Placement Guidelines for Language Courses

PORTUGUESE COURSES:

Portuguese Students with no prior experience in Portuguese should take Portuguese 1. Students with some background in Portuguese, either in high school, study abroad, or native speakers, should consult with the Language Program Director, Laura Marqués, or with the Undergraduate Advisor

SPANISH COURSES:

There are two different tracks in the Spanish language program:

1. Spanish for Second language learners (Span 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 25)

2. Spanish for native speakers (Span 16A, 16B)

Students should take one track or the other.


1. SPANISH FOR SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNERS: GENERAL PLACEMENT GUIDELINES

**If you are a Native/Heritage speaker of Spanish, please see section 2 below.**

If you have learned Spanish as a second language (i.e. Spanish is not your home language and you learned it in school after childhood) you should take Spanish 1-6 and Span 25.

If you do not have previous experience with Spanish, or have studied Spanish in high school for 2 years or less, enroll in SPAN 1 or SPAN W1.

If you have taken 3 years of high school Spanish, enroll in SPAN 2 or SPAN W2.

If you have studied Spanish in high school for 4 or more years, please contact the Undergraduate Advisor, Elena Báez, for advice on whether you should take the placement test.

If you have taken the Advanced Placement Test in Spanish please see table below.

STUDENTS WHO HAVE TAKEN THE AP EXAM
A score of 3 or higher on either AP Spanish exam fulfills GE requirement (Area B)
Exam
Score
Equivalent
Placement
 Spanish Language* 
     3
        1-3
   Span 4
 
     4
        1-4
   Span 5
 
     5
         1- 5
Span 6
Spanish Language and Culture 
     3
        1-3
   Span 4
 
    4
        1-4
  Span 5
 
    5
        1-5
  Span 6
  Spanish Literature *
 3 or 4
        1-5
  Span 6
 
    5
        1-6
    Span 25
Spanish Literature and Culture
    3
        1-4
  Span 5
 
    4
        1-5
  Span 6
 
     5
        1-6
    Span 25
* These exams were offered by the College Board prior to 2012

For majors, only AP Spanish Language scores count; there is no equivalent for AP Spanish Literature.

STUDENTS WHO HAVE TAKEN THE SAT II

A score of 570 or above passes the student out of Spanish 3 (no other scores have been established).

TRANSFER STUDENTS

For transfer students who have taken Spanish at an institution with semesters: 1 semester = 1 ½ quarters at UCSB

  • After 1 semester, enroll in Spanish 2 at UCSB (or take the placement exam)
  • After 2 semesters, enroll in Spanish 4 at UCSB
  • After 3 semesters, enroll in Spanish 5 at UCSB (or take the placement exam)
  • After 4 semesters, enroll in Spanish 25 at UCSB

Please use assist.org to confirm your placement.


2. SPANISH FOR NATIVE OR HERITAGE SPEAKERS

Students for whom Spanish is their home/family language and/or learned Spanish during childhood and who are proficient in spoken Spanish but have not taken extensive formal instruction in the language should take Spanish for Native Speakers. This includes students who were raised in a Spanish speaking environment, have lived in a Spanish speaking country for an extended period of time (more than three years), and speak the language with some members of their family and friends.

These students may take the Language Fluency Evaluation (information above) in order to determine whether they are exempt from taking Span 1-6 and for their appropriate placement in Spanish 16A and/or 16B if they want to pursue a major or minor in Spanish.

  • Do you speak Spanish? Do you speak Spanish with your family or some members of your family?
  • Is Spanish your first language? Did you learn it as a child?
  • Did you grow up in a Spanish-speaking country or area?
  • Do you have an interest in learning the language in a formal setting and developing your writing, reading, and oral skills with students of a similar background?

If the answer to most of these questions is YES, you should take Spanish 16A and 16B, NOT Spanish 1-6 and 25.

Spanish Fluency Evaluations for bilingual or Spanish speakers:

Please contact Laura Marqués-Pascual at lampas@ucsb.edu to schedule an appointment to take the Spanish Fluency Evaluation.

Please note that this evaluation is only for native/heritage speakers of Spanish, and can only be taken once

Questions? Contact: Elena Báez at ebaez@ucsb.edu