Modern Foreign Languages

Dr. Karla González and Dr. Rubí Ugofsky-Méndez,
Co-Chairs of Modern Foreign Languages and ESOL Co-Directors


The Department of Modern Foreign Languages has the principal goal of promoting the study of modern foreign languages, cultures, and literatures. The department currently offers Spanish, American Sign Language, and French. In support of this primary aim, it also endeavors (l) to emphasize the development of both oral and written proficiency in the foreign language according to guidelines published by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), (2) to provide the highest quality, most up-to-date, practical instruction in foreign languages and cultures and in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), (3) to produce majors able to meet requirements for Spanish teacher certification in Texas, (4) to introduce students to the experience of reading Spanish literature in the original language, (5) to produce students able to read the Bible in a foreign language with relative ease and able to perform ministry in a foreign culture, (6) to provide students with insight into the culture of the language, and (7) to provide information about employment in bilingual jobs and careers.

A Bachelor of Arts degree requires 14 hours (4 semesters or the equivalent level of achievement) of a foreign language. All four semesters must be in the same language. See the catalog for requirements for other degrees. Some courses have course fees.

Elementary and intermediate foreign language courses emphasize the development of both oral and written communication skills. Small group conversational practice, on-line workbooks, computer programs, and peer tutoring, are offered as reinforcements. Additionally, study abroad programs, summer intensive programs and professional Spanish courses may be offered.

SPAN 3330 and SPAN 3340 are open to departmental credit by examination. The CLEP exam is available for students who wish to challenge the elementary and intermediate levels of Spanish, French or German. A placement test is available for students with previous experience in formal or informal Spanish, and French. Students may also place out of American Sign Language through a departmental placement interview. Students can place out of, but not receive credit for, the 1410/1420 levels of these languages. AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate) credit is accepted for Spanish and French. Exams are also available for many other languages through the Foreign Language Achievement Testing Service (FLATS).

The department also offers courses in “English for Speakers of Other Languages” (ESOL) to incoming international students.

English Proficiency Guidelines


The University of Mary Hardin Baylor (UMHB) does not offer a full-time English for Speakers of Other Languages program. Some students may require ESOL classes in addition to degree credit classes in order to succeed in university level classes. Therefore, an English language proficiency score report must be submitted as part of international admissions requirements.

ESOL is designed to help students prepare for academic coursework at UMHB. Based on the results of the placement testing, the chair of MFL or designee will determine the ESOL courses in which students are required to enroll.

English Language Proficiency Standards for Admission to Graduate and Undergraduate Programs

The standards for undergraduate students to enter the academic program of his/her choice without any ESOL restrictions are below.

Admission to Undergraduate Programs without ESOL

The minimum scores required to enter academic classes bearing credit toward graduation:

TOEFL = At least 80 (iBT) with at least 20 in each band.

IELTS = At least 6 in each band.

PTE (Pearson Test of English)=at least 53 composite score

DuoLingo - At least 60 composite score

The scores represented are the minimum to receive an I-20, but all students will be tested upon arrival to determine placement in credit bearing classes, ESOL classes or both.

Graduate students must submit TOEFL or IELTS score as a part of their application.  English language proficiency standards are different for admission to graduate programs due to the rigor of the academic work. The standards for graduate students to enter the academic program of his/her choice without any ESOL restrictions are below.

If an international student has attended an English-speaking college or preparatory school prior to admission to UMHB, the ESOL requirements may be waived. Please contact the ESOL Program Director or designee for information regarding waivers.

The ESOL program offers several classes of 3 credit hours each: Grammar, Reading, Writing, and Listening and Speaking. In addition, there are basic, intermediate, and advanced levels of each skill to meet student needs. ESOL tuition is 50% of the cost of undergraduate tuition.

In order to progress from ESOL to other classes, a student must meet ALL of the following exit requirements:

1. Score at or above the designated cut-off on the English Proficiency exam.
2. Score at least 85% in all ESOL classes.
3. Pass an oral speaking exam.

The oral speaking exam will assess communication skills of the student and the ESOL director will make the decision as to whether the student can be released to all regular classes or remain in a specified number of ESOL courses. Students must enroll in all ESOL courses recommended by the ESOL director.

After an ESOL student has completed these exit requirements, he/she will exit from ESOL.

Standards for Continued Enrollment

Undergraduate Students: If after completion of the advanced level ESOL classes, a student does not meet the ESOL exit requirements for all language skills (listening, reading, and writing), he/she will be evaluated by an academic committee to maintain enrollment.