Language Placement Evaluation


All students who have previously studied a modern or classical language are strongly encouraged to take the language placement evaluation to find where to begin their language study.

Three semesters of language study are required for all Bachelor of Arts degrees. While not required for a Bachelor of Science, a second language greatly strengthens a wide range of B.S. degrees in Communications, Criminal Justice, Film & Video, Hospitality & Tourism Management, Multimedia Journalism, Health Professions, Social Work, Speech-Language Pathology, and others.

Language Placement Evaluation Information

Do I have to take a language?

BA programs: YES. Grand Valley requires a third semester proficiency (completion of the 201-level) in a modern or classical language for all Bachelor of Arts degrees. Several programs, such as International Relations and International Business have additional language requirements. 

BS programs: NO, but students should still take the placement evaluation just in case they change their mind later. All students --no matter their choice of major or future plans--benefit from the study of world languages and cultures. For example:

  • They can use 202 language courses to fulfill the Global Perspectives requirement.
  • Languages and cultures are a valuable skill in all sectors of employment.
  • Studying a language other than one’s own is an integral part of a liberal education. 
  • Language learning equips students to actively engage with another culture on its own terms, promoting better informed global citizens.
  • They might later discover that a language is required in a graduate program.

Placing into a language proficiency level through the language placement evaluation does not grant you credit in the corresponding course. So, for instance, placing into the SPA 102 proficiency level does not grant you credit for SPA 101, but it does allow you to enroll in courses that have SPA 101 as a prerequisite.

If you place into the 101-level of a language, but you have previous experience with learning the language, you may register for the 150-level without a class permit. The 150-level courses are  designed for students who have studied a language before (a year or two of high school level courses or equivalent). It reviews the material of a 101 course and then covers the material of a 102 course.

After the 150 course, you can take a 201 level class, which means that you can move more quickly to complete your B.A. language requirement or to advance to higher levels of language proficiency. That’s a savings of one 4-credit class!

If you have questions about your AP language score and it's credit equivalency, you can find out more here at GVSU's Credit By Exam page

 

If you are pursuing a Bachelor or Arts degree (B.A.), the answer is YES. All Bachelor or Arts majors require language proficiency through at least the 201-level with a few majors that require language proficiency through the 202-level. If you are pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) in International Business, you are required to have a language minor (please discuss that requirement with your Seidman advisor). 

In order to qualify for the Bachelor of Arts Language Requirement waiver, you must place in the 202-level or higher (300-level for the majors that require 4th-semester proficiency) on the Language Placement Evaluation in-person at the Language Resource Center when it reopens in the Winter 2021 semester. The Language Placement Evaluation cannot be taken online for that purpose.

Once you start your language sequence, you cannot take the Language Placement Evaluation to try to place higher and skip levels. If you are unsure about your placement, please talk to your language professor or professional academic advisor right away. 

If you have questions about the requirement, please contact the Modern Languages and Literatures office at 331-3203 or moddept@gvsu.edu

Grand Valley State University teaches 9 modern and classical languages and each of them satisfies the B.A. Language Requirement.

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures teaches: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish

The Department of Classics teaches: Ancient Greek and Latin

For more information on each of the languages, visit the Foreign Language Study webpage. 

Most students fulfill the B.A. Language Requirement by taking three semesters of language classes: 101-102-201. Without taking a language placement evaluation, students may only enroll in 101.

We typically think of one year of high school language study as representing the equivalent of one semester of language study at the university level, so students who have studied for a year should be able to test into a 102 course. In practice, however, there is a great deal of variation in ability between students who have taken the same amount of language. The language evaluation helps us place students in the level most appropriate for their individual ability.

Some languages also offer a 150 class, which is intended for students with some prior language who still need some review. It includes the material from both 101 and 102 in an accelerated format, and qualifies students to continue on to 201 after only a semester of study.

The Language Resource Center is not open for in-person placement evaluations, but the placement evaluation is available online!

After you click on the button you will be asked to enter some information about your previous language experience. You will need to provide your GVSU e-mail address and G number as well. After you submit your information, you will receive an e-mail within one business day either giving you an individualized link for the online placement evaluation or, if an online evaluation is not available for your chosen language, connecting you with a language advisor. 

Please note:  in order to qualify for the Bachelor of Arts Language Requirement waiver, you must place in the 202-level or higher (300-level for the majors that require 4th-semester proficiency) on the Language Placement Evaluation in-person at the Language Resource Center . The Language Placement Evaluation cannot be taken online for that purpose.

If you have questions about the requirement, please contact the Modern Languages and Literatures office at 331-3203 or moddept@gvsu.edu.

 

The FLATS Exam is available in 52 languages, and can be used to fulfill the B.A. requirement. There is a fee to take it. Click here for more information about FLATS.

 

If you have requested a placement evaluation, please check your email's spam folder in case it has been redirected by your email filters. 

If you have any questions, please contact the Modern Languages and Literatures Department: moddept@gvsu.edu.