Skip to main content

New ASU language courses help students meet requirements in less time

ASU student studying abroad
March 11, 2015

The School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University is introducing a new approach to language course offerings that will allow beginning students the opportunity to meet second language requirements and prepare for advanced 300-level coursework in just one year.

Beginning fall semester 2015, the school will launch intensive proficiency-based language courses in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish as a complement to the standard courses taught in more than 20 languages.

Read the Q&A below to learn more.

What is an intensive proficiency-based language course?

Intensive language is a proficiency-based program designed to achieve maximum level of proficiency in an intensive, dynamic and communicative environment.

What is proficiency and why does it matter?

Proficiency is the ability to function in a language. It’s what you can actually do using what you’ve learned. All students enrolled in intensive proficiency-based language courses will measure their progress using standardized tests that are accepted all over the world. Test results prove to employers and other institutions that you’ve gained significant and measurable skills in the language and culture.

All students enrolled in proficiency-based language courses will receive official written test results certifying their proficiency according to Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR), American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) or Common European Framework (CEFR) standards.

How does an intensive language course differ from a normal language course?

While students develop all four skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking, class time is more focused on a variety of fast-paced and engaging communicative activities. The 110 intensive language courses are equivalent to 101 and 102 elementary-level language courses, and the 210 intensive language courses are equivalent to 201 and 202 intermediate-level language courses.

The intensive French, German, Italian and Spanish courses are six credits; the intensive Chinese and Japanese courses are eight credits.

Students who complete two semesters of these intensive language courses (110 and 210) will have fulfilled the second language requirement, and will be prepared for 300-level language courses. Students are encouraged to participate in immersion summer study abroad programs after the completion of the 210 intensive language course.

Who should take intensive language courses?

Students who are highly motivated to achieve a professional level of proficiency in a language as undergraduates are encouraged to take these courses.

What intensive language courses are being offered?

Fall 2015*: 110 Intensive: CHI, FRE, GER, ITA, JPN, SPA
Spring 2016: 210 Intensive: CHI, FRE, GER, ITA, JPN, SPA

*Note that CHI 110, GER 110, JPN 110 and SPA 110 will not appear on the fall 2015 list of courses until April. In the meantime, students should register for CHI 194, GER 194, JPN 194 and SPA 194.