Foreign Language Requirement Information


What is the Core requirement for language?
The Core foreign language requirement is two semesters of study in the same foreign language.

I took the AP exam in high school. Does that count?
If you scored a 4 or 5, you have met the Core language requirement.

How do scores on the SAT II Achievement Test apply?
A minimum score of 400 in French, German or Spanish will place a student in French, German or Spanish 102. A minimum score of 500 on any SAT II language test will fulfill Gordon's  one-year foreign language requirement.  

What languages does the College offer?
Our curriculum provides for Core level instruction in Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Italian, Latin and Spanish on a regular basis. Language classes beyond the first year are available in all but Italian.

In which languages do you offer tests for meeting the language requirement?
Exams are administered during fall Orientation and early January in five languages: French, German, Italian, Latin and Spanish. These are placement tests and no academic credit is awarded. Note: if a student has placed out of a particular language course, they may not receive credit for taking that same language course at Gordon or off-campus.

What do I do if I want to take one of those exams?
There will be an opportunity to sign up for the exam during first-year or transfer registration.

Can I register for a language course without a placement test?
Students without a valid test score on file with the Registrar's Office must take a placement test at Gordon before enrolling in any course in French, German, Italian, Latin or Spanish. The on-campus placement test must also be taken by all students wishing to continue their study of language, regardless of how many years of that language they have taken. Please note that this includes those students who already have an SAT II or Advanced Placement test on file.

What do I do if I want to attempt to validate the requirement with another language?
Students have earned high school credit for level three of a language other than French, German, Latin or Spanish, or those proficient in another language, must independently arrange to take either the SAT Achievement Test off-campus or a foreign language correspondence test through Brigham Young University ( and then submit their scores to the Registrar's Office.  Contact the Foreign Language Department Chair for more information.

I am a native speaker of a language other than English. Do I have to meet the Core language requirement?
Yes, we must document that you have met the core requirement in an objective way. Here are some ways of documenting and meeting the requirement:

  • An official high school transcript is on record, and it is evident from the record that you spent most of your academic time studying in a language other than English for at least one of those high school years. This means that you took courses like mathematics, biology, or history in the other language.
  • You have earned a score of 5-7 in Language A1, A2, or B, the language being other than English, and taken at the Higher Level for the International Baccalaureate. You have an official transcript on record.
  • You may take a placement test in any language for which we already have a placement exam. Look for announcements to register during the first month of classes each semester.
  • If you know another language besides your native language fairly well, consider taking a placement test in that language, especially if it is offered free at Orientation.
  • You may study a full year of any language at a pre-approved college.
  • If your situation is not covered in any provision above, you may request an exam in your native language. Such cases can sometimes, but not always be accommodated. There is a fee for this service, and it is a slow process, needing a great deal of lead time. Contact the chair of the foreign language department.

I have a learning disability. Do I have to take a foreign language?
You should contact the office of Academic Support. Recent documentation regarding your learning disability must be on file there, and it will determine what kinds of accommodations are appropriate. The answer to this question has to be addressed individually.

Can I take American Sign Language for my core requirement?
American Sign Language does not meet the Core language requirement. However, you may take an ASL course elsewhere for credit and transfer it as an elective toward your total graduation hours. The College does not currently offer ASL, but there is an active Deaf Ministry on campus.