You will be evaluated twice a semester (mid-term and final exam) by an outside examiner. Your final course grade will be determined by a midterm exam 25%, a final exam 50% and class participation and preparation 25%.

While all examiners are slightly different, each is looking for correct use of grammar and sentence structure, good pronunciation and fluency, and the ability to communicate correctly and appropriately. While some exams will include a written portion, the emphasis is on the verbal, and listening and reading comprehension components. During your individual oral interview, you will be graded on the following criteria:

  1. Formulation time: How long does it take you to express yourself? Are you consciously constructing utterances word by word and applying one rule after another, or can you express yourself smoothly and automatically?
  2. Fluency: Once formulated, is the utterance fluent, or unsure and hesitant?
  3. Pronunciation: Can you approximate the pronunciation of a native-speaker?
  4. Comprehension: How many times do you have to ask for repetitions? How long does it take for you to understand?
  5. Structured patterns: Do you know how and when to use patterns properly?
  6. Usage: Do you know the appropriate response, depending on the communication?
  7. Vocabulary: Can you use and understand the vocabulary studied?

The majority of the tutorials are focused on speaking and comprehension--learning to use the language for communication. If you have understood the goals of the Critical Languages Program, and if you have practiced appropriately, the oral exam is simply a normal, natural extension of what you have been doing all along. You might even enjoy it!

You have now completed the last section of the Student Study Guide.  If you a new student to the CLP, please send me an email (mbarth@hamilton.edu) indicating that you have read and understoood the format of the Program, as well as your responsibilities, or any questions you may have.


Mary Beth Helderle

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