Satisfying Language Requirements

Dear Directors of Graduate Programs that require proficiency in one or more foreign languages:

Please be so kind as to inform your graduate students of the following:

1. that as soon as possible upon entering their graduate program they should examine the options available to them for satisfying their foreign language requirement. These are outlined in the 2007-2008 Graduate Catalog, pages 37-38 and 46-47, and on the Modern Foreign Language (MFL) Web site: (Go to side bar and click on “Graduate Language Requirements.”)

2. students should, as soon as possible, meet with the appropriate MFL professor and take the “diagnostic” exam. (See MFL Web site for details and calendar of deadlines.) This informal discussion/exam (which also might include taking the MFL undergraduate Placement Exam) determines a student’s current base level of language proficiency and, depending on the outcome, allows the MFL professor to suggest a plan of remediation, if necessary, in a timely manner.

There are five options for satisfying proficiency outlined in the Catalog, one of which includes taking the Graduate Reading Courses offered in the summer–French, German, or Spanish 5370/71; Greek and Latin 5321/22. Please inform your students that it is of utmost importance that we must at least try to meet minimum enrollments (5 students) for these classes in order to offer them.

If you could poll your students as to how many of them would like to take these courses, it would help us immensely in planning accordingly to meet the needs of those students.

Note—International MA students cannot use either the previously earned undergraduate credit option or the 5370/71 courses to satisfy their language requirement. This is because, as prospective international degree holders, they have to show current speaking and reading skills. They, therefore, must take both the oral test in committee and a reading/translation test of 250 words in one hour with dictionary. Nevertheless, in the past, several international MA students have taken 5370/71 as preparation for later taking the reading test.

Please direct your students to the MFL Web site for all necessary information concerning requirements: testing procedure, test format, MFL tester contacts, information on the summer graduate reading courses, and the calendar of deadlines for taking the diagnostic and the actual test. (These deadlines apply to all graduate students, not just the International MAs.)

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your cooperation in disseminating this information. Best regards,
Marian M. Ortuño

Coordinator of Foreign Language Testing for Graduate Students