The Stanford Language Center has been offering the highest quality language instruction and assessment since its establishment in 1995. With course offerings in more than forty languages, SLC programs are proficiency-oriented and standards-based. Our language programs emphasize doing rather than knowing, so that students learn to speak, listen, read, and write in ways that are immediately useful in a real world setting.
At the Language Center, we prepare all Stanford students to have a foreign language capability that enhances their academic program and enables them to live, work, study, and research in a different country. Stanford students need to be able to initiate interactions with persons from other cultures but also to engage with them on issues of mutual concern.
Accurate initial placement is a key factor in successfully learning a foreign language. In many language programs, new Stanford students take a preliminary placement test online during the summer, followed by a live online interview with a certified instructor, via Zoom video conferencing. Some languages also require a composition test upon arrival on campus, during New Student Orientation (NSO) week. A few languages conduct the entire placement test in person during NSO. All of these tools are used to place students in courses that fit their current proficiency levels.