Lebanon Valley College New Students

Language Placement FAQ’s

Language Placement FAQ’s

What does my language placement recommendation mean?
Upon completing the test, you will see your placement result: a raw score and an LVC language course number. If you continue study in that language at LVC, this is the course in which you should enroll. Here is an overview of your options for fulfilling LVC’s Cross-Cultural Studies requirement for General Education: http://www.lvc.edu/general-education/cross-cultural.aspx

*102/201 options requires the permission of the chair of the Languages Department.

Thus the higher you place, the fewer courses are required to fulfill the language and Foreign Studies requirements.

International Students: Students who have grown up in a non-English speaking culture and successfully completed secondary school work taught in a language other than English may earn credit or be exempt from the language requirement if they meet certain conditions. Students should be referred to the chair of the Languages department for more information.

Do I need to prepare for the test?

No extra studying is necessary. Your result should simply show your proficiency level when you enter the classroom on the first day. Just make sure you have a computer where you can devote a half hour or so to taking the test online, in an environment where you won’t be distracted or interrupted.

How many times am I allowed to repeat the test?

You may take the test one time only. The program will not allow you to submit a second result in the same language.

How long will the test take?

On average, the test will take 20-25 minutes, but there is no time limit. The exam presents questions of different ability levels, adapting the next question’s level according to your answers. The number of items you will be required to complete depends upon your ability to use the language.

What’s to keep me from using a dictionary/translator/friend to help me?

Well, nothing. But keep in mind that a placement above your true ability will only mean frustration for you when you have to produce the same results unaided in a higher-level class!

Does my placement result mean I have to enroll in that class next semester?

No. In cooperation with your academic advisor, you will determine when you wish to complete the foreign language requirement. You also have the option of beginning a new language if you wish. Your placement serves as a recommendation for the right class to take, should you choose to continue with that language. If you enroll in a course lower than your placement, however, that course will NOT fulfill the foreign language requirement for General Education.

If I place into the highest level, have I tested out of the foreign language requirement?

No, but you will be on a fast track to completing your Cross-Cultural Studies requirement in General Education. If you place into the highest level, you can fulfill the General Education requirements for foreign language and Foreign Studies by completing one course at the 300- or 400-level in that language.

I have studied more than one language. Which test do I take?

You must take the placement test for any and all of the three languages (Spanish, French, or German) in which you have completed at least one full year in high school, or one semester in a college or university. Of course, only one language is needed at LVC to fulfill the General Education requirement, but knowing your proficiency level in all languages you’ve studied will give you clear choices of classes to take.

I studied a language OTHER than Spanish, French, or German. What do I do?

If you have studied Italian, or are a native/heritage speaker of Italian, please e-mail flplacement@lvc.edu or contact Dr. Tacelosky in the LVC Department of Languages at (717)867-6255.

If you have studied only a language other than Spanish, French, German, or Italian (i.e., you studied Latin, Chinese, etc.), then you do not have to take a placement test. You may fulfill the General Education foreign language requirement by completing FRN, GMN, ITA, SKT or SPA 101/102.

I am dissatisfied with my placement. What can I do?

Unfortunately you may not re-take the test. You should enroll at the level you placed into and consult with your instructor at the beginning of the term. At that time it will still be possible to determine if a change to another level is advisable. For other inquiries you may e-mail flplacement@lvc.edu.

I do not wish to take LVC classes in the same language I took in high school. Why do I have to take that test anyway?

We require you to take a placement test in any language you have studied because classes and grades on a transcript say very little about the proficiency level you have achieved in that language. It will be helpful to know if a placement into a higher level of language class is an option for you, so that you can weigh that against beginning a new language at the 100-level.

Please see FAQ #1 for advantages to continuing a previously studied language, but foremost you would achieve a deeper, more useful knowledge and fluency in that language and culture than the more superficial familiarity acquired with only one year of training in a new one.

I have studied Spanish, French, or German, but a) it has been a long time since I’ve had a class; or b) I don’t think my teacher was that good; or c) I’m not a language person —I’ll bomb it! Do I still have to take it?

Yes. Just do your best. The result should merely show your proficiency level when you enter the classroom on the first day.

I have studied Spanish, French, or German, but I’d rather just go back to 101 and start over. Why should I take this test?

Completing the intermediate level (201 and 202) or one 300 or 400 level course will put you at an advantage, since you would not only fulfill the foreign language requirement, but also the Foreign Studies component of your General Education requirement. You would also achieve a deeper, more useful knowledge and fluency in that language and culture than the more superficial familiarity acquired with only the elementary level.

If you have studied a language for two years or more at the high school or college level, then the 101/102 sequence at LVC fulfills your foreign language requirement only if at least six full years have passed since your last class in that language.

I have taken (or will take) an AP exam in Spanish, French, or German. Do I still need to take this placement test?

If you receive a score of 4 or 5 on your AP exam, you will receive 3 credits for FRN, GMN, or SPA 202 (intermediate level). You may then enroll in any course at the 300- or 400-level in that language, and your AP result will override this test. If your AP score is lower than a 4, this online test will determine your placement.

I am fluent in a native language other than English. Do I have to take this test?

If your native language is Spanish, French, or German, or if you’ve studied any of these, then yes. We’d like to know your level of fluency. If you’ve never learned Spanish, French, or German, then no.