How To Pass A Second Language Course Without Learning It

In order to graduate with a bachelor’s degree, many majors are required to complete an intermediate course in a language other than English.

This requirement may intimidate the average student, but it shouldn’t. For those who want to pass the class and run, here are some tips.

Take a familiar language.
The more you know, the less you’ll have to learn. Even if you can’t remember more than a few words, if you took a language in high school, that’s what you want to take.

Take the class S/U.
There’s no need to hurt your GPA over a foreign language. If you take the class S/U, all you need is a C minimum to pass. This way, your GPA will not be affected and you will meet the language requirement with flying colors.

Study the class.
Most foreign language professors decline to speak English during class, so it’s up to you to read the syllabus and meet with the professor to get an idea of how to do well. If you can’t understand class conversations, ask permission to record the class with your cell phone or other device.

Hitch your wagon to a star.
Language classes tend to be very active in the area of class participation. If your professor has in-class activities and assignments, be sure to communicate and sit next to students who know the language. Your grade depends on it.

Prepare for written and oral exams.
For written exams, pester your professor and study your homework to get an idea of what correct answers will look like. For oral exams, memorize words and phrases, sign up for the latest time-slots and get to the test early to ask fellow classmates what was required.

Ace the homework.
With textbooks, class notes, recording devices, fellow classmates and Internet tools like Google Translate on your side, you shouldn’t get anything less than perfect on your homework. Even if you don’t do well on exams, a good grade here will push you over into passable territory.

Taking a foreign language class without learning the language can be risky, but it’s also a quick and liberating way to study. With a little effort, you will discover the value of critical thinking and creative study-techniques, both of which can apply to all classes.

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