Language Proficiency


As the COVID pandemic continues to affect education abroad programming, RCAH has instituted Alternative Language Requirements for students graduating through 2023. The changes are noted below in blue and bold.

Why does RCAH have a language proficiency requirement?

NOTE: As the COVID pandemic continues to affect education abroad programming, RCAH has instituted Alternative Language Requirements for students graduating through 2023. (The changes are noted below in red.) These alternatives are intended to assist students who had planned to meet the requirement through education abroad experiences. These DO NOT apply to students graduating after December 2023.

The fostering of understanding and respect for the cultural values of different peoples is at the core of RCAH's mission. In learning and using a language other than English, students are able to gain greater insight into other cultures as well as their own. They also gain a valuable skill for employment in today’s world.

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, Latin, Ancient Greek, and computer languages do not satisfy the proficiency requirement.

What language learning resources are available for me?

RCAH’s Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) Program provides students with opportunities to apply and strengthen their knowledge of world languages and cultures in a variety of curricular and extracurricular contexts within RCAH as well as in the wider community. In addition to the CLAC Program, language courses and other resources (CeLTA) are offered through the College of Arts and Letters.

Integrated Language Options

Integrated Language Options (ILOs) are one component 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 a language fellow on a semester-long project. ILOs

  • 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 approximately two 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 pre-requisites; students of any proficiency level can participate

What level of proficiency does RCAH require?

Students should be able to engage in and contribute to the development of meaningful discourse on personal, professional, or academic topics. Students taking the RCAH Speaking Test in French, German, or Spanish must reach Level 3 (Functional Ability). Students taking the test in all other languages must reach Level 2 (Limited Ability).

Through the 2020-2021 academic year, RCAH students may take the Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI) through CeLTA. The ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) will continue to remain available for students. For more commonly taught languages (French, German, Spanish), students must attain the Intermediate Mid Level. For all Less Commonly Taught Languages, students must attain the Intermediate Low Level as described by the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.

What are the RCAH graduation requirements for language proficiency?

Complete ONE of the following:

  1. Pass the RCAH Speaking Test OR the language proficiency test offered through CeLTA
  2. Complete language courses up to one semester at the 300 level
  3. Participate in an approved language-intensive study abroad

What other RCAH resources are available?

In addition to participating in Integrated Language Options, the RCAH Language and Media Center (LMC) supports world language proficiency through an array of resources and services, including a wide selection of language software; a library of films; dictionaries and other reference books; and board games. The LMC is located in E037 Snyder Hall (terrace level). For current hours, check the LMC website.

Who should I contact for more information or if I have questions?

Contact Professor India Plough (, the Director of the Language Proficiency Program.

Alternative Language Requirement for RCAH

Approved 11/12/2021 by RCAH College Academic Committee (CAC)


Students who will be graduating through 2023 will be allowed to meet the RCAH Language Proficiency Requirement in the following ways:

  1. Pass the RCAH Speaking Test OR the language proficiency test offered through CeLTA
  2. Participate in an approved language-intensive study abroad
  3. Complete an approved combination of language and cultural studies courses
  1. Complete language courses up to one semester at the 300 level
  2. Complete 2 years of language courses + 1 additional cultural course
  3. Complete 1 year of language courses + 3 additional cultural courses
  4. Complete a minor in one of the following area studies programs (see below) 


Approved Cultural Courses:

AAAS 100: Race and Community
AAAS 390: Spec Topics Black and Africana Studies
AIIS 201: Intro Amer Indian Indigenous Studies
ANP 220: Gender Relations in Comparative Perspective
ANP 321: Anthropology of Social Movements
ANP 330: Race, Ethnicity, and Nation
ANP 410: Anthropology of Latin America
ANP 419: Anthropology of the Middle East
ANP 433: Contemporary American Indian Communities
ASN 291: Special Topics in Asian Language
CLS 201: Introduction to Chicano/Latino Studies
HDFS 442: Ethnic Families in America
HST 301: Indigenous-European Encounters
HST 309: American Indian History
HST 310: African American History to 1876
HST 311: African American History since 1876
HST 317: American Jewish History
HST 327: History of Mexican Americans in the US
HST 355: Spain and the Muslin World
HST 364: South Africa
HST 373: Modern Middle East
LIN 225: Language and Gender
PHL 212: Latin American Philosophy
PHL 315: African Philosophy
PLS 344: Politics of Developing Areas
PLS 345: Religion and World Politics
PLS 346: Middle East Politics
SOC 214: Social Inequality
SOC 215: Race and Ethnicity


**A request for the approval of alternate courses to the above list must be made by the student to the Associate Dean.


Cultural Studies minors:

African American and African Studies
African Studies
American Indian and Indigenous Studies
Asian Pacific American Studies
Asian Studies
Chicano/Latino Studies
Classical and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
European Studies
Indian and South Asian Languages and Cultures
Jewish Studies
Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Sexuality Studies
Muslim Studies
Religious Studies
Russian and Eurasian Studies
Women’s and Gender Studies