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Modern Languages

Language Placement

When in my studies is the best time to take language courses?

Many students plan on taking a language course but are unsure when in their studies the best time is to enroll. It is often good advice to register for language courses as early as possible in your studies. Not only will your language skills probably be at their sharpest then, if you had been learning a second language before entering college, but this will also give you the option of majoring more easily in a language and of becoming as proficient as possible before graduating.

How do I know what language course to take?

The Modern Languages faculty use a few different means of determining what course you would be best placed into. Of course if you are beginning a language you would take 101. If you’ve had prior instruction in the language in high school, in general divide the number of years of high school instruction you have had in half to estimate what its equivalent is in university level instruction. Thus, if you had two years of a language in high school, you might consider skipping the first year in our programs and enrolling in the third semester course, which would be 201. However, since high school instruction can vary, you can obtain a more accurate measure by taking the UW Foreign Language Placement Test in the language you would like to study. And of course, better yet is to simply ask one of our language faculty.

Are the Placement Tests required?

No, they are not required but we recommend all students with prior language instruction to take the placement test.

Are the placement decisions binding?

No. The student and his or her advisor view the placement test score as an indicator of the student's proficiency, but the student may elect to enroll one level higher or lower. You should also further solicit your instructor’s opinion of your placement as well during the first week of the semester.

Do students receive credit for taking the test?

No. The tests are for placement only.

What is the policy on AP (Advanced Placement) scores?

Students who receive a 3 or higher on the French, German or Spanish Language Advanced Placement exam are awarded 8 credits for 101 and 102. Students who receive a 3 or higher on the French or Spanish Literature Advanced Placement exam are awarded 3 elective credits the language. There is no German Literature Advanced Placement exam. Students intending to continue their foreign language study at UW-Green Bay may be eligible to receive more than the 8 credits awarded for successful completion of each Advanced Placement foreign language exam through UW-Green Bay's Retroactive Credit for Foreign Language study program. Interested students are encouraged to view the Office if Institutional Research Assessment web site for information on Advanced Placement exams and Retroactive Credit for Foreign Language study.

If a student took an AP test in French, German or Spanish, should s/he still take the placement test?

For all students planning to continue their foreign language study at UW-Green Bay, immediately or perhaps later, the answer to this question is "yes."

How do I get additional information about placement testing at UWGB?

You can contact a faculty member in the Modern Languages Program or for general questions, including when the tests are offered, contact:

Pam Gilson, Testing Coordinator
Testing Services, CL 835
2420 Nicolet Drive
Green Bay, WI 54311-7001