Language Testing and Placement

The person who speaks two languages is worth double.

Language Testing

Language testing is not required at MCC for placement into a foreign language course.

  • Beginning courses are levels 101 followed by 102
  • Intermediate courses are levels 203 followed by 204


Students with no prior language experience should enroll in the 101 level of the language.

Any student with previous knowledge of the language should consider the following criteria, along with the prerequisites and course content for proper placement.

  • How many years of the language have you already taken? (Remember that many area schools have two years at the middle school level that is equivalent to only one year at the high school level)
  • How long ago did you take the course and how much do you remember?
  • What type of success did you have with your initial study of the language?
  • Were your previous instructors and texts demanding or simple?
  • How does your knowledge base compare with the texts used at MCC? (Consult the campus bookstore or library copies of the texts in use by the department this semester.)
  • If you have some native language experience from home or family, consider: your reading level, spelling ability, speaking ability, verb conjugation ability in different tenses, etc. You may be strong is some areas and weak in others, necessitating that you fill in the gaps. Or, you may be able to get credit for your knowledge; click here to learn more.

Feel free to contact a foreign language professor or the department chair for help in determining proper placement. You are welcome to move up or down if you begin the semester at the wrong level. Do so as soon as possible. It is unwise and unfair to place yourself in a level below your ability. It is intimidating to other students and boring to you. Take the opportunity to learn something new and challenge your mind.

It is suggested that students consult the course descriptions for information on course content and prerequisites:



It is recommended, though not required, that students enroll simultaneously in a conversation class of the similar level:

  • Beginning:  101 with 111, 102 with 112
  • Intermediate:  203 with 213, 204 with 214

Career Courses

Spanish is a language that is widely used in the United States in homes, schools and the workplace. Non-native Spanish speakers become valuable assets to their community when they can communicate in English and Spanish. For this reason, MCC offers the above mentioned courses as well as career courses to meet the students's need for Spanish in the workplace.

  • SPA 141 Spanish for the Health Professions (a course that teaches phrases and vocabulary for those presently working with limited English-speaking patients from Spanish-speaking homes and their parents)
  • Courses in Medical Spanish are available through the Workforce Development Office at MCC, telephone number (585) 292-2203 or by email:

Foreign Language Requirements

  • SUNY schools require a minimum of three credits of a foreign language for graduation. The level of attainment (101, 102, 203, 204, etc.) varies from school to school. Check your transfer school's foreign language requirements.
  • The New York State Education Department requires that teaching candidates complete six credits of a foreign language.

Note: When MCC is unable to offer a higher level foreign language course that you are interested in, consider cross registering at an area college through Cross Registration opportunities.