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FAQs

Can I receive college credit for studying a language in high school?

Yes, you can. If your first college courses in a foreign language are on the second year level or beyond (or above the first 9 hours in Spanish) and if you receive at least a B and a C (or better) on those first two courses, you will receive an additional six hours of credit for the first year that you skipped.

When should I start or continue with my foreign language study?

The sooner the better. You should build upon your high school skills by placing into an appropriate course already in your freshman year. In this way you will be able to achieve a higher level of proficiency that will make you more employable.

Is there a foreign language requirement?

Yes, for some students. For a B.A. degree, you need to take two foreign language courses (in the same language) above the first eight or nine hours. Or if you are a beginner, you will need to take 12 semester hours.

Why should I study a foreign language? Doesn't everyone speak English?

You will enhance your employability, regardless of your major, in this tight job market. Moreover, many  in Virginia depend upon foreign trade, and English doesn't help much when you are selling abroad, but only when foreign exporters are selling to you. Foreign language skills will increase both your cognitive and occupational flexibility in a future job market in which one third of all the jobs don't even exist yet!

Is there a study abroad requirement for majors?

Yes. Actually it's an intensive Immersion Requirement. Most students fulfill the requirement by participating in our study abroad programs, e.g. by studying in Spain, Mexico, German, China, or France. Some students are also combining study abroad with internships in the other student’s major.

Are there co-curricular opportunities?

Yes! You don’t learn another language just in class. We schedule conversation hours with native speakers in the language you’re learning so you can develop the habit of conversing in that language just like you do in English. Language clubs, international broadcasting and movies also help you get involved with the language and cultures outside of class.

How do I register for my first foreign language class after Quest?

Contact the department secretary Holly King (hnking@radford.edu, 540-831-5120) in 232 Cook Hall for a placement appointment. You'll fill out a short data sheet and then take an online test. Based on that data the department chair will then place you in an appropriate class. If you've never had the language before in high school, at home or elsewhere, then send Holly that information plus your ID # and she’ll enroll you in the beginning section of your choice.

Will my first foreign language class be a beginning class even if I’ve taken the language in high school?

Your first foreign language class at RU will be on a level appropriate to your abilities and will be determined by the placement procedure described above. No student may take a first year language course for credit toward graduation after successful completion of a second year or higher level course in that language.

How do I declare a major and what are the advantages of being a declared major?

Just pick up a Declaration / Change of Major Form from the Registrar’s Office or get one from the department secretary in Cook Hall 232. Then make an appointment with the department chair which shouldn’t take more than half an hour. You’ll discuss requirements, study abroad, co-curricular activities, and careers. When you’re on the department list of majors, you’ll also be assigned your own foreign language advisor and you will receive announcements by email of interest to foreign language majors. Majors can complement each other. Most foreign language majors are double majors who are adding international knowledge and skills to a variety of career preparations.

Are tutors available for students studying a foreign language?

Definitely. Besides asking your professor for help, stop by the Language Lab when an assistant is working that speaks the language you’re learning. But your professor will be the best source of information about how the language works. A native speaker will often just know what works in the language.