Foreign Language Exams #22–26
Items #22-26 cover the various types of foreign language exams. The exam type you choose depends on your strengths (and weaknesses!) of listening, writing, reading, and speaking.
|NYU-FLP||CLEP||ACTFL oral||ACTFL written||AP|
If you start early enough (2 or more years before high school graduation) foreign language tests are a gold mine of credit. Unlike United States history or algebra, foreign languages take time and practice to master. So, while this won’t be an option for all of my readers, it certainly applies to anyone starting early enough or those in the middle of learning a language. Also, even if English is not your first language, you are still eligible to take any of the foreign language exams for which you are functionally fluent. In fact, if you’re already fluent, the credit is practically sitting there waiting for you to grab it.
In preparation for foreign language exams, your teen can take foreign language courses for high school credit using any curriculum you choose. Your teen may also have the option of taking foreign language courses for dual enrollment (college credit), but if this is the case, the value of the foreign language exams decreases by the number of college credits already earned through dual enrollment.
Example: your community college’s dual enrollment program offers French 1 and French 2 (4 credits each). If your teen passes both courses, it would be pointless to take the CLEP French exam since the credits would likely cancel each other out. On the other hand, if the student used the ACTFL Oral exam, and scored the full 12 credit value, the “extra four credits” above the eight already earned are available for consideration.
#22 Advanced Placement Exam
0–8 credits (advanced standing may be awarded instead of credit)
ADVANCED PLACEMENT: Languages – Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish. Tested on – reading, writing, listening and speaking (this is the only exam that tests ALL 4 AREAS, making it the hardest exam of the bunch). Credit awarded: 0-16 based on language and score (only Chinese is worth 16, most max out at 8). Some colleges award zero credit, but award “advanced standing” in the language. The score is reported on an official College Board transcript. Cost $92 AP Exams
Chinese Language and Culture
French Language and Culture
German Language and Culture
Italian Language and Culture
Japanese Language and Culture
Spanish Language and Culture
Spanish Literature and Culture
#23–24 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Written Exam, Oral Exam
2–12 college credits (max 4 upper level)
ACTFL option was expired for a short time but has been
RENEWED through 5/31/2023!!!!
ACTFL language exams are an exceptional value. There are 2 different
exams available, but if your college allows, you can take both for a whopping 24 potential college credits! In addition to being ACE evaluated,
the two test options allow you to just test according to your best skills.
For instance, if you’re not very good at writing in French, but you communicate
verbally with ease, you can take their oral exam (which doesn’t
have writing!) Test options include your choice of Oral or Written for
college credit (other tests exist, but not for college credit). They offer oral
exams in 100 languages, and the written exam in 18 languages.
My frustration with this exam company is their website; it’s
unnecessarily confusing, and it doesn’t list prices. Additionally, their
ACE evaluation uses their proficiency levels: Novice-Low, Novice
Mid, Novice High, Intermediate Low, Intermediate Mid, Intermediate
High, Advanced Low, Advanced Mid, Advanced High, and
Superior. In addition to rank, the language you’re testing in may
be worth more or fewer credits than another language. If you can’t
locate what you’re looking for, just call them.
OPIc (speaking) $105, up to 6cr UL + 6cr LL
WPT (writing) $105, up to 6cr UL + 6cr LL
LPT (listening) $50, up to 6cr LL
RPT (reading) $50, up to 6cr LL
ACTFL WRITTEN: Languages- Albanian, Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Tested on- reading and writing only (no listening or speaking). Credit awarded 2-12 based on the score. The score must be recorded on your ACE transcript. Cost $105 Written exam
ACTFL ORAL: 50+ languages. Tested on- listening and speaking only (no reading or writing). Credit awarded 2-12 based on the score. The score must be recorded on your ACE transcript. Cost $50-159 Oral Exam
#25 CLEP Exam
CLEP: Languages- French, German, and Spanish. Tested on- reading, listening, and speaking only (no writing). Credit awarded 6-9 based on the score. Note – students who took this exam before October of 2015 may be eligible for more credit since that version was worth 6-12 credits at the time. The score is reported on an official College Board transcript. Cost $80 CLEP Exam
#26 NYU Foreign Language Proficiency Exam
12 or 16 college credits suggested
NYU Proficiency Testing
Note that this exam is not ACE evaluated, however, accepted by
many colleges, employers, and the military. It’s best to check with
target colleges regarding the acceptance of this exam and how the distribution
of credits is awarded.
NYU exam offers 2 tests (12 points or 16 points) and an “add-on”
4 point exam available to those who passed the 12 point exam and
want to attempt the 16 point version. The exams are available in
more than 50 languages. The 12 point exam tests cover listening,
reading, and writing. The 16 point exam adds in a 350-word essay
requirement. This exam can be taken anywhere in the world.
NYU-FLP: 50+ languages (see list below). Tested on – reading, writing, and listening (no speaking). Credit awarded 12-16 depending on the score. The score is reported by letter to your designated recipient. This exam is not ACE evaluated, but many colleges will still award college credit. In cases where no college credit is granted, the score report can still verify proficiency with employers/resume.
Proficiency exams are given throughout the year by appointment. Onsite exams are given at the following address:
NYU Midtown Center
11 West 42nd Street, Room 1039
New York, NY 10036
Please Note: We are transitioning to a more convenient, expeditious online platform that will grant you 24/7 access to language proficiency testing from home, school, or your workplace around the globe. Results for online exams are issued within two to three weeks of your testing date. As exams become available online, they will no longer be offered onsite. The testing process for online and onsite exams differs, so please be sure to read instructions carefully.
12-Point Exam: $479 + $20 registration fee = $499
16-Point Exam: $579 + $20 registration fee = $599
4-Point Exam: $279 + $20 registration fee = $299
(Students must have previously scored 8 points on the 12-point exam to be eligible for the 4-point exam)
The $20 Registration Fee is payable only once per semester
Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Cata an, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek(Modern), Gujarat, HaitianCreole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Ibo, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Lithuanian, Malay, Mandarin, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese(Brazilian), Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Yiddish, Yoruba
Military Career Tip (extra pay!): According to Defense Pay Regulation, Volume 7A, Chapter 19, Military members who have received training in a foreign language and are assigned to a job requiring foreign language skills receive a monthly Foreign Language Proficiency Pay. It depends on upon the level of proficiency maintained. Additionally, other military members who are proficient in a language that the Department of Defense considers to be critical may also receive this monthly pay, as long as they maintain proficiency in the language.
These curriculum options would fulfill the homeschool high school language requirement/credit, and you could choose to follow the year(s) with a credit by exam option above. Remember, that you cannot duplicate credit, so dual enrollment already awards college credit, these resources would either supplement a dual enrollment program, provide strictly high school credit, or be used for an entirely different language.
- FREE ONLINE: A free product you can use in your homeschool and is super easy is Duolingo. I did an experiment on Facebook using Duolingo every day for a year. While I didn’t become fluent, it was easy to use and my teens enjoyed it too. Duolingo It is very much like Rosetta Stone in my opinion. They currently offer about 20 languages.
- DVD & STREAMING: Many DVD course options, as well as streaming options, are available through The Great Courses (DVD) and The Great Courses Plus(streaming). I’ve recently learned that you can even stream your Great Courses through your Roku. The Great Courses offer many courses, but through the (cheaper) streaming option you can access: Latin 101, Greek 101, and Spanish101.
- ONLINE COURSES: A large company that provides many online foreign language courses (including sign language) is Rocket Language. They have monthly plans as well as one-time purchase options. Specializing in Spanish is Synergy Spanish which seems to have a really good feedback rating as well.
- SKYPE LESSONS: In March 2017, I shared contact information for a college student teaching foreign language instruction in Spanish, Russian, and Arabic via Skype. You can reach out to him if you’d like to investigate his services. Russian, Arabic, and Spanish for College Credit
- UDEMY: An open online marketplace for people to teach classes. You can find a ton of very inexpensive courses taught by many instructors. Read about Udemy
American Sign Language is frequently used by parents as their teen’s high school foreign language, however, at this time I know of no way to roll that into college credit without taking it through a college. If you’re looking for an ASL course, I have been told that the Rocket Sign Language course is an affordable option.
This content is reprinted from Chapter 2 of Homeschooling for College Credit 2nd Edition.