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Credit for prior language experience

Published on August 1, 2011 by in News, Uncategorized


As you plan your fall schedule and choose your courses, we urge you to consider completing any future language requirement here at GCC. Here are two key questions:

1) Are you considering transfer to a four-year school?

If so, you may need to complete a language requirement, typically a four-semester sequence. “Some colleges, such as the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Mount Holyoke College, require proficiency in a foreign language to earn a bachelor’s degree. You may find it advantageous to complete a foreign language requirement at GCC, so that you can concentrate on the requirements of your major when you transfer.” (GCC catalog, p. 32)

2) Have you ever studied a language other than English?

If you have studied French or Spanish, you should rejoin the language sequence, rather than starting over. Repeated stops and starts in language lead to misplacement and unnecessary repetition of coursework; this wastes your time, money and financial aid allotment. You may be eligible to receive FRE or SPA college credit for prior experience in our program.

College credit for prior experience in world language

1)   A prospective student will take a challenge exam in two parts: an online assessment (reading comprehension and writing), followed by a brief oral interview (listening / speaking).

2)   Students who pass will be placed into the language learning sequence here at GCC. Once a student successfully completes that semester (C or better), confirming their sustained performance as predicted by the challenge exam, s/he would receive credit for that class and the preceding semester(s).

A note on the financial incentives:

If a student is granted 4 credits for the equivalent of 101, for example, s/he would save a total of $647, the cost of a 4-credit class minus the fees. (A $30 testing fee is added to the semester bill at the time of the test; a $40 per-credit fee applies when the credits are awarded.)

*** This program is optional: no exam is required for World Language classes ***

For more information or to make an appointment for a exam, please contact the World Languages Department:

Charlotte Gifford, Chair of World Languages
Office: N223 413-775-1227  or

Norma Quesada, Professor of Spanish
Office: N221 413-775-1282  or

Go to: and click on “Practice test” to see samples. (Skip over the audio checks.)


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