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Modern Languages

Placement Information

The Department of Modern Languages administers an online placement exam. Please see the department for instructions. The WebCAPE language placement exam was developed by Brigham Young University. These tests are designed to determine which foreign language course students should take, based on their ability. The exam presents questions of different levels, adapting the questions according to the students' answers. Once started, students answer each question without interruption until the test is completed. Allow 15-20 minutes. The number of questions is not fixed–the exam will ask as many (or few) as necessary to determine your ability. It eventually returns an ability estimate value and indicates the corresponding language course. Please print your results and hand them to the department and your instructor.

In order to register for your first course in Spanish or French, the Department of Modern Languages must determine your level, which is done by a placement exam. There are two primary categories for students: beginner, and non-beginner. 

For the former, beginner, the student has had little to no formal exposure to a foreign language. An example of this is a student who grew up in a household where only English was spoken. These students are considered absolute beginners and will start at the 111 level. If previous study was taken prior to BCC, then it is possible that the student place into the 2nd semester (112).

Heritage speakers, or non-beginners, are those who speak a language other than English at home. Often this is their first or second language and mastery of the language in both spoken and written forms varies considerably. Heritage speakers and foreign transfer students cannot take beginning or introductory language courses in their home or native language and must take the placement exam.

Heritage speakers and foreign students of Spanish and French who wish to enroll in these languages will be placed by examination. There are special courses for heritage speakers of Spanish (SPN 110 and SPN 113). Heritage learners are also encouraged to gain proficiency in another foreign language, like Arabic, Italian, or Portuguese.

The Department of Modern Languages does not grant exemption or college credit for the Regents examination, regardless of score.

CLEP (College Level Examination Program): The BCC Department of Modern Languages will follow the CUNY wide Council on Foreign Language Study policy of not granting college credit or exempting the students from the instituted language requirement.

AP (Advanced Placement): The BCC Department of Modern Languages will grant 3 credits-equivalent for SPN 120 course to those students who receive a score of 5 on the AP Spanish Language Exam. The Department of Modern Languages will grant 6 credits-equivalent for SPN 121 and 122 courses to those students who receive a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Spanish Literature Exam.


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