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Foreign Language

Foreign Language Requirement

Gordon College has a one-year (101, 102) foreign language requirement. Incoming students who have completed levels 1 and 2 of a given language in high school may enroll in 101 in that same language without taking a placement test, as well as students beginning study in a new language.  Incoming students who have completed level 3 or higher in high school must take the placement test before enrolling in any course in that language.  Alternatively, incoming students who have taken the AP Exam or SATII in a given language may also use those scores (if they meet the required threshold) to place out of the foreign-language requirement.  If they want to continue studying that particular language at Gordon, they will need to take the placement test to be placed in the appropriate level.

Foreign Language Placement Exams for French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean and Italian
are proctored online, and can be taken anytime.  Sign up through this form to enter your information and schedule your exam. You will need your Gordon email address to access and complete the form.  Placement exams for other languages are scheduled through the Languages and Linguistics department. 

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. See AP and SAT II schedule for more information.

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

*beginning in even numbered years.
**beginning in odd numbered years.

What do I do if I want to attempt to validate the requirement with another language?
Students who know or have studied a language not otherwise tested at Gordon may opt to take the BYU-FLATS exam in that language in order to meet (validate) their CORE language requirement.

Students who have submitted a TOEFL, IELTS, or qualifying score on an SATII subject test to the College for admissions do not need to take one of these exams. The College will offer a session each semester for students to take this exam on campus and will announce it through student news. See this page 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 have an original TOEFL scores or IELTF score on record.
  • You may study a full year of any language at a pre-approved college
  • If your situation is not covered in any provision above, there is also online placement testing in many other languages through Brigham-Young.  These tests are available once/semester and will be coordinated by the Languages and Linguistics Dept.

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.