World Languages and Literatures | Academic Advising Handbook

Foreign Language Core Requirement:  Proficiency in a language other than English must be demonstrated by the successful completion of a 102-level or higher world language course or demonstration of existing proficiency equivalent to 102 course completion.  We expect students, by the end of 102, to achieve ACTFL intermediate-low for European languages and novice-high for Asian languages. Note: German and Chinese offer 102 courses only in the spring.

Pathways to Demonstrate Proficiency in a language other than English: 

To gain exemption from the Foreign Language Core requirement without taking courses at Pacific, students may demonstrate equivalent second language proficiency in the following ways:

A) World Language Proficiency Tests:

All testing options are for students who do not intend to take World Language courses at Pacific.  Petition instructions and forms are available at the Advising Center.

  1. For languages taught at Pacific – Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish: complete the STAMP4s language proficiency exam with a proficiency level equivalent to the 102 course (STAMP4s assesses reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.  Upon successful completion of the test, the student will interview with a faculty member from the language before being granted exemption.
    • Contact the Advising Center at the start of the semester to schedule a STAMP4s proficiency exam through the CLIC. There is a $50 fee to cover the cost of the STAMP4s test.  Students may take the exam twice.
  2. For Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish or Russian, complete the STAMP4s language proficiency exam with a proficiency level equivalent to a semester 102 course. STAMP4s tests assess reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. The WorLL Department Chair may request additional information or interview.
    • Contact the Advising Center at the start of the semester to schedule a STAMP4s proficiency exam for that semester through the CLIC. Tests are administered by the CLIC.  There is a $50 fee to cover the cost of the STAMP4s test.  Students may take the exam twice.
  3. For other languages not taught at Pacific for which the STAMP4s test is not offered, the CLIC will evaluate and recommend the use of another standards-based proficiency test. The WorLL Department Chair may request additional information or interview. A fee may apply.
  4. For American Sign Language (ASL), contact the Advising Center at the start of the semester to arrange a proficiency exam for that semester. A fee may apply

B) Students for whom English is a Second Language:

  1. International students who have taken or take English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at the university level are automatically exempted. Contact the Advising Center and submit a transcript showing the ESL classes.*
  2. International students whose language of education was not English and who have completed six or more years of elementary or secondary education in their native tongue or in a language other than English may be exempt from the language requirement.  Contact the Advising Center and submit a petition for the WorLL Department Chair to review.
  3. A student whose native language is neither English, nor a language taught at Pacific, may be exempted.  Contact the Advising Center and submit a petition for the WorLL Department Chair to review.
  4. Students who are heritage speakers of or have attended a K-12 immersion program in a language without a STAMP4s proficiency test option may be exempted. 
    • Contact the Advising Center and submit a petition for the WorLL Department Chair to review.

C) Prior Language Coursework

  1. College Transfer Credit: Transfer credits showing the successful completion of a 102-level or higher-level course in the semester system, or a 103-level or higher-level course in the quarter system from another university or college with the grade of “C-“ or above will complete the requirement. This includes 102 or higher level semester credits for languages not taught at Pacific with the exception of Latin.
  2. Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate:
    1. AP language exam: a student who scores 4 or higher on the AP language exam is granted 102-level credit and the requirement is satisfied. 
    2. IB HL: A student who scores 5 or higher on the HL IB test is granted 8 credits, incuding102-level credit, and the requirement is satisfied.
    3. IB SL:  A student who scores 5 or higher on the SL IB test is granted 4 credits, including101-level credit, and the requirement is not satisfied.
  3. High School Language Study: A student who has taken 4, or more years, (or the equivalent) of a high school language or immersion program of a language not taught at Pacific and earning a grade of “B” or above may petition for exemption from the Language CORE.

D) Other

  1. In a situation where proficiency cannot be verified by the options above, contact the Advising Center.  The student would then submit a petition for the WorLL Department Chair to review.

**International Students

  1. An international student who took ESL classes at the university level, and who wants to major in Dual Language, is exempted from the 12 credits of a secondary foreign language.
  2. A student whose native language is taught at Pacific and who wants to major in that language should consult with the language head and the WorLL department chair.

Language Placement and the Recommended Formal Entry Course Level

The language Placement Test is used for initial course enrollment during Registration and Advising.  All incoming freshmen are required to test for placement into courses for which they have prior language experience.  Placement testing is not required for languages for which students have no prior experience. Students should register for the class into which they are placed. 

Level for Registration Avant Score/Placement Recommendation Course Placement Scoring Notes: These are guidelines.  If a student’s scores in the individual testing areas are highly variable (e.g. 1s, 3s, and 5s), please contact Erica Andree, CLIC Director, or Yasutaka Maruki, WORLL Department Chair
Level One 0,1,1* 101 Student may score an occasional 2 on a test segment, but average score will be lower than 1.75.
Level Two 2, 2*, 3 102 Student must achieve a minimum average of 2 on all test segments. Any segment score of 2 should result in a 102 placement.
Level Three 3*, 4 201 To be placed in 201 student must exceed average of 3.5. Most test segment scores should be 4s.
Level Four 4*, 5 202 Students who receive a 4+ or 5 should at a minimum enroll in 202. Strongly urge students to attend the 202 class and speak with instructor about the appropriate course level.
Level Five 5* and higher 202+ Students who receive 5+ should register for 202 or 300, depending on whether they wish to focus more on language proficiency or on subject area studies. They should consult with the appropriate instructors for final placement.

The Placement Test provides an average score of reading comprehension, reading grammar, writing, and speaking.  A score with an * indicates that the student has scored at the high end of the indicated score.  

Changing courses during add/drop period:

To enroll in a course different than that recommended by the placement test during the add/drop period, the student must speak with the instructor of the course into which they have been placed. The instructor reviews the Placement scores with the student and makes the final placement decision based on the test score and personal evaluation of the student’s level of proficiency . If the instructor determines the student belongs in a different course, s/he communicates that decision to the instructor of the new course.  The instructor of the new course signs the add/drop form only at the written recommendation of the instructor of the initial course.  The student must return the signed add/drop form to the Registrar. The Registrar records the change, and the Advising Center notifies the student’s advisors.

Changing courses outside of the add/drop period:

Outside of the add/drop period, the student may obtain permission to change levels from the language head.  The language head reviews the student’s Placement scores with the student  and and makes the final placement decision based on the test score and personal evaluation of the student’s level of proficiency.  The Registrar records the change requests from the language head, regardless of time of year and whether or not the student plans to enroll in the current term.  

Sample Degree/Course Planning Templates

If you have any questions about the Language Programs at Pacific University, please contact Professor Yasutaka Maruki, Chair, World Languages and Literature at marukiy@pacificu.edu.