Posted in Foreign Language

Foreign Language on Udemy

I’ve written about Foreign Language before, mainly because it can yield HUGE amounts of college credit.  In short, there are about 50 languages that allow you to earn college credit, so if your family speaks any language besides English, you should let them scoop up this credit!  For the rest, it’s not too late to learn a language.  Today’s post will feature a non-traditional curriculum option:  Udemy.

Udemy is an online learning platform marketplace.  You’ll find courses on everything under the sun, but I’ve selected several that will help your teen prepare for the 3 CLEP languages:  French, Spanish, and German.  <—-These links take you to official exam content.

The trick with any foreign language curriculum is to find options that extend beyond the beginner’s level.  You’ll find a lot of interesting options through Udemy.  (Note, Udemy runs sales often, sometimes you’ll see a very expensive course for $150 today, and then tomorrow it will be on sale for $10, so if you see something you like, save the link and check back from time to time).


French

Conversational French Made Easy

Improve Your French with Stories

Master French Grammar like a Pro

Intermediate French


German

Conversational German

Essential German: 1000 Words and Phrases

76-Lesson Course

Write German Like a Native


Spanish

Freshman Year Spanish: 1st Semester

Freshman Year Spanish: 2nd Semester

Advanced Spanish

Spanish 1, 2, 3, and 4 in One Course

Posted in ACE, AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Credit by Exam, DSST, Foreign Language, Saylor Academy

Single Exam Options

College classes usually require a lot of homework. Some college classes require a little bit of homework, but for some students, earning college credit by exam means skipping homework in college! If your teen is the type of learner who can read a book and pass a test, is a strong independent learner, likes to deep dive into a subject, then credit by exam is probably something to consider.  In addition, parents who plan credit by exam options are the teachers and selectors of the curriculum (because it happens in highschool at home) and there is no worry about what the college may or may not teach.

There are many alternative credit sources out there, and many require passing a series of tests or quizzes, but this post will focus on the single-exam option.

A single-exam option:  one test determines whether or not you receive college credit in a subject.  

Now, to be clear, I’m not advocating skipping a high school class.  Rather, I’m telling you that learning in homeschool can prepare your teen well enough to skip a college class.

Let’s look at this example:

Paul has studied German since middle school and is starting 10th grade.  His parents have used a variety of curriculum options, and he’s done fine, but last year he really had a breakthrough after his family went to Germany to visit family.  When they returned home, Paul was very motivated and put is heart into his German class.  He completed the 4th and final level of his Rosetta Stone German course.  Paul can speak, read, and write German pretty well!  Paul took the German CLEP exam and scored a 70.  That is an exceptionally high score and will qualify him for 9 college credit at most of his target colleges.  With such a high score, his homeschool advisor suggested he attempt the ACTFL  exam too.  His score resulted in 14 college credits.  Though the first 9 credits of his ACTFL exam will duplicate the CLEP exam credits he has (you can’t count them twice), the additional new 5 credits will give him upper-level credit at his top choice university.  At $900 per credit, Paul saved at least $12,000  by taking a single exam and getting 14 credits for his fluency in German.  (If the university tuition price goes up before he graduates high school, his savings will be even more impressive!)

It’s important to point out that not all colleges accept credit by exam, but you’re not going to send your teen to all colleges- you can be strategic in the schools you choose and consider whether or not it is worth your family’s time and money to use credit by exam.

To inject a personal note, when I first read about credit by exam, I was very skeptical.  In addition to thinking it was possibly untrue, I wasn’t sure that I was smart enough to test out of a college course.   Since I was working at a college at the time, I went down the hall and asked about CLEP.  Despite working there for 10 years, I had no idea that we accepted CLEP, we were an official testing center, and that we allowed our students to complete 75% of their degree through CLEP!!!  So, yeah, it’s a real option.

Using my employer’s testing center, I proceeded to test out of class after class. I found a college with better CLEP policy than my employer and tested out of an ENTIRE AA degree.  This was a test, I didn’t even need the degree.  But, that event changed my children’s lives forever, and it led me to start this community.  So, I share that story because it’s TRUE.  (And my IQ is unimpressively average)


List of single-exam options

CLEP College Level Exam Program:  33 different exams.  All credit is considered lower level (100/200) and all exams (except College Composition) are multiple choice pass/fail.  Cost:  about $100 each.  Accepted by about 2,900 colleges. Taken at a testing center.

DSST (formerly known as DANTES):  36 different exams.  Exams are lower and upper-level (100/200/300/400) and all exams are multiple choice pass/fail.  Cost:  about $100 each.  Accepted by about 1,400 colleges.  Taken at a testing center.

Saylor Academy:  31 different exams.  Exams are lower level (100/200) and all are multiple choice and require 70% to pass.  Cost:  $25 each.  Accepted by about 200 colleges.  Taken at home via webcam proctor.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages:  Exams in over 100 languages.  Exams are lower and upper level (100/200/300/400) and credit is awarded based on the strength of your score.  Cost and requirements vary.  Accepted by at least 200 colleges for college credit.  (This exam is also accepted for government employment and teacher certification)

Advanced Placement:  38 different exams.  Exams are lower and upper-level (100/200/300/400) and all exams are a combination of multiple-choice and essay.  Exams are scored 1-5, and colleges generally award credit for a score of 3 or above.  Cost:  about $100 each.  Accepted by about 3,200 colleges.  Taken at a designated AP high school.

New York University Foreign Language Proficiency Exam:  Exams in over 50 languages.  Exams are lower and upper level(100/200/300/400) and credit is awarded based on the strength of your score – up to 16 credits.  Cost ranges from $150 – $450.  Accepted by at least 200 colleges for college credit. (This exam is also accepted for government employment and teacher certification).  Taken at a testing center.

UExcel (Formerly known as Excelsior) Exams:  61 different exams.  Exams are lower and upper-level (100/200/300/400) and all exams are mainly multiple-choice.  Credit is awarded as a letter grade (A, B, C, or F).  Cost is about $100.  Taken at a testing center.

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Posted in ACE, ALEKS, Alternative Credit Project, Foreign Language, Sophia, Straighterline, Study.com

Creating an ACE Account for your Homeschooled Teen

You’ll need to create an ACE account anytime your teen takes a course NOT taught by a college, but is “for college credit.”  This includes curriculum or exams you purchase for your homeschool, as well as on the job training or certificates that may result in college credit.

Even when the company tells you they can forward your credit directly to the college of your choice, that doesn’t create a permanent record. You are wise to put the credit on an ACE transcript where it will be held for 20 years and can be sent to any college at any time now or later.


Taking courses from these providers?

Set up an ACE account!

  • Straighterline
  • Saylor Academy
  • ALEKS
  • Sophia Learning
  • Study.com
  • TEEX
  • Shmoop
  • ACTFL
  • Alternative Credit Project
  • Ed4Credit
  • Lumerit / College Plus
  • Excelsior College Exams (Uexcel / ECE)
  • Penn Foster College
  • PADI (scuba)
  • Pearson Learning
  • Statistics.com
  • Verity
  • Year Up

Link to set up your teen’s ACE account  ACE-Net


I thought I was the only one that couldn’t figure out how to set up an ACE account, but slowly parents kept asking about how to do it, and I realized, it’s just a tricky website!! If you get stuck, you may want to watch my click by click tutorial.

Posted in AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Credit by Exam, Dual Enrollment, Foreign Language, Self-Paced Learning

Foreign Language for College Credit

ANY non-English language can be tested for college credit, even if English is your second language. For those starting early enough and developing fluency, foreign language exams as a whole offer the largest return on investment of ANY college credit exam option!  A high score earns up to 16 credits (NYU-Foreign Language Proficiency) and costs as less than $6 per college credit (ACTFL written).

If a student completes French 101 and French 201 for college credit through dual enrollment, the French CLEP or AP exams would probably not provide any new or higher credit since they duplicate the effort.  Check with your dual enrollment college for clarity.

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

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 $70 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 $139 Oral 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

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. Cost $300-$400 NYU Exam

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.

NYU-FLP CLEP ACTFL oral ACTFL written Advanced Placement  
Yes Yes No Yes Yes Reading
Yes No No Yes Yes Writing
Yes Yes Yes No Yes Listening
No Yes Yes No Yes Speaking
12-16 6-9 2-12 2-12 0-8 Number of credits possible
$300-$400 $80 $139 $70 $92 Cost
$25.00 $8.88 $11.58 $5.83 $11.50 Cost per Credit Max Score

NYU-FLP language list:

Afrikaans, Albanian,Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Catalan, 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

 

Curriculum

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