Foreign Language Placement

Correct placement in foreign language courses is an important consideration for UB students and for teachers of foreign languages. See an appropriate advisor for ascertaining correct placement level before registering for a language course. Students who are judged to be misplaced by the instructor will be moved to an appropriate-level language course during the first week of classes. This will ensure not only that students are obtaining the optimal language training for their level of proficiency, but also that there is consistency in proficiency level across students in each class.

The following placement guidelines should be followed:

  • Students who have studied a foreign language for less than one year and who have not completed a Regents Examination in that language, or students who are embarking on the study of a new language, should enroll in the first-year sequence (e.g. Japanese 101-102, Thai 191-192). This sequence will satisfy the General Education Language Requirement.
  • Students who are transferring college coursework to UB equivalent to a UB first-year first-semester course (e.g. 101 or 191) may enroll in the first-year second-semester course for that language at UB (e.g. 102 or 192), and will satisfy their General Education Language Requirement by completing this course.
  • Spanish 104, French 104, German 104, and Chinese 105 are accelerated reviews of the basics of these languages for students who have studied these languages for more than one year and/or passed a Regents Examination (or equivalent) in this language. These Transitional courses satisfy the General Education Language Requirement.
  • Russian 104, Chinese 104 and Spanish 171 are courses for Heritage speakers, i.e. speakers who have good spoken proficiency in one of these languages but have had little or no formal training, including literacy training, in this language. These courses satisfy the General Education Language Requirement.
  • Students who have completed at least 3 years of language study and have passed a Regents Examination in that language (or equivalent), and who are capable of doing more advanced work than provided in the Transitional courses (e.g. 104 or 105) will be placed in the first-semester second-year course (or higher) for that language (e.g. Spanish 151, Modern Greek 193). This course (or any higher-level course) will satisfy the General Education Language Requirement. Students should consider this training as an important step toward further language study, future study abroad, and internationalization of their studies.

NOTE: Students who have completed coursework in a foreign language either at UB or at another college or university will not be allowed to register in a course which assumes a proficiency level lower than that already completed. Students may not receive credit for either first-year first-semester courses (e.g. 101 or 191) or first-year second-semester courses (e.g. 102 or 192) if they receive credit for a 104 or 105 course in the same language. Students repeating a course in which a failing grade was received must do so prior to registering in a higher-level course.

Students fluent in a language other than English or whose primary/secondary education was conducted in a language other than English may not take first-year or second-year courses in that language. See the Language Requirement section of the General Education statement in the catalog for alternative ways of satisfying the Gen Ed language requirement.

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