Language Proficiency

Why does the RCAH have a language proficiency requirement?

The study and use of world languages is an essential part of the experience of RCAH students. In learning a language other than English, students are able to gain greater insight into other cultures as well as their own. Language proficiency is a way to understand and interact with other cultures. It is also a valuable skill for employment in today's world.

What level of proficiency does the RCAH require?

For more commonly taught languages (French, Spanish, German), RCAH expects students to attain the Intermediate Mid Level as described by the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. For the Less Commonly Taught Languages, RCAH expects students to attain the Intermediate Low Level as described by the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.

Are there any restrictions on which language I choose to learn?

Students are able to choose the language in which they would like to become proficient. However, because the RCAH defines proficiency as the USE of language, Latin, Ancient Greek, and computer languages do not satisfy the proficiency requirement.

How can I become proficient in a language other than English?

The RCAH has created a Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) model to provide opportunities for students to apply and strengthen their knowledge of world languages and cultures in a variety of curricular and extra-curricular contexts within the RCAH as well as in the wider community. This program is in addition to the language courses and other resources (CeLTA, Conversation Connection, Workshops for Language Learners) offered through the College of Arts and Letters.

Integrated Language Options

Integrated Language Options (ILOs) constitute the core elements of the RCAH CLAC Program. ILOs provide language immersion opportunities for students. In an ILO, students use the language to collaborate with each other and their language fellow on a semester-long project.


  • Are connected to a theme or topic of an RCAH course
  • Are led by native or near-native speakers of the language
  • Are conducted entirely in the world language
  • Meet 2 to 3 hours each week
  • Do not require homework assignments
  • Are not graded
  • Do not affect a student’s grade in an RCAH course
  • Do not have any prerequisites; students of any proficiency level can participate

What are the RCAH graduation requirements for language proficiency?

The current graduation requirements are:

  1. Complete 6 credits of RCAH 390;
  2. Complete one of the following two options:

A.   Pass the oral language proficiency test, or

B.   Complete the equivalent coursework through the 202-level and at least one 300-level course, all in one of the approved languages.  A study abroad/away experience can substitute for one or more of the courses required in Option B with approval of the RCAH Director of Student Affairs and the RCAH director of the Language Proficiency Program, in consultation with the leader of the student’s study abroad/away program.

What RCAH resources are available?

In addition to participating in Integrated Language Options, the RCAH Language and Media Center supports world language proficiency through an array of resources and services, including a library of films; dictionaries and other reference books; magazines and newspapers, and board games. The LMC is located in E037 Snyder Hall (terrace level) and is open Sunday through Thursday, 1 to 10 p.m., and Friday, 1 to 5 p.m.