Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there any prerequisites for Foreign Language classes?

There are no prerequisites for any beginning Foreign Language class. Just sign up for the course you wish to take. If you've never studied a language before, it is best to start with the first class in the series (1, 1A, or 10A). Some classes have "advisories". Please see the catalog for details about the course you wish to take.

2. Do I need to take a placement test?

There are no required placement tests to take courses in the Foreign Languages Department. There is no required placement test. But if you have already studied a language at another institution, you may be interested in taking a Placement Advisory to see which level is right for you. Please see the Placement page for more information.

3. Can you explain the difference between 1A and 10A?

We have two tracks in most languages. The traditional 4-skills track (1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, etc.) emphasizes equally reading, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking. Our conversation track (10A, 10B, etc. and in Chinese 10A, 12A, 14A, etc) emphasizes speaking and comprehension. Read more about it on the "Which Foreign Language Course Should I Take?" page. Another important fact is that the traditional track transfers to UC and CSU. The conversation track transfers to CSU only.

4. I'm in high school. Can I take a CCSF language course?

Yes! We welcome high school students from SFUSD and other districts in the region. There are a few additional things high school students must do. Find out more here on the High School Students page.

5. How do I satisfy the language lab requirement?

At CCSF, we believe in the importance of using the language lab. Listening, extra practice drills, audio, video, these are all things that are essential to help you learn a new language. You will satisfy your language lab requirement by using CCSF's course management system, Insight. Log on at http://insight.ccsf.edu (NO "www") to get started with your language lab work.  Your instructor will give you  your language lab assignments. More about the language lab requirement here: Language Lab

You may use our physical Language Lab in 403 Rosenberg Library to access the online language lab. Monitors can help you with the software and some can help you with language questions, too!

6. How can I get extra help?

The Learning Assistance Center, R207,  on the second floor of the Library has peer tutors for many classes at CCSF, including Foreign Languages. Consult the Learning Assistance Center schedule for times for each language. Most of the tutors are native speakers from countries where the language you are studying is spoken.  It is fun, you can make new friends, and get better grades!

Tutoring Schedules: (updated after the start of each semester):

For more info call: 415-452-5502

7. What are SLOs?

 SLO is an acronym for Student Learning Outcome. Each course at CCSF has identified Student Learning Outcomes. These are things you can expect to know at the end of a course if you have successfully completed the course. Student Learning Outcomes are listed on the Course Outline, found in the Office of Instruction. They should also be listed on the syllabus your instructor gives you on the first day of class. They are assessed each semester so we can find out how well we are teaching you, and so we can make adjustments to make our courses better each semester. You can always ask your instructor for more information about SLOs.

8. I want to transfer to UC. How much language do I need?

For these and all other questions about which courses you need for transfer to any 4-year school, you should see a counselor. But, for your convenience, here is some general information about the IGETC language requirements. Remember, see your counselor early and often! FL department courses transfer to CSU and most transfer to UC. See the catalog and ask your counselor about individual courses. Our courses also satisfy other areas for graduation and transfer.

More questions?

If you have more questions, please call the Foreign Languages Department Office at 415-239-3223. Or drop by. We are located in the Creative Arts Building, Room 202.