Postsecondary Education

Foreign language requirement for admission

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Joined: Jan 26, 2006
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Posted Jan 27, 2006 at 8:15:48 AM
Subject: Foreign language requirement for admission

I have a son who is a junior in high school, looking at colleges. Many colleges have foreign language requirements, He was diagnosed with being dyslexic when he was 8 yrs. old. He has tried taking Spanish but is finding it very confusing and difficult. Is there a way to get into college without having to take a foreign language class?

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Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Jan 27, 2006 10:29:37 AM

My sister didn't take a foreign until she was in community college and then she took ASL - American Sign Language - which now counts as a foreign language in some 4 year colleges.

My son, who is dyslexic, took German in HS, but he seems to be good at languages.

My dd is learning German from a CD on the computer, which might be an option for helping your son learn a language. There are a lot of different avenues to give him some extra help.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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Joined Mar 19, 2005
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Posted:Jan 28, 2006 11:28:35 AM

It matters what sort of college your child would want to go to because a fair amount of colleges do not have any sort of placement testing for Spanish and whatnot. Agressive students will ask the head of the department to see where they place and just aks for a proper test of some sort, and other sorts of students will just wind up taking the same language over at maybe second year level or something.
I would totally bet that your child could get into college without taking a language, but he would have to take one while at college at the elementary level and work his way up. For example, some colleges have rules that you only have X amount of time to make up what you did not take in high school with regards to languages and math. So, you would be gambling for your child to just never take a spanish or what have you.
There are some online high school level spanish courses that are not too bad. At this one uni called BYU, you can take high school level spanish and have it place on a transcript. All the tests are proctored and everything.
The main thing is that you have to find out why your child is struggling in spanish. It is a phonetic language and it is centered around verbs. You have to really get to the bottom of this and keep us informed, I guess.

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Angela in CA
Joined Mar 17, 2005
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Posted:Feb 01, 2006 3:11:41 PM

My son is extremely dyslexic and did NOT take a foreign language in high school. (reading and writing English is foreign enough!) He has very good grades and did very will on the SAT which he took with a tape. He was accepted at a small liberal arts college. His acceptance specifies that he will need foreign language in college to graduate, BUT we will cross that bridge once he gets there. He should be eligible for some kind of comparitive requirement. Sign Language has been mentioned, but I know that will not work for my son. I would prefer some type of conversational language class and a semester abroad learning the culture. So, getting into some colleges without a foreign language can be done. Getting out on the other side with a degree still remains to be fought for.


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Joined Feb 06, 2006
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Posted:May 24, 2006 1:32:51 PM

I believe students with a language based disability are not required to take a foriegn language as part of an admission requirement for college. I have read often that Asian language, which utilizes symbols rather than letters and phonetic sound are much easier for the dyslexic student to master. My son has severe dyslexia and does take a language because it would be impossible to learn for him. Good luck.

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Joined Aug 26, 2003
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Posted:Jul 31, 2006 9:53:55 AM

Hello. There are colleges out there that will permit the substitution of a culture course (s) for a foreign language course (s) as long as the appropriate documentation for the necessity of the substitution exists. Finding the right college to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities takes an extensive amount of research. Check out some of the guides that specialize in services for students with disabilities.

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