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Language Placement Policy

Students have several options for finding the appropriate level at which they should start their language studies at TCU. Various means of determining proper placement as well as obtaining credit for previous language study are outlined below.

1.

To determine proper placement level, students should consult the level descriptions on the department’s website and take the computerized CAPE examination. Details concerning the CAPE placement exam will be provided to incoming students prior to orientation and registration. Please understand that no credit will be awarded on the basis of this test. The test is for placement purposes only.

To access, click on TCU CAPE (Students must type in lower case letters: Password: frogs1 [ends with the digit 1]).

Important: Students are advised to allow 30-50 minutes to take the test and not to rush through it.

If your score on the CAPE isYou should enroll in
Below 236SPAN 10103
236-315SPAN 10203
316-375SPAN 20103
376-479SPAN 20203
480 or aboveThird-Year Spanish

 

2.

Students with academic or life experience in a foreign language are urged to enroll at a level appropriate to their skills. As an incentive for students to enroll at their actual level of ability, TCU offers the opportunity to earn advanced placement credits through one of two ways:

A) By means of exams administered by the College Board (AP or CLEP).

Suggested placement for students with AP credit is as follows:

AP ScoreTCU EquivalentCreditPlacement
310103, 10203 6 sem. hrs20103
410103, 10203, 20103, 20203 12 sem. hrs31103/31203/31403
510103, 10203, 20103, 2020312 sem. hrs31103/31203/31403

For the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), credits are as follows:

A score of 50 = 10103, 10203 – 6 sem.hrs
A score of 66 = 10103, 10203, 20103, 20203 – 12 sem. hrs

Suggested placement for students with SAT Subject Exams (Foreign Language):

A score of 630 = 6 semester hours of second-year language credit (20103-20203)

 

B) By entering at an appropriate level in accordance with the guideline provided below (whenever uncertain, students should consult with an advisor in the Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies):

This course is an introduction to Spanish language designed for beginners with no previous formal study of Spanish grammar and culture.  Spanish 10103 concentrates on the present tense and introduces the past tense. Upon completing this course you will . .

  • Know how to greet strangers and carry on a conversation in the present tense and refer to future events.
  • Be able to speak politely.
  • Talk about what you like and don’t like.
  • Ask and answer questions.
  • Give simple descriptions.
  • Give and receive basic directions and instructions.
  • Recite and use the alphabet, days of the week, months, seasons, and numbers
  • Tell time.
  • Get the main idea and pick out some details when you listen and read.
  • Tell the difference between statements and questions when you hear them.
  • Figure out simple announcements, messages, and advertisements.
  • Recognize basic gestures and body language.
  • Give basic information about yourself and others including school, family, and activities.
  • Learn and talk about customs and traditions of the Spanish-speaking world such as greetings, celebrations and courtesies.
  • Learn about some of the culture, history, geography, and current events of the countries being studied.
  • Recognize similarities and differences between English and the target language such as pronunciation, cognates, and gender.
  • Be able to understand much of what your teacher says, and you will be able to understand your classmates.
  • Be able to understand some of what you hear when you listen to native speakers talk about things you learn in class.
  • Sometimes have to pause to think of words to use when you talk, but you’ll be able to come up with something to say in a very simple way.
  • Reading notes, postcards, menus, and advertisements and getting the point of newspaper articles, website information, and cartoons will become easier for you!
  • Find that you can write much of what you can say. You should expect to make mistakes, but you will be able to express your ideas.

This course is a continuation of introduction to Spanish language designed for beginners with minimal formal study and very limited knowledge of Spanish grammar and culture.  At the end of Spanish 10203, you will be able to communicate in the present and past tenses to  . . .

  • Talk about what you like and dislike.
  • Communicate what you need.
  • Explain about how you feel.
  • Ask for help.
  • Give simple descriptions.
  • Show that you understand and can give simple directions and instructions.
  • Give information about yourself and others.
  • Ask and answer simple questions.
  • Use gestures and body language to show what you mean.
  • Get the main idea and pick out essential details when you listen and read.
  • Read announcements, messages, advertisements, and simple paragraphs.
  • Tell the difference among statements, questions, and exclamations.
  • Give brief oral presentations like dialogues and skits.
  • Write an essay or story.
  • Learn and talk about family and leisure activities, holidays, shopping, and foods from the Spanish-speaking countries studied.
  • Look at how languages influence each other.
  • Hear and read about major current events in the Spanish-speaking world.
  • Learn about the geography and history of countries of the Spanish-speaking world.
  • Make comparisons.
  • Use ordinal numerals.
  • Use the passive voice and reflexive constructions.
  • Communicate in the past tense as well as the present.
  • Understand much of what your professor says, and you will be able to understand your classmates.
  • Understand much of what you hear when you listen to native speakers talk about things you learn in class.
  • Write most of what you say.
  • Carry on a conversation with a native speaker when speaking about familiar things

This is an intermediate level and a continuation of the two introductory courses.  While maintaining communication in the present and past tenses, you will learn to express influence, emotion, doubt, give commands and talk about hypothetical situations and reciprocal actions.  Emphasis will continue to be placed on proper pronunciation with expanded work on reading comprehension and writing.  At the end of Spanish 20103, you will be able to communicate in the present, past, and in hypothetical situations to . .

  • talk about things you need and things you wish for.
  • express how you feel.
  • give your opinion and talk about your preferences.
  • give simple descriptions of people, places, and events.
  • follow and give instructions and directions.
  • ask simple questions and provide responses on a variety of topics.
  • give and get information through conversations, notes, letters, or emails on familiar topics.
  • show your understanding of culturally authentic material and information.
  • give the main idea and some supporting details from authentic language materials.
  • produce brief oral presentations.
  • write narratives.
  • talk about major historical events and how they influence the Spanish culture.
  • make connections about topics studied in other subject areas and those studied in your Spanish language class.
  • compare the differences and similarities between the Spanish culture and your own.
  • recognize differences between your own language and Spanish.
  • use media, entertainment, and technology to reinforce your Spanish language skills.
  • find and use resources in Spanish, such as individuals and organizations accessible through the community or the Internet.
  • survive by yourself in a Spanish-speaking country.
  • hold a conversation with a native speaker, although it may be necessary to hear a question more than once.
  • ask questions to seek information you need.
  • get the main idea and some details from reading newspapers or magazine articles.
  • write simple letters and fill out forms.
  • Communicate although you may still make mistakes.

This course is a continuation of Intermediate Spanish I.  At the end of Spanish 20203, you will be able to communicate in the present and past tenses.

  • You will understand most of what your teacher and your classmates say.
  • You will also understand most of the main ideas and some of the details when listening to a native speaker.
  • You will be able to ask and answer questions using words, phrases, and simple sentences.
  • When you speak, you will be able to create more of what you want to talk about instead of relying on “book” or memorized answers. It may take you a while to think of something to say, but pauses and errors are perfectly natural at this level.
  • You will even be able to recognize and fix some of your own mistakes.
  • You will be able to read public information (signs, menus, announcements, directories, etc.).
  • You will also understand most of the main ideas and some details when reading materials written by native speakers.
  • When you write, you will use familiar vocabulary to create sentences and short paragraphs.
  • You may have mistakes; however, they will not prevent people from understanding what you are trying to say.

For students who are ready to begin at an advanced level. This is also the entry point into the Spanish major.

 

Earning Advanced Placement Credits According to Entrance Level

Students whose first foreign language class at TCU is beyond the first semester level may earn additional language credit (if credit has not already been awarded for transfer, CLEP, or AP work) as follows:

  • If the first foreign language class is at the second semester level (SPAN 10203) and a grade of B- or higher is earned, three semester hours credit will also be awarded for the first semester course. That is, the student will earn a total of six hours of credits for taking a three-credit course.
  • If the first foreign language class is at the third semester level (SPAN 20103) and a grade of B- or higher is earned, six semester hours credit will also be awarded for the first and second semester courses. That is, the student will earn a total of nine hours of credits for taking a three-credit course.
  • If the first foreign language class is at the fourth semester level (SPAN 20203) and a grade of B- or higher is earned, nine semester hours credit will also be awarded for the first, second, and third semester courses. That is, the student will earn a total of twelve hours of credits for taking a three-credit course.
  • If the first foreign language class is above SPAN 20203 and a grade of B- or higher is earned, nine semester hours credit will also be awarded for the second, third, and fourth semester courses. That is, the student will earn a total of twelve hours of credits for taking a three-credit course.

Note:

A) Spanish for Beginners 1 is strictly designed and reserved for students with no previous study of the language.

B) Students are advised not to enroll in courses numbered 10103-31103 in reverse order for credit. E.g., a student who receives credit for SPAN 20103 and then decides to take SPAN 10203 will receive credit only for SPAN 20103.

 

Native and Heritage Speakers

A native speaker is considered to be someone whose primary and/or secondary education took place in a Spanish-speaking country. A heritage speaker is someone who was primarily educated in US schools but who speaks Spanish in the home and with friends and co-workers and is quite fluent.

Native and heritage speakers will not receive credit for Spanish 31103 (Oral Communication in Spanish); they should select another course at the 30000 level and above. In addition, native speakers may substitute an upper-level course for SPAN 31203 and/or SPAN 31403.