Why placement is essential
- Be in the right class at the right time.
- Both underqualified students and overqualified students may struggle in our courses.
Underqualified students are the ones taking a class that is above their skills in the target language—for example, a student taking Span 1002 when they should be taking Span 1001.
Overqualified students are the ones taking a class that is below their skills in the language—for example, a student taking Span 1002 when they should be taking Span 2001 or above.
After years of experience, the world language faculty at WLC can confidently report that both underqualified students and overqualified students struggle in our courses—sometimes, they even have to delay their graduation—if they are in a class that does not match their skills in the target language.
Students usually register for an incorrect level due to incorrect assumptions:
Underqualified students may register for Span 1002 and skip Span 1001 because they believe 1002 is the only requirement to graduate. The problem is that to succeed in 1002; students must first have skills at the 1001 level.
Overqualified students may register for an incorrect (lower) level because, incorrectly again, they believe 1002 is the only requirement (see below) and/or because they may think that a lower level will give them a better chance to keep up with their busy work on campus and keep a good GPA.
Board of Regent’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement—a.k.a. the language requirement—can be met by taking and passing any class between 1002 and 2002 (i.e., 1002, 2001, or 2002). Overqualified students may also satisfy this requirement by taking the CLEP in the target language.
ACCURATE PLACEMENT is the only way to know which language level to register for and have a good chance of completing the class successfully.