Frequently Asked Questions: Languages

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What level do I register in?

Please refer to our overview of course levels to help you choose your appropriate level. If you need individualized assistance, contact us or call our staff at 604 822 1444.

What do your language classes cover? Do they consist of just conversation?

Our courses are conversational language classes, but we do use written materials and activities to reinforce your oral competency. Please refer to the description of our courses in the course overview. Your instructor will discuss the communicative objectives for your class on the first day of the course.

Can I get the course materials before class so that I can study?

Most of our courses do not use textbooks. Your teacher may have handouts and you receive those in class. If you are registered in a face-to-face that requires a textbook, you can purchase the textbook from UBC Extended Learning and receive the textbook on the first day of class. You also have access to shared resources online three days after the course starts. For online courses that require a textbook, we include instructions in your emailed registration confirmation on how to purchase the book directly from the UBC Bookstore and have it shipped to your home.

Are there exams?

All of our language courses are non-credit and are designed to advance your communication abilities as quickly as possible. Although you receive informal assessments throughout the course to inform you about your progress, there are no exams. Students are expected to complete 80% of class hours and to feel confident with about 80% of the course content before moving on to the next level. Repeating a level can be useful for some students and is encouraged when helpful. You can discuss your progress with your instructor.

Is there a placement exam that I can do?

We don’t have placement exams for our language courses. You choose the level you think is most appropriate for your skills. If you find that a class too easy or too difficult, you can move to another level if one is available and is convenient for you. If you are not sure about your level, and need help choosing an appropriate language course, please call 604 822 1444 and one of our language specialists can assess you.

How many students are there per class?

Our courses average 12-14 students per class. You may find yourself in a slightly smaller or larger class, depending on the number of people interested in taking the same language and level. Our class sizes are considered ideal for individualized language learning.

Do you teach Quebec French or France French?

UBC French instructors speak a variety of French dialects. French is taught based on international standards, similar to what you would hear spoken by a news announcer on the radio or on television in Francophone countries around the world. Wherever appropriate, teachers outline differences between idiomatic expressions from different regions or countries.