Language Placement and Advising

Language Placement, Second Language Requirement, and Credit for Prior Knowledge

Language Placement: CAPE Test

If you studied a second language in high school, or if you have some prior knowledge, you should take a placement test before enrolling in a language course at UALR. The test is free and your score is available immediately. CAPE (Computer Adaptive Placement Exam) tests vocabulary, reading comprehension, and grammar knowledge. There is no listening or speaking section. You may take the test only once. The CAPE test is administered by the Office of Testing Services, Ross Hall 409 (phone 569 3198).

The Second Language Requirement at UALR

Students pursuing a BA degree at UALR are required to complete a 2000-level second language course OR demonstrate that they already have proficiency at that level. Check with your advisor if you are not sure whether you have a language requirement. Choose the option below that is best for you.

Options for completing the second language requirement
  1. If you have no knowledge of a second language, you will need 9 credits (three semesters) of a language other than English. You can meet the requirement by completing the 9 credits in Mandarin Chinese, French, German, or Spanish at UALR, as follows:
    • CHIN 1311, 1312, 2311
    • FREN 1311, 1312, 2311
    • GERM 1311, 1312, 2311
    • SPAN 1311, 1312, 2311
  2. Get college credit for what you already know (“retro credit”). Save time and money! Take the CAPE test in the language you studied. If your score qualifies you to enroll in a course higher than 1311, and you earn an A or B in the course, you may receive free credit (retro credit) for the course(s) you skipped, as follows:
    • CAPE score→1312→earn A or B in 1312→credit for 1311 (3 free credits)
    • CAPE score→2311→earn A or B in 2311→credit for 1311/1312 (6 free credits)
    • CAPE score→2312 or higher level course→earn A or B in the course you placed into→credit for 1311/1312/2311 (9 free credits)*

    * Meeting the second language requirement without credit. If you place into 2312 or higher, you have demonstrated the proficiency needed to meet the second language requirement! You will have met the requirement without course credits. If you wish to obtain retro credit for the courses skipped, you must take the course you placed into and earn an A or B, as explained above.

    Caution: Retro credit is not automatic—you must contact the DISLS office (569 3272) or the academic advisor, Sharon Sellars (569 3274) to request that credits for courses skipped be added to your transcript.

    If you earn a C or D in the course you tested into, the course will count toward the language requirement but you are not eligible to receive credit for courses skipped.

  3. AP Test. If you had Advanced Placement courses in high school and received a score of 3 on the language portion of the AP test in the language you studied, you will receive credit for 1311, 1312, and 2311 (the courses needed to meet the second language requirement). There is no fee for the credits.
  4. CLEP Test. Scoring well in the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is another way to receive free credits. The following chart shows examples for French, German, and Spanish.
    Language CLEP score # of credits UALR courses
    French 50 6 FREN 1311, 1312
    56 9 FREN 1311, 1312, 2311
    59 12 1311, 1312, 2311, and one additional 2000-level FREN course
    German 50 6 GERM 1311, 1312
    55 9 GERM 1311, 1312, 2311
    60 12 1311, 1312, 2311, 2312
    Spanish** 50 6 SPAN 1311, 1312
    56 9 SPAN 1311, 1312, 2311
    63 12 1311, 1312, 2311 and one additional 2000-level SPAN course

    ** If you took the CLEP test before August 2007, the cut-off score may be slightly different. Contact the Testing Office (569 3198) if this applies to you.

  5. Accelerated Option—for those who speak, read, write and understand a second language at an advanced level. This option allows students who understand, speak, read, and write French, German, or Spanish well to get up to 24 college credits toward a language major. Students take an oral proficiency test and a writing test, at a cost of approximately $200. Those who achieve the necessary ratings may be granted 24 hours of free credit toward a major in the language. Students who qualify for the 24 hours must then complete 12 hours (4 courses) of upper-level coursework, with at least 6 hours (2 courses) at the 4000-level for a BA in the language. The 24 “retro” credits are granted after the student has declared a major and completed at least one 4000-level course in the language. Usually, students who are eligible for the Accelerated Option have grown up with the language or learned it during an extended stay abroad. If you think you might qualify for the Accelerated Option, or just want more information, contact Dr. Mary Anne Garnett (569 8204).
Other Options for Completing the Second Language Requirement
  1. Transfer Credits. If you completed at least 9 hours of any language other than English at another college or university, including colleges or universities abroad, those transfer credits can be used to meet the second language requirement. Contact the department chair (569 8204) if you need more information.
  2. ASL: you can meet the second language requirement by completing 9 credits of American Sign Language. ASL is offered by the Counseling, Adult, and Rehabilitation Education Department.
  3. If your first language is not English: if English is your second language, you may use the following core courses (9 credits) to satisfy the second language requirement:
    • RHET 1311 Composition I
    • RHET 1312 Composition II
    • ENGL 2337 World Literature OR ENGL 2338 World Literature Themes OR PHIL 2320 Ethics and Society.
  4. Intensive English Language Program. Students who complete the 9-credit Intensive English Language Program may use those credits to satisfy the second language requirement. Contact Dr. Alan Lytle, the IELP Director, for further information.

Updated 7.23.2009