Sunday, April 9th, 2006 12:59 pm
I was under the impression that a student had to take three years of a foreign language in high school in order to avoid taking a foreign language course in college. My step-mother seems to think only two years are required. High school is far enough behind me that my faulty memory can't be trusted.

Savagefuzzball is filling out her course choices for her junior year in high school and would very much like to avoid the French teacher considering their personality conflicts in the past. If she can elect for something else, she will. If, however, she'd have to take French in college, she'll elect for French III next year.

Can anyone speak with authority on this topic? E-F? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Sunday, April 9th, 2006 05:13 pm (UTC)
I have 2 US based teachers on my Flist - [ profile] capearce and [ profile] hdgotham. They're both groovy people and am sure if nobody comes up with the answer - they wouldn't object to a comment being placed by you on their entries maybe??
Sunday, April 9th, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks, trav; I'll keep them in mind if I'm still confused by this evening. I've done a bit of web searching and it seems to support my "three year" rule but the information remains ambiguous. If necessary, I'll have SFB consult her guidance counselor tomorrow for the definitive answer.
Sunday, April 9th, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC)
Good luck - given that info might vary from state to state, seeing the guidance counsellor would be the best curse of action :)

Bon chance!
Sunday, April 9th, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC)
I don't know that it's a solid rule. Here's what my college website said (and, wow! I actually remembered it correctly!):

Foreign Language (0-6 C.H.)
* Two semesters of the same foreign language or
* One semester of a foreign language at the intermediate level or
* Exemption via proficiency examination

So. Kind of depends on how proficient she is. Not how many years under her belt. Or so it seems....
Sunday, April 9th, 2006 05:36 pm (UTC)
See, I don't remember having to test in for foreign language. Might have been, however, because I took four years of Spanish and they figure if you can pass four years in high school, testing just adds insult to injury! ;)
Sunday, April 9th, 2006 05:14 pm (UTC)
Geez. I think it depends on the school. That's about as helpful as a hole-y bucket, isn't it?

I went to a liberal arts college and it didn't matter HOW many years of foreign language you had, what mattered was whether you could pass a standard competency test -- which, I think, was equivalent to Language 2. Some people passed it easily, others didn't. Sadly, it really didn't seem to matter how many years they'd taken.

But I think that for some colleges, foreign language isn't required at all unless it's related to your major.

Does she know where she might want to go to school? Could you check their online catalog and see?
Sunday, April 9th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
My (faulty) memory tells me I required at least three years of foreign language to avoid taking Spanish I at my local university. My major, at that time, was Psychology. Knowing a foreign language would, of course, be beneficial in that field - but necessary?
Sunday, April 9th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
ACK! You can't get out of foreign language here, at all. And you have to take a placement test before you register, so if you score high enough, you can't take the beginner classes! So, yeah...French was compulsory at my high school; we couldn't get out of it...until the year after me came along, then they could quit.
Sunday, April 9th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
I think only one (or two?) year(s) is compulsory, here. After that, it's an elective.
Sunday, April 9th, 2006 05:39 pm (UTC)
from the uni end, the best our kids can hope for is an internal placement test that will get them into a higher level of a language course once they get here. that isn't necessarily dependent on how much formal course work they did in high school - and many allowances are made for students who have learned a language in other ways (in other words, only 2 years wouldn't hurt her when she got to college if she did some studying on her own).

However, what you may be facing, and should check on, is the state requirements for graduation from high school. She's probably ok with 2 years, but best to be sure.

If she's sure she doesn't want to deal with the French teacher (I had one like that in junior high, and needed a gun held to my head to make me take French again in high school), why not have her try another langugae altogether? Two years each of two languages is unlikely (in my opinion) to be harmful in the college app process. Bearing in mind, of course, that I don't work for admissions...
Sunday, April 9th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC)
It will depend entirely upon which college she goes to. And some majors may have language requirements that others don't. There's no single rule about it.
Sunday, April 9th, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC)
Replying to myself to add that I had four years of high school French, but was still required to take two more years in college.
Sunday, April 9th, 2006 06:09 pm (UTC)
When I entered college in 1986 at the College of William and Mary you needed to have 3 years of a foreign lanuage in high school or pass an entrance exam to test out of the introductory stuff. I think you still had to take a higher level class but I might be mistaken on that.
Sunday, April 9th, 2006 11:36 pm (UTC)
Alas, there's no one answer. It depends entirely on where she goes to college. Different colleges have different requirements in terms of what level of language learning they require from their students. (A few don't even have *any* requirement.) And even then, different colleges count high-school courses differently. My campus requires 4 years of high school (and/or middle school) language to get out of taking it in clooege.

That said, I'd say whether she takes it now or later depends a great deal on how her current French teacher is. Some high schools *really* teach the language, in which case it's best to do it young, while that part of the brain is still taking shape. But some high school language classes are pretty close to useless, in which case she'll learn more actual French if she waits.
Monday, April 10th, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC)
I think I took three years of French in high school, and then had to take a semester when I got to college. But it may depend 1) on the state and (mostly) 2) on the college. (I went to William and Mary in Virginia.)
Thursday, April 13th, 2006 02:00 pm (UTC)
FOr anyone who was dying of curiosity over this:

SFB decided to take French III as an elective just to be on the safe side. She vows NOT to take it next year, however. Her French teacher was dumbfounded when she came for her signature on the course selection sheet. COuld this woman be TRYING to cull her classes? Sheesh. :oP