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.

For core courses beyond the entry level, there may be prerequisites. When you determine the prerequisite (from the catalog), then see the instructions on how to challenge that prerequisite if you have not taken the prerequisite course at CCSF. Go to: and choose the language you are interested in.

2. Do I need to take a placement test?

If you have satisfied prerequisites for core courses at another college or in other ways outside of CCSF, you must "challenge" the prerequisite. There are two ways; provide a transcript from another college or take a placement test.  For other languages, this will begin in Spring 2016. There are no required placement tests for entry level or conversation courses in the Foreign Languages Department.  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. My classs was cancelled! How do I get my money back?

If your class is cancelled your money will be refunded to your "account". This is convenient if you plan on enrolling in another class right away. If you want your money back, you must fill out a form and submit it to Admissions and Records. (There is NO charge to you.)

If you paid by credit card, use this form:
Credit Card Payment Refund form

If you paid by cash or check, use this form:
Cash or Check Payment Refund form

5. 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.

6. 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.

However, there is no department-wide requirement to use the Language Lab. Your instructor may ask you to visit the Language Center to practice listening and other skills. Your instructor may ask you to use our online tool, Canvas, to complete various assignments for your class.

 More about the language lab here: Language Lab

You may use our physical Language Lab in 403 Rosenberg Library to access the online language lab. 

7. 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

8. Can I repeat a course?

You may "Petition to Repeat" (contact Admissions and Records), but most people are denied that option due to new state regulations. But, if you have already taken the course, you MAY co-enroll through Continuing Education. If you have questions about the fees, call: (415) 561-1840.

Here is the Continuing Education Co-enrollment Form .

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. How do I get my language certificate?  

After taking the appropriate number of courses/units (see each language program page for details), fill out the Certificate Petition. You can get one online (see link), in Admissions and Records (E-107) or in the Foreign Languages Dept office in A-202. Follow the instructions on the petition.

12.  I already have a degree.  I just want to take a class.  

You are not alone! Many students take classes in our department because, at CCSF,  they have found quality instruction at a great price!

First, you must apply to the college. Every California resident 18 or over is accepted. Then, enroll for the class, according to the instructions you receive after acceptance to the college.

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.