Language Requirement Information

College of Arts & Sciences Language Requirement  (for 2016-17 Catalogues and beyond)

All students who major in the College of Arts and Sciences are required to demonstrate competence in a second language. The languages regularly taught at Gonzaga are Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, Japanese and Spanish.

Placement Exam Information

If you are continuing in the study of a second language from high school you are required to complete the placement exam in order to be placed in the appropriate level.
  • Students may not take a placement exam in a language once they have begun to study the language at the university level including transfer credit or study abroad.
  • Placement exams may be taken only once in a particular language.

Placement exams can be taken online.

  • Indicate the language you wish to take the test in and you will be given the instructions for that placement test.

Proficiency Exam Information

For students that start at GU in Fall 2016 and beyond, those who wish to fulfill the language requirement by demonstrating competence at the 201 level rather than taking a class must take the Proficiency Exam.
  • Students may not take a proficiency exam in a language once they have begun to study the language at the university level including transfer credit or study abroad.
  • Proficiency exams may be taken only once in a particular language.

Spring 2018 Proficiency Exams Offered:

Language Requirement Information

  1. Students continuing in the study of a second language from high school are required to show competence at the intermediate level (courses numbered 201):

    Placement Exam

    Course(s) Required

    Total Course(s)

    201 201 1
    102 102 201 2
  2. Students continuing a second language from high school whose level is beyond 201 have the following options to meet the language requirement:

    Placement Exam

    Options

    Total Course(s)

    202 or above (Option A) Pass Proficiency Exam 0
    202 or above (Option B) Take a course numbered 202 or above 1
    3-4 years of the same language in high school/ No placement exam score Pass Proficiency Exam 0
  3. Students beginning study of a new language can meet the requirement by completing one year at the elementary level (courses numbered 101 and 102).  No placement exam is required.

    Exam/Placement

    Course(s) Required

    Total Course(s)

    No placement exam necessary 101 102 2

For the placement or proficiency exam or registering for the proficiency exam, contact:

Diane Birginal, Language Requirement Testing Coordinator
Phone: 509-313-3959
Email: languagerequirement@gonzaga.edu

FAQs:

What should I consider?

We encourage you to fulfill the requirement early. If you are continuing a language from high school, the sooner you start, the more likely you are to need only 1 semester to fulfill the requirement. If you start a new language, you will need 2 semesters to fulfill the requirement. Planning ahead is essential.

We encourage you to take the placement exam if you plan to continue studying that language at GU.

Explore studying abroad. If you will be taking 101-102 or 102-201 sequence to complete the language requirement, you will not be able to take both courses in one semester abroad and you should plan accordingly. If you are planning to study in Florence this program requires 1 semester of Italian (fulfillment of the CAS language requirement with a language other than Italian does not exempt you from this requirement); we encourage you to take Italian 101 - 102 before you go to Florence, both to fulfill the language and the program requirement, and to have a good foundation in Italian when you arrive in Florence.

Why are there two exams? What is the difference between the two?

The placement exam is a shorter exam (40 minutes) that you can take anytime, anywhere. It provides an initial indication of your language ability in order to place you into the appropriate level.

The proficiency exam is a longer (2 hours), in-depth proctored exam that is offered on scheduled dates. It provides a complete measurement of your language ability.

The language requirement is a competency requirement. You can show you are competent at the level established by the requirement (201) by either taking and passing a course at or above that level, or taking an exam that allows you to demonstrate competence at that level. The placement exam does not demonstrate competence at a particular level. The proficiency exam does.

What if I studied more than one language in high school?

You can choose to start a new language at Gonzaga, or continue one of the languages studied in high school. When continuing with a language previously studied, only one placement exam is required.

What if I didn’t do very well in high school classes? Can I begin at the 101-level for review?

Elementary courses (numbered 101) are for beginners, students with no prior experience in that language. You are not required to continue in the same language you studied in high school. In this situation, you might consider taking a new language. If you want to continue with the same language, you will take the placement exam and begin in 102 or 201, depending on the placement results.

What is on the placement exam? Can I prepare?

The exam includes reading, writing, listening and speaking modules. It is not necessary to prepare for the session. Immediately prior to testing, you might consider spending 15 – 20 minutes reading in the language as this will probably help with basic recall.

What if I speak a language other than English at home?

Generally, if you graduated from high school in the U.S., you will be required to demonstrate competence in a language other than English through a proficiency exam or the completion of a class at the 201 level or above.

How will I know where I place?

Both you and your advisor will receive an email informing you of the placement results.

Whom do I contact with questions?

For Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, or other languages, contact:

Dr. Christina Isabelli, Chair, Modern Languages and Literature
Phone: 509-313-6723
Email: isabelli@gonzaga.edu

For Latin and Greek, contact:

Dr. Andrew Goldman, Chair, Classical Civilizations
Phone: 509-313-6691
Email: goldman@gonzaga.edu

For the placement or proficiency exam or registering for the proficiency exam, contact:

Diane Birginal, Language Requirement Testing Coordinator
Phone: 509-313-3959
Email: languagerequirement@gonzaga.edu