Foreign Language Substitution

You must first register with Disability Services (DS) in order for DS to determine your eligibility for this accommodation. Refer to the registration page for further information.   

Students with learning, speech, hearing or other disabilities that significantly impact their ability to acquire a foreign language may request a course substitution for a foreign language requirement.

Eligible students registered with DS should:

  1. Consult with their advisor/academic program regarding the requirements of their degree program, specifically related to language.
     
  2. Submit to DS:
    1. A Request for Foreign Language Substitution.
    2. A personal statement explaining the reasons for the requests.
    3. Disability documentation that demonstrates significant difficulty with language-based tasks in reading, spelling, writing, speaking or listening, which impact language acquisition.
  3. If approved by the student’s school/academic program and DS, the student then consults with their academic program or advisor to determine which courses can substitute the original requirement.

Please note that foreign language substitutions are not available for undergraduate majors or graduate programs when studying a new language is essential to the field of study.
 
DS requires 4-6 weeks to evaluate foreign language substitution requests and all related documentation. DS will also review the student’s educational history concerning language study, consult with previous professors or other university officials, and consider the requirements of the student’s academic program.
 

 

FAQs

How long does the process take?

Disability Services generally requires 4-6 weeks to evaluate this request, which includes a review of the materials requested above and consultation with your previous professor(s) or other University officials.

When should I submit my request?

Disability Services recommends that students request this accommodation by the end of their sophomore year for undergraduate students and at the start of their academic program for graduate students. Requests will be considered at any point during the student’s academic program; however, requests made near the completion of the program may delay the student’s graduation.

How do I know if I should apply for a Foreign Language Substitution?

Having a learning disability alone is not a valid predictor of success with language acquisition. Some students with learning disabilities may be successful in learning a foreign language by utilizing the following resources:

  • Consult with academic advisor when selecting a specific language to study
  • Use approved accommodations through Disability Services
  • Attend office hours or alternate sections of the course
  • Receive tutoring services (Language Resource Center)
  • Use the Language Lab
  • Work with a Disability Services Learning Specialist to develop compensatory strategies
Are any other accommodations or modification to the foreign language requirement a possibility?

At times students may request a modification to the foreign language requirement and/or accommodations for foreign language courses.  These modifications may include the elementary sequence of two different languages, or a P/D/F grade option.  

Registered students should contact their Coordinator to discuss these possible modifications. Additionally, students may request additional accommodations specifically for their foreign language courses which may include permission to tape record the lectures, note-taking purposes, and adjustments to the class participation requirement.

What are the substitute courses?

DS does not determine substitute courses for students who are granted this accommodation.  The substitute courses are decided by the student’s Advising Dean and/or appropriate academic official from the student’s school.

Who can receive a foreign language substitution?

Students with learning, speech, hearing or other disabilities that significantly impact their ability to acquire a foreign language may request a course substitution or modification to the foreign language requirement. Foreign language substitutions are not available for undergraduate majors or graduate programs when studying a new language is essential to the field of study.

Last updated April 14, 2014