Language Proficiency

Why does RCAH have a language proficiency requirement?

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 (ploughi@msu.edu), the Director of the Language Proficiency Program.