How your child can use multilingual skills to attain college credits?
Photo by Kindel Media
Is your child multilingual? Or is your goal to have them speak more than two languages? No matter what languages you want them to speak, being multilingual is an excellent skill to have. Multilingual children grow up to be better communicators. They perform well at reading and spelling, are faster at responding, and are more adaptable in life.
The ability to be multilingual comes with various opportunities for your child. As they pursue a college degree, their language skills can help them earn college credits.
How multilingual individuals can obtain college credits
Your child has various ways to earn college credits for their multilingual skills. Depending on their linguistic level, your child can earn credits toward their degree through foreign language proficiency testing.
Some of these credit-earning exams focus on the oral aspects of the language. Meanwhile, other exams test listening abilities, translation, and writing skills. If your child speaks other languages fluently, they can earn up to 12 college credits from their assessments. How well your child understands a foreign language – and whether it fits within the degree’s requirements – can impact which exams make the most sense.
Whether your child takes one or more of these foreign language exams, here’s how they can leverage their multilingual skills for credits.
The ACTFL (American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Language) has various language proficiency tests, including oral, reading, listening, and writing. For example, the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview offers a one-on-one interview for examinees or a computer program through a virtual avatar.
The costs of these exams are affordable, ranging from $65 to $145 per assessment. Plus, you can choose the preferred testing for your child at your convenience.
One advantage of these assessments is that your child can take them in tandem with other foreign language assessments. Furthermore, they’re flexible – they satisfy both lower- and upper-division course requirements.
In a more traditional setting, multilingual students can take AP (advanced placement) exams in high school. The scoring scales are from 1 to 5, and your child will need to score at least 3 or better to earn college credits.
These tests offer various degree program requirements in world languages, including French, Chinese, Italian, German, Japanese, Spanish, and others.
However, you’ll have to ensure your child’s school offers these placements through coursework.
College-level examination program
One of the most well-known world language credit-earning exams is the CLEP (College-Level Examination Program). CLEP exams can help your child move to advanced courses offered through The College Board.
Currently, it offers exams in French, German, and Spanish. Each test costs $90 and can help your child earn up to nine college credits. These exams contain approximately 121 questions, and your child will need to finish each section within 90 minutes.
At the time of testing, you can provide the institution’s code and have the scores sent directly to a university.
How to raise a multilingual child
While college seems like a far-distant future for your child, you’ll have time to prepare them to become multilingual at home. Here are a few ways to help your child start speaking more than two languages.
Determine the languages you want your child to speak
What do you want your child to accomplish with multilingualism? Do you want them to learn a new foreign language or continue the heritage language from your family?
These motivations vary. However, the number of languages your child speaks depends on those who can speak more than one language within the household. Essentially, the more time is given to speaking in foreign languages, the better your child’s success rate.
Therefore, your child will need regular exposure to the point where they become immersed during the first five years of the child’s life.
Start a new language today
An ideal time for your child to speak another language is at birth. However, children can communicate in foreign languages fluently if they’re past the toddler years.
Even if your child is around pubescent age, you still have time to teach them other languages. Nevertheless, the younger they are, the easier it is for them to learn a new language. More youthful children’s brains are like sponges, and exposing them at an early age gives them the fundamental skills to speak different languages.
Build a support network
Learning new things is fun for children when they share them with like-minded individuals. Consider having your child join a playgroup that focuses on getting them to speak a secondary language.
You could also schedule playdates with other multilingual children, allowing your child to speak a second language with other children. Young, multilingual friends are often one of the best motivators for your child. It’s the best way to ensure they receive continuous exposure throughout the years.
Preparing your multilingual child for the world
Have patience when teaching your child to speak a new language. Often, it can take more time to pick up a second language before they can speak one. Yet once they communicate fluently in world languages, your multilingual child will flourish as they step into the real world.