Foreign Languages

Programs

Arabic courses focus on learning to read, write and speak Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The first few weeks are spent mastering learning to read, write, and type in Arabic. In addition, students will get a taste of several of the Arabic dialects and explore aspects of culture relevant to using Arabic in everyday situations.

Please contact the Academic Director for Foreign Languages about placement into Arabic if you have had prior contact with the Arabic language (whether through class work, experience living in an Arabic-speaking place, or personal acquaintances). Those with no prior contact with Arabic may enroll in ARAB 111.

UMUC's Chinese courses begin by teaching students the pinyin transliteration system, followed by study of both simplified and traditional characters. Students 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. UMUCs online version of CHIN 111 is an award winning course that features animated videos with multiple playback options.

Please contact the Academic Director for Foreign Languages about placement into Chinese if you have had prior contact with the Chinese language (whether through class work, experience living in a Chinese -speaking place, or personal acquaintances). Those with no prior contact with Chinese may enroll in CHIN 111.

German courses at UMUC help students navigate the differences between colloquial spoken and formal written German. Students who successfully complete GERM 111 and GERM 112 can expect to master most of the tenses and cases in German and have a sound grasp of essential aspects of the language.

If you have had any prior experience with the German language, either through studying or living abroad, learning informally from friends or family, or high school or other coursework that did NOT transfer to UMUC, you should take a placement test prior to enrollment. GERM 111 is designed for students with NO prior experience in German. Only students with no prior contact with German should register for GERM 111 without taking the placement test. Courses may not be available for very advanced and native speakers.

Japanese at UMUC begins by introducing students to reading and writing hiragana (JAPN 111), katakana (JAPN 112) and finally about 70 Chinese characters (kanji) in JAPN 114. The courses aim to introduce essential vocabulary and grammar that provide a sound base for everyday conversation and continued study. The three course sequence in Japanese (JAPN 111, 112, 114) fulfills the language requirement for the East Asian Studies major.

Please contact the Academic Director for Foreign Languages about placement into Japanese if you have had prior contact with the Japanese language (whether through class work, experience living in a Japanese -speaking place, or personal acquaintances). Those with no prior contact with Japanese may enroll in JAPN 111.

The Spanish program at UMUC offers courses in Spanish for nearly every level student, whether you have never studied Spanish or have studied for years or grew up speaking Spanish and want to improve your reading and writing ability. The program ultimately leads to a Certificate in Spanish for Business and the Professions, a credential that can demonstrate to employers facility in Spanish appropriate to a professional environment.

If you have had any prior experience with the Spanish language, either through studying or living abroad, learning informally from friends or family, or high school or other coursework that did NOT transfer to UMUC, you should take a placement test prior to enrollment. SPAN 111 is designed for students with NO prior experience in Spanish. Only students with no prior contact with Spanish should register for SPAN 111 without taking the placement test. Students with some degree of oral proficiency in Spanish who wish to improve skills in written Spanish should take the placement test prior to enrollment. Heritage and native speakers MUST take the placement test before registering for a language course. Native speakers are not allowed into most UMUC language courses with the exception of SPAN 318. Courses may not be available for very advanced and native speakers.

Note: If an instructor determines that a student is enrolled in a level below his/her ability, the student will be moved to a more appropriate course.

 

Placement Tests

What is the Foreign Language Placement Test?

UMUC offers online placement tests for Spanish and German. If you have questions about enrolling in languages other than Spanish or German contact languages@umuc.edu. This self-administered multiple choice test is designed to help us place you 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 itself is administered online, and can be accessed from any computer and will require around 20 minutes. It is not proctored, but you should not use a dictionary or any other resources to take the test. Since 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 at some questions. Because this test is used only for placement purposes, you should take the CAPE test only once (per language).

The online exam cannot be used to satisfy any degree program requirements. No credits will be awarded on the basis of the online exam and the exam may not be used in lieu of a Course Challenge. The score on this exam and placement will not appear anywhere on your transcript. The score will be retained on UMUCs database and will be accessible only to designated administrators, but will not in any way affect your academic status within the University or the Foreign Languages program.

Who should take a placement test?

The online placement test is only for students of Spanish or German. If you have placement questions about other languages, please contact languages@umuc.edu. If you have NEVER studied or had prior exposure to Spanish or German you do NOT need to take the exam, and you may enroll directly in SPAN/GERM 111.

If you have already taken a language course at UMUC, then you can enroll for the next course in the series without taking the exam.

If you transfer from another institution where language was taken and the credits transferred to your UMUC transcript, the transfer credits will also allow you to register for the next course in the series and you do not need to take placement exam.

SPAN111 and GERM 111 are designed for students with NO prior experience in Spanish/German. If you have had any prior experience with the Spanish or German language, either through studying or living abroad, learning informally from friends or family, or high school or other coursework that did NOT transfer to UMUC, should take a placement exam prior to enrollment. Students with some degree of oral proficiency in Spanish or German who wish to have instruction in written Spanish or German should also take the placement test prior to enrollment. Heritage and native speakers MUST take the placement exam before registering for a language course. Native speakers are not allowed into most UMUC language courses with the exception of SPAN/GERM 318. Courses may not be available for very advanced and native speakers.

If you have questions regarding whether or not you should take a language placement test, please contact languages@umuc.edu or 240-684-2830.

How do I take a placement test?

If you have been advised to take a placement test, please go to the following Web address: http://webcape.byuhtrsc.org

This link will take you directly to the WebCape Exam Page. Scroll down until you come to UMUC (University of Maryland University College). You will then be asked to enter the following password, "password", then click "Login". You will be taken to the next page, where you will be asked for which language you wish to complete the exam. Choose "Spanish" or "German" from the drop down menu, then click "Begin".

Please fill out all the fields on the Student Information page, including First Name, Last Name, your active E-mail address, and your student ID number (if you do not yet have an ID number, leave this blank).

Once you have completed this page, click on "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, 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 reenter your information at a later date and resume the exam exactly where you left off. If you have any technical problems or questions please email languages@umuc.edu.

After taking a placement test, please email 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.

Software/hardware requirements:
Connection: At least 56k/s Internet Connection
Internet Browser: WebCAPE is designed to work with most popular modern browsers for Windows, Macintosh, and Unix computers that support Javascript and stylesheets. These include: Firefox, Mozilla, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera, Safari. The web browser must have JavaScript turned on.