Complete the language survey:

  • Welcome! If you are planning on taking a language course with us now or at a later point during your Lafayette career, you are required to complete a brief language survey.

Choosing a language course:

  • Before enrolling in a language course for the first time at Lafayette, you will need to identify the correct college level. This requires measuring your language competency based on past experience and subject testing. So, please follow these instructions carefully.
  • Count your past experience in the language you intend to study, and always consult descriptions in the Course Catalog. Elementary programs, for example, are normally reserved for novices. In general, students with the equivalent of two or more years of high school Spanish, for instance, are ineligible to take Elementary 1 (101). Students with the equivalent of four or more years of high school Spanish, for instance, are ineligible to take Elementary 2 (102) or Accelerated Elementary (103).
  • Don’t worry if you are uncertain about your course level after registering online. Language level and subsequent course placement will be determined by the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures. In other words, language faculty will review your records to make certain you are registered for the appropriate course, and, if a change is needed, we will contact both you and the Registrar’s office about finding a seat for you in the right class.
  • If you need information on how to fulfill the College’s Second-Language Requirement, please review the relevant policies. (Note: You are currently on a webpage intended to support students who are enrolling in a language course at Lafayette.)

Preparing to take a subject test:

  • If you are a true beginner (that is, if you have NO prior experience in the language you wish to study), you should register for the beginning level, Elementary 101. In other words, you are not required to submit a subject test score.
  • Have you sent SAT II or AP scores to the Registrar for a language other than English? If the answer is yes, you aren’t required to take the online subject test before registering for classes.
  • If you have prior experience in the language you wish to study (as either a student or a heritage speaker, for example), online subject tests are required in Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, and Spanish. There is a $10 fee.
  • For all other languages (Arabic, ancient Greek, modern Hebrew, Japanese, Latin & Russian), please ask a professor in the desired subject for advice.
  • Following completion of an online subject test in Chinese, French, German, or Spanish, you will receive an automated response with a course recommendation. Please keep in mind that the computerized testing service cannot interpret your score in light of your past experience. So, if you still have questions about course level, don’t hesitate to ask a professor in the desired language for advice.
  • Your online subject test (WebCAPE) score does not exempt you from taking a language at Lafayette College, and the score will not enter your official record. Its sole purpose is to help confirm level as quickly and conveniently as possible before you register for a language course. Exemption status, in contrast, is determined in consultation with the Registrar whose office accepts official AP, SAT II or IB-HL test scores (not WebCAPE). To find out more about fulfilling the College’s Second-Language Requirement, please review the relevant policies.

Take the language subject test:

Further questions?

If at any point you have questions regarding course placement, please contact Professor Sidney Donnell, the language department’s Course Placement Coordinator. Department Head Professor Michelle Geoffrion – Vinci in Foreign Languages is also a great resource.