary or Rhetorical Arts (3 credits).
  • 50% of the Social Science category would be

    • Two courses, 6 credit hours, from two different disciplines.
  • 50% of the Natural Science category would be

    • 7 credit hours minimum, from two disciplines: Any science course with lab, and one other science course from a different discipline.
Enrollment Troubleshoot

Go on your Student Center on KSIS, 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 KSIS system.

Check the KSIS help section.

First Day Attendance Policy

The Department of Modern 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.

Foreign Language Reading/Translation Proficiency Exam for GRADUATE Students in Other Departments

In some doctoral programs, students must establish an intermediate-high level of reading proficiency in a foreign language. The Department of Modern Languages administers foreign language examination to certify reading/translation proficiency for a $40 fee. In order to set up this examination, please contact our Modern Languages Administrative Assistant: Mary Siegle (msiegle@k-state.edu).

The exam consists of a general rendering in English of two (2) selections of 250-300 words, taken from a book or other text of 100 pages or so.  Candidates will be evaluated based on the extent to which their rendering maintains the meaning of the text, and not on the mechanics of a professional translation.  They may consult a (print) bilingual dictionary.  

Candidates must demonstrate evidence of reading proficiency at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Intermediate High level, the rough equivalent of completion of a level IV language class:

“Readers at the Intermediate High level are able to understand fully and with ease short, non-complex texts that convey basic information and deal with personal and social topics to which the reader brings personal interest or knowledge.  These readers are also able to understand some connected texts featuring description and narration although there will be occasional gaps in understanding due to a limited knowledge of the vocabulary, structures, and writing conventions of the language” (ACTFL 2012).

The candidate should choose a suitable text in an area of personal interest, to be negotiated with the Modern Languages faculty member.  If the Modern Languages faculty feel that the text provided by the student is too difficult for the intermediate high level, the candidate should be alerted and advised to change texts. Very proficient students are permitted to provide more difficult and/or lengthy texts, but the evaluation will use the Intermediate High level of proficiency as the standard, based on an extract of around 100 pages of the text.  The candidate should then have the opportunity to work on the text for several weeks before taking the exam.

A text may be changed at any time provided that the candidate has sufficient time to prepare for the exam.  Retakes are permitted. 

Language Placement Information

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 006, or by contacting Spanish Coordination (spanishcoordination@k-state.eduwith the following information: full name, student WID number, reference of the section you want to enroll in.

  • If you have taken language classes in FrenchGerman, or Spanish in the past, and/or are transferring courses, and/or have learned the language with your family growing up, you must email the following offices and faculty with the following information: full name, student WID number, include some information about your past language experience (either at school, work or home)--for example, number of years of study, with whom you speak the language, grammatical forms studied, etc.:

  • If you have taken language classes in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Latin, or Russian in the past, and/or are transferring courses, please contact the faculty listed below for placement with the following information: full name, student WID number, and include some information about your past language experience (either at school, work or home)--for example, number of years of study, with whom you speak the language, etc.:

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 electronically or in the Modern Languages Office (Eisenhower 207).

Study Abroad and Transfer Credit
  • If you are a language major (French, German, Spanish) interested in studying abroad, consult your advisor as early as possible, as well as the Study Abroad office to determine the best program for you. Your advisor will help you decide which courses to take abroad, how they will transfer back to K-State, and will assist you throughout the process of transferring credit.

  • If you are a language minor (Chinese, Classics (Latin / Greek), French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish) or are taking Arabic, and are interested in studying abroad, contact the faculty listed below according to your language of interest, as well as the Study Abroad office to determine the best program for you.The faculty listed below will help you decide which courses to take abroad, how they will transfer back to K-State, and will assist you throughout the process of transferring credit.
Translation and Interpreting Services

The department does not provide translation and interpreting services. The Mid-America Chapter of the American Translators Association maintains a listing of translators and interpreters as well as language service companies. The listing indicates certifications held by individual translators and interpreters.

Some individual faculty members occasionally collaborate with community partners to provide service-learning experiences for our students. These experiences are generally integrated into the syllabus in advance and are developed and revised over the course of the semester. If you are interested in a future collaboration, please contact Dr. Laura Kanost, lakanost@ksu.edu.

Modern Languages Forms

Add / Drop a Language Minor

You can add or drop a language minor electronically by using the form below. This process may take a few days, if you do not see any changes in your DARS list within a couple of weeks of submission, please contact Mary Siegle at msiegle@ksu.edu.

Advisor Request/Change  

Majors can request an advisor and/or change their advisor electronically by using the form below. Please note that Minors do not have an assigned advisor, with the exception of the Spanish Translation Minor. You need to be declared as a language major to be assigned an advisor.

This process may take a few days, if you do not see any changes in your ADVISOR list in your Student Center on KSIS within a week of submission, please contact Angélique Courbou at angeli@ksu.edu.

Foreign Language Waiver (Undergraduate Students)

Native or near-native speaker of ASL or a language other than English may be granted a waiver of the International Overlay (level 4 of a foreign language) requirements for any B.A. in Arts and Sciences. To see if you qualify, please fill out this FORM. A faculty in the language will contact you to set up an appointment. 

This process may take a few days, if you do not receive a response within a week of submission, please contact Mary Siegle at msiegle@ksu.edu.

Retroactive Credit

You can apply online for *FREE, non-graded retroactive credit* if you begun your language studies at K-State, in courses beyond level-I courses. For each course completed at K-State with a C or better, you may apply to receive retroactive credit for one lower-level course. For example, if you successfully complete Spanish II at K-State, you can receive retroactive credit for Spanish I. You can receive retroactive credit in all languages for levels 1 through 4 (up to 18-20 hours of credit depending on the language), thus completing your language course sequence, your minor or major faster. You can fill out a retroactive credit application form below, or in the Modern Languages Office (104 Eisenhower Hall). Forms can be submitted only once grades for the course(s) have been posted on KSIS.

This process may take several weeks, if you do not see any changes in your DARS list within a month of submission, please contact Mary Siegle at msiegle@ksu.edu.