World Languages and Cultures

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for wanting to learn more about our department! Here, we offer answers to frequently asked questions from current students, the Winthrop community, and the Rock Hill community

If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please contact our Administrative Specialist or our Department Chair

Current Students

What languages do you offer?

We offer majors in Spanish and French and minors in Spanish, French, and German. Beginner and intermediate courses in Italian, Chinese and American Sign Language are also offered occasionally. 

How do I know which course to take?

If you have a declared World Languages & Cultures major or minor, you can refer to your degree checklist or your degree audit on Wingspan to see which courses you should take. If you have never taken a language course at Winthrop, you must take the placement exam. The exam will assess your language ability in French or Spanish and your score will determine which course you are able to take. If you have further questions about your course options, please contact your academic advisor. 

How do I take the placement exam?

There are three ways a student can take the placement exam: during orientation, in class, or by appointment. Incoming traditional freshmen who have expressed interest in taking a language have the option to take the placement test during orientation. All students enrolled in a 101-level French or Spanish course will take the placement test in class during the first week of classes. If you would like to take the placement test outside of these two scheduled periods, you must contact the World Languages & Cultures (WLAC) Administrative Specialist to schedule a time to take the exam. The exam is a 5-15 minute online assessment and will be administered in the WLAC office. 

Is there a cost for taking the placement exam?

The placement exam is free of charge for all students who wish to take it regardless of whether or not you choose to enroll in a language course. 

How can I find my placement exam score?

At the end of the test, you will receive a score. This score will be e-mailed to you and will be added to our records. If you lose or do not receive the e-mail, you can ask our Administrative Specialist to look up your score. 

What if I need to take an upper-level course but I didn't score high enough on the placement exam?

Generally, the placement test determines which level of a language you are prepared to take, however, we may make exceptions for students on an individual case basis. If you believe you should be in a language level that you did not place into, you must seek approval from the Department Chair. 

How do I declare a major or minor in a language?

Before you decide to declare a major or minor, you may want to speak to your current advisor to ensure you will have enough time to complete your desired program. When you are sure you wish to declare your major, you must visit the Student Services Office. Which office you should visit is dependent on your current major, not the major to which you are switching. To find out which Student Services Office you should visit, please refer to the Student Services Chart

To declare or change your program of study, you will need to fill out the Change of Curriculum Form that lists your current program and the program to which you would like to switch. If you are coming to the Department of World Languages & Cultures program from outside of the College of Arts and Sciences, you must receive a signature from your current Home College and the College of Arts and Sciences. If you are an undeclared major, you must receive a signature from University College. For more information about declaring a major, please visit your Student Services Office or Records & Registration

How do I transfer credits from another school?

All transfer credits will be handled by the Records & Registration Office and the Admissions Office. If you are transferring to Winthrop from another institution, please visit the Admissions Office to discuss the details of applying for a transfer to Winthrop. 

What can I expect in class?

While every language course is different, there are a few things you can expect in any language class at Winthrop. In most courses, you will be expected to practice speaking the language. This may be applied differently depending on the level of the course you are taking. Generally, you will be expected to practice answering class questions, write, read, listen, and give at least a brief presentation in the language you are studying. Many lower-level courses include a presentation component of the course and upper-level courses often require an oral exam. If you have questions about the expectations of the course, begin by reviewing the course description and contacting the professor. 

Can I take summer classes?

Course offerings vary each semester, but we generally offer some summer courses in Spanish and French. German, Italian, and Chinese courses are only offered in the fall and spring semesters. 

Why do I have to pay lab fees?

Student lab fees contribute to the operation of the Language Learning Center. The Center is a resource available to students to work on projects, complete homework, receive feedback on written assignments, and practice speaking with native speakers. In many courses, lab hours are required. 

When is the Language Learning Center open?

The Language Learning Center hours vary each semester. Please refer to the Language Learning Center webpage for the current hours of operation. 

Winthrop Community

What events does the Department of World Languages & Cultures participate in?

Department involvement on campus varies each semester, but we generally participate in Winthrop Day, Preview Day, and Orientation sessions. You can see what our department has been up to over the past few years by visiting our News Archive page.

Can I put up flyers in the WLAC office?

Yes! If you would like to post flyers or a poster in our office, please ask our Administrative Specialist. You may also submit content to be shown on our two TV screens in Kinard. We only ask that your content be relevant to our students' interests. 

Are there spaces available to reserve in the WLAC office?

We often hold events in Kinard 219 and Kinard 236. Kinard 219 is a traditional classroom that must be reserved through the standard space reservation system. Kinard 236 is our glass-walled conference room visible from the lobby. To reserve this space, please contact our Administrative Specialist or check the reservation list posted on the wall in the lobby for availability. 

Will you translate documents for my department/organization?

The department only offers pro bono document translation for Winthrop departments or university-affiliated organizations. In some cases, faculty or students may be willing to offer translation services to outside organizations. These translation services are offered as freelance work and faculty or students may charge a fee or request internship credit for their services.

What type of laptop should I get?

All laptop related information can be found on the Winthrop technology page here.

Rock Hill Community

Do you offer classes for adult community members?

We do not offer classes specifically for the community, but community members are welcome to attend traditional undergraduate classes. If you are interested in taking a class, please e-mail Admissions or call at 803/323-2191.

If you are 60 years of age or older, you may qualify to take classes at Winthrop tuition-free under South Carolina Law Section 59-111-320 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina. Under this law, students must wait until the first week of classes to register and are responsible for any applied course fees. To learn more about the program and to see if you qualify, please contact Records & Registration and Admissions.

Do you offer translation services?

We offer translation services free of charge to individuals or organizations affiliated with Winthrop University. All other translation requests will be decided on an individual case basis. Should your translation request be approved, the faculty member or student working on the translation may request a fee or internship credit for their work. Please contact our Administrative Specialist for any translation requests. 

Do you offer language tutoring services?

For undergraduate students, we offer tutoring and writing services through the Language Learning Center. This service is free for students to use as their course lab fees cover the cost of operating the center. For community members, we do not have a tutoring program, but we may work with you to find a language student who may be available and willing to help. In this case, all tutoring agreements and services will be conducted between the language learner and the student tutor independently from the Department of World Languages & Cultures. Please contact our Administrative Specialist with requests for tutoring services. 

We do offer some online learning resources to the public. Visit our Language Resources page for helpful references chosen by our faculty.

What does the Department of World Languages & Cultures do in the Rock Hill Community?

Our community service and service learning programs change often depending on our students' interests and the needs of the community. Currently, our students actively volunteer in elementary school immersion programs at Richmond Drive and Ebinport Elementary Schools. Our students also intern at various Rock Hill organizations, engage in community service projects, and participate in Rock Hill events.

In summer 2017, one of our students interned as a translator at the BMX World Championships in Rock Hill. To learn more about her experience, visit the fall 2017 edition of the Winthrop Magazine.

If you are interested in having our students engage with your organization, please contact our Administrative Specialist.