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Department of Global Languages & Cultures

Foreign Language Competency at Rollins FAQs:

Yes. The Foreign Language Competency requirement supports Rollins College’s mission to educate students for global citizenship and responsible leadership. With that aim, all students must fulfill the “F” competency by successfully completing a course at the 200-level or above in the languages taught in the Global Languages & Cultures Department or Classical Studies Program, which are: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish. While students may pass the class with a grade below C-, they must earn a C- or above to fulfill their “F” competency requirement.

Yes. The only students who enter Rollins with the language competency fulfilled are: 

1.  International students who have been admitted to the College based on their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score. 

2.  Students who have been admitted to the College based on an overall band score of 6.5 or higher on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). This test must be taken before admission to serve as a means of exemption. 

3.  Students who transfer to Rollins with an AA degree from a regionally-accredited community college or state college. 

4.  Students who have scored a 4 or 5 on the AP exam in a modern foreign language, or a 5 on the AP exam in an ancient language. 

5.  Students who have scored a 6 or 7 on the IB exam in a modern foreign language course. 

Because different high schools have different foreign languages curricula, we recommend all students take a placement test (Webcape) to determine which level is the most appropriate under the Rollins foreign languages curriculum. This test can be found in the Global Languages and Cultures Dept. website and it is free to all Rollins students. You can take the test as many times as you wish, though you will be placed according to the placement score and your high-school transcripts.

Native speakers or heritage speakers of any language other than English who have NOT taken the TOEFL or CBT before entering Rollins can complete an adequate 200-level course (a one-semester course designed for heritage speakers) or complete ONE course in international culture at any level. (Example: A native speaker of Farsi (no TOEFL) can take one internationally-focused culture course (such as LAC 200: Foundations of Latin American Culture and Society). In order to determine which students possess the level of linguistic proficiency of a native speaker in the languages regularly taught at Rollins College (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Latin, and Spanish), students shall consult the Department of Global Languages and Cultures. 

Native speakers or heritage speakers of any language other than English who have NOT taken the TOEFL or CBT before entering Rollins can complete an adequate 200-level course (a one-semester course designed for heritage speakers) or complete ONE course in international culture at any level. (Example: A native speaker of Farsi (no TOEFL)  can take one internationally-focused culture course (such as LAC 200: Foundations of Latin American Culture and Society). In order to determine which students possess the level of linguistic proficiency of a native speaker in the languages regularly taught at Rollins College (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Latin, and Spanish), students shall consult the Department of Global Languages and Cultures.

No. If you completed your TOEFL, your scores will automatically appear on Foxlink. If you have any issues obtaining your TOEFL scores, please contact the Admissions office. https://www.rollins.edu/admission-aid/

Students who have scored a 4 or 5 on the AP exam in a modern foreign language, or a 5 on the AP exam in an ancient language, as well as students who have scored a 6 or 7 on the IB exam in a modern foreign language will have their “F” competency automatically satisfied. We highly encourage these students to continue with their language studies at Rollins to further master their language and cultural abilities. 

If you have taken less than a year of a foreign language prior to coming to Rollins, you should enroll in a basic 101 level course. However, if you have completed more than a year, we do not recommend starting in the lowest level. Our courses are designed to review material from the previous levels within the first weeks of class.

Only students who meet one or more of the following criteria can be exempted from the Foreign Language Competency upon admission to Rollins College: 

1.  International students who have been admitted to the College based on their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score. 

2.  Students who have been admitted to the College based on an overall band score of 6.5 or higher on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). This test must be taken admission to serve as a means of exemption. 

3.  Students who transfer to Rollins with an AA degree from a regionally-accredited community college or state college. 

4.  Students who have scored a 4 or 5 on the AP exam in a modern foreign language, or a 5 on the AP exam in an ancient language. 

5.  Students who have scored a 6 or 7 on the IB exam in a modern foreign language. 

Note 4:  Any additional language requirements in a student’s major beyond the “F” competency may or may not be fulfilled by the above exemption criteria.  Students must consult with their academic advisors or their major departments to ensure that they are fulfilling all major requirements related to language study in their particular majors.

Students with a documented learning disability in foreign language study who have registered with the Office of Accessibility Services may qualify for an accommodation: taking two international culture courses in lieu of language study. See the Office of Accessibility Services for more details. https://www.rollins.edu/accessibility-services/

Yes. You can choose to study any of the languages we currently offer in Global Languages and Cultures. You can continue with the language you started prior to your arrival at Rollins or you can opt to start a brand new language.

We encourage our students to choose one of the many languages we currently offer at Rollins. "However, in order to fulfill the "F" competency through a language not taught at Rollins, you must successfully complete a course at the 200-level or above in other languages taught at a regionally-accredited institution of higher learning. This option requires approval from the current chair of Global Languages and Cultures. https://www.rollins.edu/registrar/forms/

three courses (or the equivalent of three semesters). Typically our language courses are numbered 101 (Elementary I), 102 (Elementary II), 201 (Intermediate I). Only courses at the 200 and 300 levels count for language majors and minors.

No. Courses must be taken in sequence. This does not mean that all students need to start at the 101 (Elementary) level. This is when a language placement test can help the student decide which level is more appropriate. If a student starts at the 102 level (Elementary II), you cannot go back to a 101 level (Elementary II) the following semester. Likewise, if a student begins at 101 level, you cannot jump to the 201 level without completion of 102. During the first week of class, you should decide whether the course level is adequate for you; otherwise you may switch levels during the add/drop period.

Yes. Online courses from a regionally-accredited institution of higher learning may be accepted; however, the Department reserves the right to examine each request individually to ensure the online course meets the Department’s learning standards and expectations and provides the same level and quality of language instruction as a face-to-face class. The appropriate document needs to be signed by the department chair prior to completion of the online course. https://www.rollins.edu/registrar/forms/

Yes. In order to do so, the student must successfully complete a course at the 200-level or above in languages taught at a regionally-accredited institution of higher learning. However, the Department reserves the right to examine each request individually to ensure the online course meets the Department’s learning standards and expectations and provides the same level and quality of language instruction. Students planning on taking a language course at a regionally-accredited institution must provide the course syllabus to the Department chair of Global Languages and Cultures. The appropriate document needs to be signed by the department chair prior to completion of the course. https://www.rollins.edu/registrar/forms/

The placement exam is designed to let the student know which level is appropriate for them once they arrive at Rollins. Because different high schools provide different language and culture curricula, the Global Languages and Cultures department wants to ensure that each student is adequately placed in a level according to their linguistic abilities. Students who do not take a placement test run the risk of not being placed in a language course their first semester at Rollins. Students also risk being placed in the wrong level or wrong language. The placement test is free and you can take it up to five times.

Yes, students can take it up to five times. However, the Global Languages and Cultures Department recommends that you take the placement test only once. Set aside 45 minutes and concentrate as best as you can. The score of this placement test is simply designed to match your abilities with the appropriate level of the language. Students will not be penalized for getting a low score. Likewise, students will not be exempt from the F-competency for getting a high score.

No. This language test is a simple multiple-choice exam that gives us a relative idea of how much of the foreign language you comprehend, but it does not measure your speaking or writing abilities in the language. The score of this placement test is simply designed to match your abilities with the appropriate level of the language. Students will not be penalized for getting a low score. Likewise, students will not be exempt from the “F” competency for getting a high score.

Students with a documented learning disability in foreign language study who have registered with the Office of Accessibility Services at Rollins may qualify for an accommodation: taking two international culture courses in lieu of language study. A list of approved courses is available in the Registrar’s webpage. See the Office of Accessibility Services for more details regarding documentation to be exempt from the “F” competency.

WebCape is an online placement assessment tool designed to help students register for the appropriate level of language education. No WebCape score, no matter how high, exempts any student from the outlined ways to meet or be exempted from the “F” competency requirement. This test can be taken at any time. You can retake the test if you wish or simply wait for registration time and register for a more adequate level.

There is often a time lag as these scores are updated weekly. Do not be concerned if your Webcape score does not show up immediately on your Foxlink. As long as you complete the placement test, your scores will be stored for up to a year.

Regular language courses at the 100 and 200 levels use Webcape scores for accreditation reasons. This means that a faculty member in your class might ask you to take the placement test at the beginning and at the end of the semester. If a faculty member at Rollins does not request that you retake the placement test, you should not have to retake it. Student scores are stored for up to a year.

Having a high score on the placement test will not exempt you from having to complete the F-requirement. A high score in the 0-900 scale might indicate that the student is a heritage or native speaker of that particular language. In that case, the student can request permission from the Global Languages and Literatures department to register for any 300-level course. Native speakers or heritage speakers of any language other than English who have NOT taken the TOEFL or CBT before entering Rollins can complete an adequate 200 or 300 level course (a one-semester course designed for heritage speakers) or complete ONE course in international culture at any level. 

Example: A native speaker of Farsi (no TOEFL)  can take one internationally-focused culture course (such as LAC 200: Foundations of Latin American Culture and Society).

The add/drop period is precisely set in place to allow students to find the right language level. If you feel you have been placed in a lower or higher level language course, simply contact your advisor and switch levels. A student cannot switch levels midway through the regular academic semester.

Any 200 or 300 level language course satisfies the “F” competency at Rollins. While students may pass that course with a grade below C-, they must earn a C- or above in order to fulfill their “F” competency requirement.  Students will either start the language sequence at the elementary level (101, 102) or be placed in a higher-level to start based on the language placement score.

Yes. Any 300-400 level course taught by the Global Languages and Cultures Department can satisfy the F-competency. While students may pass the class with a grade below C-, they must earn a C- or above to fulfill their “F” competency requirement.

An updated list of these courses is available on the following link from the Registrar’s office: https://www.rollins.edu/registrar/.../foreign-language-substitutions.pdf

Please contact the Chair of the Global Languages and Cultures Department for further questions or information.