Foreign Language Courses

Foreign Language Courses

Central Piedmont offers a variety of foreign languages courses for general education, core, and elective credit. While no foreign language degrees are currently offered, French, German, Spanish, and Academic (for-credit) ESL courses meet the needs and interests of students working towards a degree, diploma, or certificate, those who plan to transfer to four-year institutions, visiting students who wish to transfer credit back to their home institution, and others who are just interested in studying foreign languages.

What You Will Learn

In a growing pluralistic society, our foreign languages department is dedicated to helping you gain proficiency in French, German, Spanish, and Academic English as a Second Language (Academic ESL). Through the study of culture, language, and literature, you will acquire a more thorough understanding of different peoples and their societies.

Learn More about Central Piedmont General Education Requirements

Why Choose Central Piedmont

We offer all students a real-world, hands-on, well-rounded education in order to provide the foundational skills and knowledge you need to succeed in any career.

Save money by taking French, German, Spanish, or for-credit ESL courses at Central Piedmont. Learn how much it costs to attend Central Piedmont. Financial aid and scholarships are available.

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

What We Offer

  • Available Courses, Locations, and Delivery Methods

    For detailed information on French, German, Spanish, and Academic ESL courses at Central Piedmont, visit the college catalog. To meet the needs of our diverse student population, we offer some courses online. However, please note that course offerings, delivery methods, and location availability are subject to change from semester to semester. Always confirm current course offering locations and delivery methods using Schedule Builder.

    If you have never studied the language, you would start with Elementary Spanish/French/German (e.g. SPA 111). This is a class for beginners. If you have already had some instruction in the language and feel that you would not benefit from a basic beginners’ class, you should get in touch with our department in order to schedule a placement test. This test will establish whether your background is sufficient for a prerequisite permission to be given which will allow you to register for a higher level. Also, if you have studied the language at the college level in a different institution, please call our department. We will need a copy of your transcript, showing that you passed a particular level with a grade of C or better. The permission will then be given based upon this policy. Every language class at Central Piedmont comes with a corresponding lab, which is the co-requisite for the class (and vice versa). When registering for a language course, you also need to register for the same section lab. You cannot register for one without also registering for the other. For example, when registering for SPA 111, 01 (=section 01), you also need to register for SPA 181, 01, i.e. the same section number. You will not be able to register for a higher level class unless you have taken the previous level at Central Piedmont, or our department has given you prerequisite permission based on a placement test or college transcript. 

    Academic ESL

    Academic ESL, or English as a Foreign Language (EFL), is for students for whom English is a second language and who want to take English courses for college credit to further their education or their career. The curriculum prepares nonnative speakers of English to function successfully in institutions of higher education in the United States. Coursework provides knowledge and practice of academic reading, grammar, listening/speaking, and composition. Among other skills, students learn to make presentations to groups, write a research paper, and take notes from classroom lectures. Attention is also paid to the student's cultural awareness, particularly that of the academic environment. Academic ESL is also for students whom are not eligible to take Adult ESL through College and Career Readiness, such as students on F-1 visas. Adult ESL through College and Career Readiness is for students who would like to develop English proficiency without earning college credit.

    Students who are interested in entering a Central Piedmont degree program or a university are encouraged to take Academic ESL courses. Academic ESL courses require tuition. You may take 1, 2, 3, or 4 Academic ESL classes in a semester, but if you want to take four core curriculum Academic ESL classes (a total of 19-20 semester credit hours) you must get special permission for the fourth class. Students on tourist visas may not take more than one Academic ESL course in a semester. Students on F-1 student visas are required to register and pass a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester (a full-time load).

    Getting Started with Academic ESL
    1. international F-1 visa students should contact International Services
    2. take the Academic ESL Placement Test:
      1. go to the Testing Center, Central High 248, Central Campus
      2. ask for the Academic ESL Placement Test (Document #47)
      3. take your time and do your best; the test takes 2 or 3 hours
      4. listening and reading scores are available immediately
      5. grammar and composition scores: allow up to 48 hours (one week in summer)
      6. check your scores online in MyCollege under Academic Profile → Test Summary
    3. meet with an advisor (F-1 visa students will need to see an Academic ESL instructor)

    Visiting Students

    If you wish to transfer foreign language course credit back to your home institution, explore how to enroll at Central Piedmont as a visiting student.

    Corporate and Continuing Education

    Central Piedmont's Corporate and Continuing Education provides non-credit, non-degree courses and programs, including job skills, industry-focused career training, certificates, certifications, professional licensure, and personal enrichment. Day, evening, weekend, and online opportunities are available.

    College and Career Readiness

    If you are looking for programs to gain the knowledge or skills necessary to finish a high school degree or to get a job, including Adult ESL (non-credit) visit Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness.

    College Credit for High School Students

    Visit Career & College Promise to learn about opportunities for high school students to earn college credit at Central Piedmont.

  • Explore Careers

    Taking foreign language courses at Central Piedmont can give you the knowledge and foundation you need to succeed in a variety of careers, such as business, education, government, industry, the military, nursing, and social work. Visit Career Coach for detailed career opportunities, salary information, and job openings.

  • Resources

    Multimedia Language Learning Labs

    To provide a helpful, supportive environment where students can complete coursework and activities related to their French, Spanish, German, or Academic ESL courses, Central Piedmont offers two multimedia language learning labs.