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The material covered in the CLEP exams in French, German and Spanish (which is reflected in the lecture notes and study guide which follow) is generally considered equivalent to a two semester lower division college course.
CLEP exams are available for College French, College German, and College
They all follow the same format:
CLEP: The exams include 120 questions in 90 minutes divided into three separately timed sections. There are two sessions of listening, representing 40% of the exam and one session of reading representing 60%.
Typical credits: from two to four semesters, depending on the scores.
NOTE:The way in which credit is awarded varies among colleges, so be sure to check
the requirements of the college of your choice.
Check with The College Board for the lastest information about these exams
NOTE: There is no on-line course that appears to relate directly to the CLEP Exams. This site is will be updated periodically.
(I didn't promise you a rose garden. See disclaimer.)
The Reading section of the exam emphasizes vocabulary, grammatical construction, and
reading comprehension. The Listening section emphasizes comprehension through short dialogues, and ability to understand native
speakers in longer selections.
Note that of this date you are not tested on your command of the spoken language.
You will need a good dictionary (not a tourist guide-- browsing an on-line dictionary really isn't a good use of your time). You should also have an introductory textbook for reference.
You will also want a book of sample exams and audio tapes and/or a CD-ROM. (We have not evaluated CD-ROMs - however any disc you choose should have more than a talking dictionary. You want one that uses longer phrases, whole sentances and simple dialogues and preferably also allows you to compare your pronunciation with that of a native speaker.)
You also should have an ample supply of 3x5 cards to build your own flash cards for vocabulary drill. (If you have not used flash cards before see a brief explanation of Flash Cards
Be sure to take advantage of the free translation service offered by AltaVista. You can type (or paste in) up to a couple of paragraphs (5k) in one language and it will provide a good translation into another.
Remember to take time to periodically review; do suggested exercises; take a practice CLEP exam and review areas of weakness.
Following are program descriptions and links:
If you have any problems, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Jack Star email@example.com
For a couple of approaches to study a foreign language check out the Foreign Language Study Tips page.
Remember to keep your journal up to date.
A typical study session
Your initial goal is to establish a basic vocabulary of from 800 to 1200 words and a knowledge of at least 50 to 80 common phrases as quickly as possible. To this end your initial study sessions should put heavier emphasis on vocabulary building. Repetition is the key. In addition to a planned series of study sessions you should also carry around a deck of flash cards and review vocabulary often. (Studies show that more frequent short sessions - 5 to 10 minutes - are better than one longer session.)
At the same time you will also have to understand verb endings for the present, past and future tenses for both regular and irregular verbs. In addition you will need to know noun endings for each case, and differences in sentance stucture between English and the language.
Each study session should therefore include:
- Reviewing the vocbulary from the last study session.
- Building vocabulary from both the online pages listed below and a text book.
- Studying one grammar topic.
- Reading one or more paragraphs in the language from some combination of the bilingual links listed below and a text book.
- Listening to the spoken language either from audio clips and/or an online radio station.
- Translating one or more paragraphs on your own from the language to English . (I reccomend copying a paragraph or two from a foreign newspaper; attempting a translation yourself, and then copying the text to the free translation service offered by AltaVista and comparing the two. Add new vocabulary to your flash cards.
- Reviewing the new vocabulary from your flash cards.
Vocabulary drills are no fun; they can be tedious. Just keep telling yourself that once you have acquired a good basic vocabulary, you will be able to read newspapers and magazines in the language -- and that is fun.
One way to break up the tedium is to vary the vocabulary building sites you visit at each study session. The differences in approach will help keep you on task.
Also, budget enough time at the end of the session to make an entry in your journal.
Many of the sites listed on the individual language pages also contain short quizzes and you should test yourself often.
Once you feel comfortable with the basic vocabulary and grammar, you can then move on to other verb tenses and idiomatic expressions.
Outline of the format of the following links
The links are divided into multilingual sites which contain information on a number of different languages and sites for each language -- French, German and Spanish. You should spend an introductory study session familiarizing yourself with the multilingual sites. For your convenience they are repeated on the individual language pages.
Illustrated Kid's Dictionary. This is an limited dictionary in English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. These are very basic words, mostly nouns, arranged in alphabetical order. Some of the words are more widely used than others. However, you should be able to develop a 300 to 400 word vocabulary rather quickly. Make your own word lists and flashcards.
Vocabulary Training Exercises in English, German, French and Spanish. This site developed by Rene Kondratsky is in quiz format. It includes 21sets of vocabulary, 3 serts of verb lists and conjugation of tenses in the Present, Imperfect, Past, Present Perfect, Future, Conditional, Present Subjunctive. The words do seem to be missing diacritical marks, so be sure to add them to your flash cards when you look them up in a dictionary.
Start witn Basic Words, then Useful Words, then Adjectives 1, General Vocabulary 1, Adjectives 2, and then General Vocabulary 2 and 3. Intersperse a session with Verbs after every two vocabulary session. You can go back periodically to build vocabulary in the other specific topics.
Many sites let you listen to the spoken language. (You must have Real Audio player software installed. The software is free and you can download it from any of the audio sites you visit.) Most of the sites are news broadcasts and, initially, you will probably not understand most of it. However, as your vocabulary improves, you will begin to follow along better. Listening to the language, even though you may not understand all the words, gives you an idea of language patterns and phrasing.
Deutsche Welle. These broadcasts are delivered in 35 languages. Choose the language from the select menu. This site also has scrolling text of news items, though they are not synchronized with the audio.
VOA (Voice of America) Internet Audio. When you click on one of the links on this page, the selected program will be transmitted to your computer by their RealAudio server in real time.
The MIT List of Radio Stations on the Internet. Links to over 8000 radio stations around the world.
BBC Language Education Provides a practical vocabulary with audio files, quizes and other help.
Links to individual language pages
GO TO French Study Guide
GO TO German Study Guide
GO TO Spanish Study Guide
Additional Major Link Sites
The Human-Languages Page where you can find lessons for other languages
Subject hosts at About.com also maintain many links:
French German Spanish
Related On-Line Texts
Most documents from the United Nations are available in several languages.
Browse the home pages:
United Nations home page
Food and Agriculture Organization home page
International Labor Organization home page
UNESCO home page
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