Certificate of Language and Cultural Competency
The Center for the Study of Languages offers a Certificate of Language and Cultural Competency in Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
At a minimum, students will have completed two semesters of third-year language study and devoted four weeks to study, volunteering, or work abroad in the second language and culture. For cognate languages, students will need to have been awarded an Advanced-low rating in writing and speaking by outside reviewers from LTI. For non-cognate languages, an Intermediate-high rating is required.
Upon successful completion, students will receive a certificate preceding graduation.
All Rice University students are eligible.
Important: The Certificate is designed for non-native or heritage speakers who have not had extensive post-secondary education in the foreign/second language.
To earn the Certificate students must:
- Notify the CSL as early as possible, via email ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), of the intent to pursue the Certificate, preferably by the beginning of the junior year.
- Request an official Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)* and Written Proficiency Test (WPT) during the junior year. Since the OPI and WPT are tests conducted by a national organization, one semester of lead time is essential for scheduling. Please, contact our CLCC coordinator Jose Narbona (email@example.com) in order to schedule these tests.
- Participate in a CSL-approved program abroad (supervised research practicum, volunteer, work or study abroad), in which the second language and culture play a significant role. Minimum four weeks, however studies have shown that most people need more time to reach the levels of proficiency required for certification. This requirement may be waived in special circumstances, e.g. if the student has recently lived and attended school in a country where the language is spoken.
- Complete a minimum of two three-credit classes, conducted in the language of certification, at the 300- or 400-level, with a grade of B or above. Transfer credit must be pre-approved if it is to count towards this requirement. For French and Spanish, one course must be taken within the respective departments of French Studies and Hispanic Studies. For languages where no third-year courses are available at Rice, pre-approved transfer credit will count towards the requirement.
- Complete either the OPIc or OPI, depending on availability of the language, and the WPT, scheduled through the CSl (see #3). These exams are conducted by ACTFL/LTI, and funded through the College of Humanities. They must take place no later than the semester PRIOR to graduation and be administered at the LRC or designated campus office.
- Receive official OPIc/OPI and WPT ratings of Advanced Low or higher according to the ACTFL proficiency scale, except in the non-cognate languages which require a minimum rating of Intermediate High. Students who do not meet the minimum level for the notation will nonetheless receive an official rating which carries national recognition of their proficiency.
(Students may decide whether to follow the certificate requirements in effect when they first notified the CSL of intent to pursue the Certificate or those in effect at the time of graduation)
*OPIc Available Languages: Arabic, French, German, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish
OPI phone: Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
WPT online: Arabic, French, German, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
WPT on paper: Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
For questions pertaining specifically to the Certificate contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For all other inquiries contact : email@example.com