Frequently Asked Questions

About the Placement Exam

About Registration

About Class Attendance

About Other Issues

About Placement:

1. I took X years of Spanish in high school but I don’t remember much. However, the placement exam placed me in L2. Can I attend an L1 class instead?

No. If you attend a level you were not placed into, the Registrar will give you no credit for it. If there are attenuating circumstances, talk to the Director of the Spanish Language Program, Ame Cividanes.

2. The placement test placed me in L4 but I went yesterday to class and I feel it is too advanced for me. Can I go to an L3 class instead?

No. If you attend a level you were not placed into, the Registrar will give you no credit for it. If there are attenuating circumstances, talk to Ame Cividanes.

3. I just took the placement exam, but now I see that Spanish does not fit my schedule this semester. Can I take Spanish next semester without retaking the Placement Test?

Yes. The placement test results are good for next semester. However, after two semesters, you need to retake the exam. Example: You took the exam on fall 2016. If you take Spanish in spring 2017, you don’t need to retake the exam; if you take Spanish in fall 2017, you need to retake the exam, even if you know for a fact that you will place into the same level.

4. I took the placement test two years ago and I was placed in L3. Can I attend your L3 class this semester? If that course is too difficult, can I take an L2 class?

No and No. Placement test results are valid for one semester only. You need to retake the placement test to see if your level is still L3. You cannot attend a different level class without evidence from the Placement test results.

 5. I never took Spanish before, so I did not take the Spanish Placement Test. I pre-registered and I was placed in L1? Is this okay? Do I need to do anything else? 

Yes, this is okay. Just register officially in OCS when you know for sure you want to stay in the section you were placed in.

 6. I was placed in L1  but t here is no room in any section. Can I attend the intensive course L1-L2 instead?

Yes, but you should talk to the instructor of that course. He/She needs to review your scores to see if that course is appropriate and then inform the Registrar. Also, be aware that this intensive course is two hours a day, not one.

7. I finished L2 at Yale and then spent the summer abroad. I think I could jump directly into L4 without doing L3. Is this possible?

Yes, it is possible to skip levels if you take the placement test and results show you belong to L4.

8. If I take the placement test and I place into L4, does that mean that I do not need to take any Spanish courses because my 3-semester requirement is fulfilled?

No. Unfortunately, placing out does not give you the credit for that course. In the case that you describe, you will have to take two Spanish courses to fulfill your requirement, L4 and L5.

9. My family speaks Spanish at home. Can I just take any course that I think is right for me?

No. You must take the placement test not only for placement reasons, but also to enroll you formally through the registrar. Make sure you answer the question about heritage students correctly in the placement test, so that the heritage expert takes a look at your test and decides which level is more appropriate for you.

10. I am from X (country where English is not an official language) and English is my second language. Do I need to take 3 semesters of Spanish to fulfill my requirement?

No. You only need two.

11. I have not taken the Placement Test. I took one year of Spanish in high school, so I know I will probably be fine in L1. Is this OK?

No. If you took Spanish in high school, you need to take the Placement test regardless of what you think your real level is. Otherwise, the Registrar will give you no credit for this class. If the dates for the test passed already, talk to Ame Cividanes.

12. Do I need to take the placement exam in order to pre-register for classes?

You do not need to take the Placement Exam if you never took Spanish in high school (elementary or middle school do not count). Everyone else must take it and pre-register, even if they know they will probably fall into L1. If you missed the dates for the exam, talk to Ame Cividanes.

13. I missed the dates of the placement exam but I see that there is a make-up placement exam. However, this make-up exam starts after registration. Does that mean that I will not be able to attend a Spanish class this semester even if I take the make-up placement test?

You can attend a class this semester. Because registration and classes start before the make-up placement exam results are posted, you have to attend the section of your choice as a member of the waiting list. Attend class every day during shopping period and when an enrolled student does not come to class, you can take his/her place. Most people on the waiting list get into the section of their choice. If your results eventually show that you belong to a different level than the one you are attending, we will move you to that new class.


About Registration:

1. I registered officially in OCS but I cannot see the tab of the class in my classesv2.

Click on My Workspace, click on Preferences and make sure that the class is listed on the left menu. If it is listed in the middle menu, you can drag it to the left menu so that it is visible on your tabs. Make sure the number of tabs is high, such as 10 or 12, so that you can see all your tabs at once. Move the classes up and down that screen so that the most important classes are seen first. You can also find the class under Active Sites. Registering in OCS without pre-registering through our department is not valid, though. You will be placed in the waiting list. Talk to your instructor.

2. I pre-registered in L1 but I don’t see the tab of the class in my classesv2.

After being placed in a particular section, you need to register officially through OCS. At that point, you will see the tab in classesv2. If it is not visible, check Active Sites. Alternatively, you can check in My Workspace (Preferences).

3. I have two tabs that read SPAN110. Why?

One tab is your class section (example: SPAN110 03) and the other tab is the umbrella (SPAN110 00) through which the coordinator will communicate with all Spanish 110 students. You only need your class tab visible; the umbrella tab can remain hidden.

4. I pre-registered in L1 but they placed me in a section that I don’t want to /I can’t attend. Can I come to another section instead?

Yes, you can change sections, but if you do, you will lose your secured spot in your section and be placed in the waiting list of that new section (assuming it is full). It is risky but sometimes worth it. Your new instructor will have a waiting list so that the first student in the list takes the place of any enrolled student who leaves.

5. I registered for your class through OCS but I did not do the pre-registration. Is that OK?

No. Registering in OCS on your own without doing pre-registration will give you no spot in the class. If class started already, you will be placed in a waiting list. If you still have time to pre-register, do so.  

6. I am a graduate student and I was not allowed to use the pre-registration system. How can I pre-register for Spanish classes?

Send an e-mail to the coordinator of the level you need to enter (Maripaz Garcia, L1; Juliana Ramos-Ruano, L2; Lissette Reymundi, L3; Rosamaría León, L4), so that she adds you manually.

7. I did not pre-register or take the Placement exam, but I just learned that I have to take Spanish this semester to advance my status. What can I do?

Talk to Ame Cividanes.

8. Pre-registration sent me to a particular section but I heard that the exams are easier in a different section. I would like to change sections.

All class requirements are exactly the same for all sections, and instructors grade exams following a common rubric, so there should be no sections in which exams are easier. The only difference between sections is the instructor’s relationship/rapport with the students. If you do not like your instructor for whatever reason, you can look for another section during shopping period.

9. I never had Spanish before, so I pre-registered for L1. However, someone told me the class goes very fast. Is there an easier level than L1 or is there a slower-paced section for L1?

No. L1 is our lower level and all sections go at the same speed. If you think Spanish is going to be a problem, you can buy your materials and study ahead of time, you can audit a class for a while before registering officially the next semester, you can get a tutor as soon as you feel you are behind, etc.

10. I registered for L1 and attended an L1 class last semester. However, I did badly and got a D in the class. Since a D is passing, I have to take L2 this semester. I feel I am not going to do well in L2. Can I retake L1?

No, you cannot retake a course you already passed. You could audit it for a semester to relearn everything, and then enroll in L2 the following semester, or you could get a tutor as soon as (or even before) you start L2.


About Class Attendance:

1. I have been on a waiting list for a week and I still do not know if there is room for me.

If a week has passed, I recommend you try a different section that has room for sure (ask your instructor or the coordinator), or to drop Spanish this semester and try again next semester.

2. I attended 8 days of the shopping period but then I missed class one day. When I came back, somebody had taken my place. Can I get it back?

No. You can only get back in the list if someone in the list does not come to class one day during shopping period or someone decides to leave for good. If the number of students is below the limit –this cap changes semester to semester–, you will probably get in.

3. It is the end of Shopping period and I was unable to join the section I wanted. What can I do?

You can choose another section that has room, or you can drop Spanish and take it next semester.

4. I was on a waiting list for a particular section and I would like to stay. However, the teacher told me that there is no room in the class. I saw plenty of chairs available. Can I just stay?

There is a limit of number of students per class, regardless of how much physical space is available. If the cap was reached, you will not be allowed to stay. A small number of students provides greater chances for speaking and improving linguistic skills. You have to look for a section that has room.

5. I am a graduate student and my school classes start 1-2 weeks later than Yale College classes. Can I start coming to class 2 weeks later than the other students?

No. If you wish to attend a Yale College course, you must follow our schedule.


Other Issues:

1. Do I need permission to go to the bathroom?

No, but your teacher will appreciate it if you go before or after the class.

2. Do I need permission to leave the class early? I have to do X every Wednesday.

Yes, you need permission. Talk to your instructor.

3. I would like to audit your Spanish class.

E-mail the instructor of that section and he or she will give you information regarding auditing.

4. I know you have a strict rule about attendance but I will be missing many days because of the sport I am involved in.

No problem, as long as your coach/Dean can confirm your absences. Read the syllabus regarding attendance rules. If your practice consistently coincides with the time this class meets, register for a section that meets at a different time. If you miss a graded assignment (composition, exam, etc.) during your absence, you will have to make it up when you return.

5. I bought the book from a friend, where can I buy the code for the homework online?

You can buy the WebSAM code for Aventuras in the vistahigherlearning.com website. Read the syllabus for more information.

6. I bought the textbook package through Amazon but it will not arrive until the end of shopping period. Is this a problem?

As long as it arrives before shopping period is over, you are fine, because late work does not get penalized through shopping period. During that time, you will have to ask a classmate to share his/her book in class, and use the scanned copies in classesv2 when you are outside of class.

7. I bought the code and it comes with the vText. Can I just bring the computer to class or do I need a paper copy of the book?

Yes, you can bring a computer or a tablet. Buying a paper copy of the textbook is optional.

8. I bought an old-edition of the same book and then I purchased the Supersite code online. Can I use this old textbook?

Pagination might not be the same. I do not recommend it, but if you have economic difficulties, do it. However, always make sure you compare your old edition with the vText, so that you study what you are supposed to, and you do the correct textbook homework (Manos a la obra, etc.).

9. How many attempts do I have in the Supersite for L1 and L2?

You always have 2 attempts except for True/False exercises and quizzes, for which you have only 1 attempt.

10. I am busy tonight and cannot do the homework. Can I do it tomorrow?

Yes, you can do it tomorrow, but you will have a penalty of -10% per day late.

11. I was not in New Haven and couldn’t come to class. I have a Dean’s excuse for my absence but my homework assignments still show a penalty.

Your instructor can manually eliminate the penalty on an individual basis only if the student is physically unable to study and do the homework while away, or if he/she travels to an area without Internet access. Otherwise, you are responsible for doing your homework regardless of your excused absence.

12. When doing my homework, I wrote a correct response but the machine graded it incorrectly. What can I do?

Tell your instructor to review that particular exercise. If you care correct, he/she will give you your points back.

13. I am not doing well in class and I was wondering if I can change my grade from Letter-grade to Credit/Non-Credit.

If you school permits such a change, no problem. You will receive credit for this class if you get a C, B, or A. Talk to your school registrar to do the change.

14. I haven’t decided if I want to stay in Spanish this semester, but I already bought the books. Can I return them if I decide not to take Spanish?

If the package is unopened, I believe you can return it for the full price. If it is opened, they might or might not buy it back. Alternatively, you can keep the materials for one semester in case you decide to take Spanish next semester.

15. I am about to take an L5 course. Will this course count toward a Spanish major if I decide to major in Spanish?

Yes, L5 courses now count toward the major.

16. Can I do a minor in Spanish?

Unfortunately, we do not offer a minor in Spanish. We do allow for double majors, though.

17. I am auditing the course, but I don’t see the tab in my classesv2. Thus, I don’t have access to resources or receive communications.

It is possible that your instructor forgot to add you manually. Let him/her know. It is also possible that the course is hidden under “Active Sites”.

18. I am a graduate student and my school holidays are different than those of Yale College. I will be missing class for a week. Is this OK?

No, that is not an excuse. If you decide to take a course at Yale College, you must follow its schedule. In regular Spanish courses, you are allowed to miss 5 days without an excuse. If that is all you need to miss, then you are fine. Otherwise, talk to your instructor or get a Dean’s excuse for other absences.

19. I entered the code for the Supersite, but I don’t see the exercises that you assigned in the syllabus.

You probably bought the wrong code. You need the Supersite Plus Code with WebSAM. Call or e-mail VHL and they will help you pay the difference to get the correct code. The contact info is on the vhlcentral.com website.