Language Placement
Students are normally placed in language courses on the basis of years of a language taken in high school, CEEB Achievement Test or SAT-II scores, or the departmental equivalent (instructor’s test, interview, or questionnaire). Students may change levels within a language during the first two weeks of class. Students who consider themselves capable of higher–level performance may apply to the instructor during the first two weeks of the semester for more advanced placement. They may also be allowed by the department chair to be admitted for credit to a lower level language course after consultation with the instructor. Students who have had three years or more of a language in high school and drop to first–semester level will not receive credit for the course unless written exemption is obtained from the chair of Modern Languages and Literatures.

Advanced Placement credit
Credit based on Advanced Placement or SAT-II exam scores is only awarded for courses at the Intermediate level. Credit is not awarded for Elementary I or II (language 001 or 002).

Exam score Credit
AP score of 2 or
SAT-II score of 510-520
0 credits
placement in 002 (Elementary II), 2nd semester
AP score of 3 or
SAT-II score of 520 to 590
0 credits
placement in 011 (Intermediate I), 3rd semester 
AP score of 4 or
SAT-II score of 600 to 690
4 credits
placement in 012 (Intermediate II), 4th semester
AP score of 5 or
SAT-II score of 700 or above
8 credits maximum

Guidelines for placement based on previous language study
These guidelines indicate the student's minimum placement level for continuation of language study at Lehigh.

Previous Language Study Minimum Placement
0 to 2 years before grades 11 and 12 Elementary I (001) level for French, German, or Spanish
0 to 2 years at any time Elementary I (001) level for Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, or Russian
3 years total or 2 years in grades 11 and 12 Elementary II (002) level for Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish
3 to 4 years,
AP score of 3,
or SAT II score of 320 to 590
Intermediate I (011) level for Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish
4 to 5 years,
AP score of 3, or 
SAT-II score of 600
Intermediate II (012 )level for Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish
AP score of 5 or
SAT-II score of 700 or above
Arabic 190, Chinese 111, Japanese 141, Russian 141, or Spanish 141;
French 143, German 163, 165, 167

Language Placement for Chinese - Heritage Speakers:

Definition of “native or near native“ speakers: students who finished K-12 public school in China,
Taiwan, or other Chinese speaking regions (not including International schools)
Definition of “heritage learners”: students raised in a family where Chinese is spoken but whose
Mandarin proficiency can vary.
1. Chinese 100 level classes and below are not open to native or near-native speakers;
2. Heritage speakers who cannot read/write or whose reading/writing skills are behind their spoken
language ability can be placed in level 1 and level 2 reading/writing classes only. A placement Interview
may be required.
3. A student who has 3-5 years of Chinese language learning in the United States prior to Lehigh and/or
has AP scores below 4 or HSK level below 3 can be placed into level 2. A placement test may be required
for these students.
4. Students who score a 4 or 5 on the AP test or reached HSK level 4/5 can start at the 100 level.
Heritage learners who finished K-5 in China can also be placed in these classes. A placement test may
still be required for students in these categories.
5. Students who completed K-9 public education or a K-12 international school in China, Taiwan, or
other Chinese speaking region can register for 200 level classes.
6. Students who are native or near-native can register for 300 level classes. For 200 level classes, they
must receive the permission of the instructor.
7. Students who do not fit categories above should consult with the instructors regarding proper
Language Placement for Spanish and Hispanic Studies - Heritage Speakers:
We define heritage speakers of Spanish as the individuals who have had experience speaking in the language at home or/and have
had permanent contact with extended family that uses Spanish as the primary way to communicate. Because the proficiency levels
in the Spanish language vary greatly among heritage speakers, it is advisable to schedule an appointment for an interview with the
professors in the Spanish program to find a class that meets your individual needs.
*Except in the case of Span001 and 002, which are not recommended, heritage speakers should consult with a faculty member in
the MLL department.