WELCOME TO THE LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY WEBPAGE!
All candidates for graduate degrees in English are required to provide evidence of substantial preparation in language studies. Exemptions from the requirement are normally granted to students whose native language is not English and to students who completed a foreign language major at the undergraduate level.
Advanced degree candidates in the Department of English are normally expected to demonstrate substantial competence in at least one language other than English. Typically, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Latin, or ancient Greek may be offered in fulfillment of the requirement. Other languages may be substituted with the approval of the studentŐs advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies. The criterion for judging the acceptability of a language will be its suitability for the studentŐs course of study and plan of research. Students should discuss their choice of language with their advisors and with the Director of Graduate Studies early in their programs. They should also feel free to consult with members of the Foreign Language Proficiency subcommittee.
There are two menus of options to meet the Language Proficiency Requirement. Choose ONE option from ONE menu.
Menu A: Students choosing this menu meet the requirement at ALL levels (both MA and PHD) by choosing one of these options.
Option 1. Pass Spanish 600 and receive a certificate of proficiency.
Option 2. Pass the Graduate Foreign Language Translation Exam offered by the Foreign Language Department. (For details about this exam, contact the Director of Graduate Studies.)
Menu B: Students choosing this menu will choose ONE of the following sequences of courses.
MA-level students (choose ONE)
Option 1. Complete a reading or literature course at the 306 level or higher in one foreign language. The class may NOT be a literature-in-translation course and the grade received must be a B or higher.
Option 2. Complete six hours of graduate-level study of modern linguistics, both synchronic and diachronic (this option is available only to M.A. students in Rhetoric and Composition).
PHD-level students: (choose ONE)
Option 3. Complete TWO reading or literature courses at the 300 level or higher in two different foreign languages. The classes may NOT be literature-in-translation courses and the grade received must be a B or higher.
Option 4. This option is available only to M.A. students in Rhetoric and Composition. Complete a reading or literature course at the 306 level or higher in one foreign language. The class may NOT be a literature-in-translation course and the grade received must be a B or higher. In addition, complete six hours of graduate-level study of modern linguistics, both synchronic and diachronic.
Option 5. Complete ONE reading or literature course at the 400 level or higher in one foreign language. The class may NOT be a literature-in-translation course and the grade received must be a B or higher.
Applying Foreign Language Coursework to Your Program of Studies
The programs of M.A. students may contain up to three hours of non-graduate credit, 300- or 400-level courses in supporting work outside the major department. The programs of Ph.D. students may contain up to six hours of non-graduate credit, 400-level courses outside the major department and listed in the WSU Graduate Bulletin. Some foreign language courses, therefore, may fulfill part of the credit-hour requirement for the degree.
Q. What is the Graduate Foreign Language Translation Exam like?
R. The test consists of a previously-unseen passage of NOT more than 650 words. The passage is selected by a faculty member in the Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures. You may check the following links for samples of testing passages in German, Spanish, and French. You will have two full hours to take the test. You may use a dictionary. You will need to arrange the test yourself by contacting the Foreign Language department directly (335-4135).
Q. What is Spanish 600 about?
R. Spanish 600 is a course designed exclusively to help you meet this requirement. If you pass the course and get a certificate of proficiency, you meet the requirement at all levels. Click on this link for more information on Spanish 600.
R. You should finish the requirement within your first year of study.
Q. Is there a difference between the masterŐs-level proficiency and the doctoral-level proficiency?
R. Only for those choosing to do coursework as explained in Menu B. Those who choose an option from Menu A have met the proficiency requirement at both levels.
Q. The language I studied in high school/college is very rusty. What should I do?
R. If your language is Spanish, take Spanish 600. If your language was French or German, you should contact the FL Department to set up a schedule of courses so that you can review your language prior to taking the test or moving on to a literature course.
Q. Who can I ask for more information about this requirement?
R. You can contact any member of the Foreign Language Proficiency Sub-Committee:
Donna Campbell (email@example.com)
Lynn Gordon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Liz Siler (ElizabethSiler@gmail.com)
The following flowchart may help you in sorting out what your options are. Start by finding the level at which you enter the program.