International Master's Degree
Foreign Language Requirements for the Degrees of Master of Business Administration/International Management (MBA/IM), Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR), Master of Arts in International Economics (MAIE), Master of International Journalism (MIJ)
For purposes of establishing consistent standards of foreign language proficiency, the Department of Modern Foreign Languages employs the following definitions of speaking and reading proficiency for graduate students in the MAIR, MBA/IM, MAIE, and MIJ programs. These categories and definitions correspond to the criteria established by ACTFL/ETS (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages/Educational Testing Service).
Intermediate Level Proficiency in Speaking a Modern Foreign Language:
- Comprehension: Student can comprehend most conversations on non-technical subjects and is able to understand topics of particular interest beyond immediate survival needs.
- Vocabulary: Student has a speaking vocabulary sufficient to handle routine work matters as well as social situations including casual conversations about family, self, and well known current events.
- Accent: Though often faulty, accent is intelligible.
- Grammar: Student can handle elementary constructions accurately. He or she should be able to narrate, describe, provide an explanation, or express an opinion about family, self, and/or current events using present, past, and future tenses.
Intermediate Level Proficiency in Reading a Modern Foreign Language:
- Student is able to read standard newspaper items addressed to the general reader as well as reports and technical material in his or her own specialized field.
- Can grasp the essentials of articles of the above types and, with the use of a dictionary, can produce a translation or detailed summary in good, comprehensible English.
- Has occasional difficulty with complex structures and low-frequency idioms.
Advanced Level Proficiency in Speaking a Modern Foreign Language (Native or Near-Native Ability):
- Comprehension: Student has complete comprehension of most formal and informal conversations on practical, social and professional topics.
- Vocabulary: Vocabulary is broad enough so that the speaker rarely has to grope for words.
- Accent: Accent may sound non-native, but student speaks with normal clarity and approximately normal speed.
- Grammar: Student speaks with sufficient structural accuracy to participate effectively in conversations on practical, social, and professional topics. Student is able to hypothesize and support opinions while discussing with ease either topics of personal interest or more technical areas of expertise.
Advanced Level Proficiency in Reading a Modern Foreign Language:
- Student is able to read all styles and forms of the language pertinent to professional and recreational needs.
- Can grasp the essentials of printed material of the above type and, with the use of a dictionary, can produce a translation or detailed summary in good, comprehensible English.
- Has virtually no difficulty with unusually complex structures and low-frequency idioms.
Proficiency Levels - Intermediate or Advanced:
MAIR, MBA/IM, MAIE, and MIJ students must satisfy the foreign language requirement by taking both the oral and written foreign language proficiency tests. There is no other option available to these students. The Baylor University Department of Modern Foreign Languages is able to examine students in the following languages: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
If a student wishes to demonstrate proficiency in a modern foreign language not listed above, he or she should contact the Prof. Marian M. Ortuņo, who will make arrangements for a special examination.
Foreign students may satisfy the language requirement for the MAIR, MBA/IM, MAIE, or the MIJ by using English as their foreign language. Their native language, as well as the level of proficiency they have achieved in English, will appear on university records. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which is taken by all foreign students, will serve to determine their proficiency level. Those who score above 550 on the paper exam, or above 213 on the computer-based exam, or above 80 on the internet exam will be classified as fully proficient in English. Since the TOEFL is a reading and writing examination, an appointment should be made with Prof. David Uber who will administer an oral examination to determine the level of speaking proficiency in English.
Procedure for Obtaining Proficiency Certification:
Ideally, as soon as possible after having been admitted to the MAIR, MIJ, MAIE, or the MBA/IM program, but certainly NO LATER THAN TWO SEMESTERS BEFORE GRADUATION, it is recommended that students needing to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language take the French, German, or Spanish Placement Test in the Language Acquisition Center, Draper 300. After having taken the exam, the student should contact one of the following professors immediately to set up an appointment to discuss the test results and to take an Individual Oral Diagnostic Examination (departmental tel. 710-3711):
French and Italian -- Prof. Richard Durán, ext. 6023
Chinese -- Prof. Xin Wang, ext. 2209
German -- Prof. Ann McGlashan, ext. 4282
Russian -- Prof. Michael Long, ext. 4527
Spanish and Portuguese -- Prof. Marian Ortuņo, ext. 6752
It is recommended that all students who wish to obtain Foreign Language Proficiency Certification first take these diagnostic tests. It is very important that the individual student meet with the appropriate faculty member as early as possible so that the professor can evaluate the results of the computerized test and administer the informal oral diagnostic test. Then arrangements can be made for taking the actual test, or for providing assistance for weaker students. This may, in some cases, involve study abroad or the auditing of a language class on campus for one semester or more.
When the student feels ready to take the oral exam before the committee, along with the written proficiency examination, he or she needs to inform the appropriate professor by the deadlines set on the examination calendar. This will give examination directors sufficient advance notice to prepare the exam and to bring the committee together at a time and place convenient to all concerned.
The examination itself consists of two parts--oral and written. The speaking exam will be limited to thirty minutes and will consist of the candidate's introductory remarks about self, family, career, and/or current events, followed by general conversation with committee members. For the reading exam (time limit, one hour), the student will read two journal articles in the target language, a total of about 250 words (excluding articles, prepositions, and conjunctions). Usually, one of the articles will be of general interest, while the other will be more closely related to the candidate's field of specialization. The candidate will then write a paragraph-by-paragraph translation in correct English. A paper dictionary may be used. Students should begin to prepare themselves for this examination by reading journals in their field so as to familiarize themselves with current special, political, and economic issues and with necessary vocabulary. A list of appropriate journals may be obtained from the professor who will arrange for the test.
Composition of Examining Committee:
The examining committee will consist of at least two professors from the division of the Modern Foreign Language Department who teach the language being examined and at least one professor from another division of Modern Foreign Languages. The Coordinator of the Foreign Language Proficiency Examinations, Prof. Marian Ortuņo, will usually be present at all examinations.
Prof. McGlashan will be the chair for examinations in German, Prof. Michael Long for those in Russian, Prof. Dur n for those in French or Italian, and Prof. Ortuņo for those in Spanish. If there is only one MFL professor who teaches a particular language, then that individual will serve as chair.
Procedure for Notification of Examination Results:
In the event that the committee finds the student's performance satisfactory, the chairman will so inform the Graduate School. In the event that the committee finds the performance failing, the chairman will provide the student and the director of his graduate program with a written statement indicating the areas to be improved before retaking the examination. The Graduate Studies Office will also be notified of failing results.