Foreign Languages

Programs


In your Arabic courses at UMUC, you will focus on learning how to read, write, and speak Modern Standard Arabic. You will focus on mastering these skills, as well as typing, within the first few weeks of the introductory Arabic course. In addition, you will learn several Arabic dialects and practice using Arabic in everyday situations.

Please contact languages@umuc.edu about placement into Arabic courses, especially if you have previous experience or proficiency reading or speaking the language. If you have no prior experience with Arabic, please enroll in ARAB 111.


In your Chinese courses at UMUC, you begin by learning the pinyin transliteration system, followed by study of both simplified and traditional characters. You can expect to read approximately 70 new characters per term, while at the same time learning important vocabulary and essential grammar needed to communicate in Chinese. Our introductory course, CHIN 111, features animated videos with multiple playback options.

Please contact languages@umuc.edu about placement into Chinese courses, especially if you have previous experience or proficiency reading or speaking the language. If you have no prior experience with Chinese, please enroll in CHIN 111.


French courses at UMUC are rich with media and feature video shot in France and Quebec with professional actors. You will have ample opportunities to listen to and speak French, and practice your reading and writing.

Please contact languages@umuc.edu about placement into French courses, especially if you have previous experience or proficiency reading or speaking the language. If you have no prior experience with French, please enroll in FREN 111. Courses may not be available for very advanced and native French speakers.

UMUC offers placement testing for French.


German courses at UMUC can help you navigate the differences between colloquial spoken and formal written German. If you successfully complete GERM 111 and GERM 112, you can expect to master most of the tenses and cases in German and have a sound grasp of essential aspects of the language. GERM 211 and 212 continue to develop skills and fluency.

Please contact languages@umuc.edu about placement into German courses, especially if you have previous experience or proficiency reading or speaking the language. If you have no prior experience with German, please enroll in GERM 111. Courses may not be available for very advanced and native German speakers.

UMUC offers placement testing for German.


In your Japanese courses at UMUC, you begin by reading and writing hiragana in JAPN 111, katakana in JAPN 112, and about 150 Chinese characters (kanji) in JAPN 114.  In JAPN 115 and beyond, you continue to develop character recognition and solidify grammar structures in applied situations. The courses aim to introduce essential vocabulary and grammar that provide a sound base for everyday conversation and continued study.

Please contact languages@umuc.edu about placement into Japanese courses, especially if you have previous experience or proficiency reading or speaking the language. If you have no prior experience with Japanese, please enroll in JAPN 111.

In addition, you may consider taking ASTD 135, a language and culture familiarization course that teaches basic Japanese pronunciation, common greetings, and a few essential expressions. If you have taken JAPN 111 or higher or have prior experience with Japanese, you are not permitted to take ASTD 135.


Korean language courses are offered on-site at specific UMUC Asia locations only. However, you may consider taking ASTD 155, a language and culture familiarization course offered on-site and online that teaches basic Korean pronunciation, common greetings, and a few essential expressions. If you have taken KORN 111 or higher or have prior experience with Korean, you are not permitted to take ASTD 155.


In UMUC's Spanish language courses, you will find instruction for students of all levels, from beginners to native speakers.

Please contact languages@umuc.edu about placement into Spanish courses, especially if you have previous experience or proficiency reading or speaking the language. If you have no prior experience with Spanish, please enroll in SPAN 111. Native speakers are not allowed into most UMUC language courses, with the exception of SPAN 314, SPAN 418, and SPAN 419.

Courses may not be available for very advanced and native Spanish speakers.

If you are interested in taking multiple UMUC Spanish language courses, you may be interested in the Undergraduate Certificate in Spanish for Business and the Professions, a 16-credit program that consists entirely of Spanish courses.

UMUC offers placement testing for Spanish.

 

Placement Tests

What is the foreign language placement test?

UMUC offers online placement testing for French, German, and Spanish. If you have questions about placement in other language courses, curriculum, or enrollment, please e-mail languages@umuc.edu.

The placement test for French, German, and Spanish is a self-administered multiple choice exam that is designed to help you land in the language course most suited to your current level of language proficiency. There is no charge for taking this exam.

You should complete the placement exam before you register for classes. The exam is administered online and requires 20 minutes. It is not proctored, but you should not use a dictionary or any other resources to take the test. Because the exam adapts to each student's level, the exam will likely cover both familiar and unfamiliar material, and you should not feel discouraged if you have to guess the answers to some questions. Because this test is used only for placement purposes, you should take the test only once per language.

The online exam cannot be used to satisfy any degree program requirements, earn credits, or substitute for a Course Challenge. The score on this exam and placement will not appear anywhere on your transcript. The score will be retained in UMUC's database and will be accessible only to designated administrators, but will not affect your academic status within the university.

Who should take a placement test?

You must take a placement test before enrolling in French, German, or Spanish language courses at UMUC if you have some degree of written or oral proficiency reading or speaking the language or if you are a native speaker of the language. Native speakers are not allowed into most UMUC language courses, with the exception of SPAN 314, SPAN 418, and SPAN 419.

If you transferred from another institution where you took language courses, and your credits transferred to your UMUC transcript, you will be able to register for the next language course in your series and do not need to take the placement test.

The 111 level of language classes are designed for students with no prior experience in the language. If you have already taken a language course at UMUC, you can enroll for the next course in the series without taking the exam.

If you have any questions about language placement tests, please e-mail languages@umuc.edu or call 240-684-2830.

How do I take a placement test?

If you have been advised to take the online placement test for French, German, or Spanish, please visit the WebCAPE Foreign Language Placement Exam page.

  • Select University of Maryland University College from the menu and click Go.
  • Enter "password" in the password field and click Login.
  • On the next page, choose the language from the dropdown menu, then click Begin.
  • Fill out all the fields on the Student Information page, including your first name, last name, e-mail address, and student ID number (if you do not yet have an ID number, leave this blank).

Once you have completed this page, click to continue and you will be taken to a practice question. When you answer the practice question, the exam will begin. Do not use your browser's "back" button during the exam or it will be interrupted and you will have to re-register to continue. Don't worry if there are questions you cannot answer. The exam is designed to have a variety of questions at a range of levels. Just do your best. Please do not use textbooks or dictionaries or get assistance from anyone to help with the test, as the score will then not accurately reflect the most appropriate level for you.

If you need to stop taking the test for some reason, you may re-enter your information at a later date and resume the exam exactly where you left off. If you have any technical problems or questions, please e-mail languages@umuc.edu.

After taking a placement test, please e-mail languages@umuc.edu for a review of your score. Once your score has been reviewed, you will be informed which course is best for you.

Please make sure you have at least a 56kbps internet connection. WebCAPE is designed to work with most popular modern browsers for Windows, Macintosh, and Unix computers that support Javascript and stylesheets. These include: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera, and Safari. The web browser must have JavaScript turned on.