Since its founding, the College has had
a strong commitment to the teaching of languages; competence
in languages has traditionally been a sign of a well educated
person. Such experience is a means of access to the cultural
and intellectual heritage of the world's non-English-speaking
majority (for those whose first language is English). The study
of another language is also a way to gain a new reflective understanding
of language and communication systems. It is necessary that citizens
of the modern world, an age of growing global interdependency, be able to communicate with and adjust to people from other cultures.
The language requirement is a step toward that vital skill.
The College requires fourth-term proficiency
in a language other than English for a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor
of Science degree. This requirement can be met in a language
not even offered in the LS&A curriculum. The fourth-term
course, when elected in the College, must be elected for a grade
to satisfy the language requirement.
AB/BS students are expected to elect a
course to meet the language requirement during their first term
in residence and in each subsequent term until the requirement
is met. In meeting the language requirement, students must earn
a grade of "C-" or better to proceed into the next
course in the language sequence.
The language requirement usually is met
in one of three ways:
- Certified proficiency on a University
of Michigan reading and/or listening test. Tests are administered
regularly during the Orientation period for proficiency/placement
in French, German, Hebrew, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. Tests
in other languages must be arranged through the appropriate department
office. On the basis of this test, the student may be exempted
from the Language Requirement, or may be placed into a first-, second-, third-, or fourth-term course.
If students have previous experience in
a language they plan to continue, they must take a language placement
test. If a test in the choice of language is not offered at Orientation, an advisor will help in choosing the most likely placement and
course for registration. Course adjustments can be made in the
first two or three weeks of the term.
A student may not elect for credit
a language course below the placement level determined by the
test results without written departmental permission.
- Credit for a University
of Michigan fourth-term language course with a passing grade
of "C- " or better.
- The student may place into a course for
which AP credit has already been earned. If the student elects
a course at the same or a lower level than that for which credit
has been earned, the student will lose that credit. If the student
decides to forfeit fourth-term transfer credit for the election
of a lower level course, s/he also forfeit satisfaction of the
language requirement by transfer credit.
- The final course in a sequence
used to fulfill the Language Requirement MAY NOT be elected on
a Pass/Fail basis. (Effective
for all students admitted to the College in Fall Term, 1995 and
thereafter.) The final course in an elementary language sequence
used to satisfy the Language Requirement must be elected on a
graded basis, or, for Residential College students in a Residential
College language course, with a narrative evaluation.
- Credit for a University of Michigan language
course which presumes a fourth-term proficiency in a language
(except for 305 and/or 306 in French, German, Italian, and Spanish;
and Spanish 290/American Culture 224).
Students are encouraged to continue a language
already begun, but may choose from the following thirty-eight
choices offered by LS&A departments.
American Culture: Ojibwa
Asian Languages and Cultures: Chinese (Mandarin), Filipino, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan (Classical
and Modern), Urdu, and Vietnamese.
Classical Studies: Greek (Classical and Modern) and Latin.
Germanic Languages and Literatures: Dutch, German, and Swedish.
Judaic Studies: Yiddish.
Linguistics: American Sign Language.
Near Eastern Studies: Arabic (Classical and Modern), Armenian, Hebrew
(Biblical and Modern), Persian, and Turkish.
Residential College: French, German, Latin, Russian, and Spanish.
Romance Languages and Literatures: French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Slavic Languages and Literatures: Czech, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, and Ukrainian.
information and Frequently Asked Questions about the Language
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