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/Foreign Language (Academic ESL/EFL). Through the study of culture, language, and literature, you will acquire a more thorough understanding of different peoples and their societies.

If you are a nonnative English speaker, the Academic ESL/EFL will prepare you to function successfully in institutions of higher education in the United States. Academic ESL/EFl coursework provides knowledge and practice of academic reading, grammar, listening/speaking, and composition. Among other skills, you will learn to make presentations to groups, write a research paper, and take notes from classroom lectures. Attention is also paid to your cultural awareness, particularly that of the academic environment.

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. 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.

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.

The Details

  • French, German, and Spanish Course Requirements

    If you have never studied the language, you would start with Elementary Spanish/French/German (e.g. SPA 111).

    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.

    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. The lab is the co-requisite for the class. When registering for a language course, you also need to register for the lab with the same section number. 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 until our department has given you prerequisite permission based on a placement test or college transcript.

  • Academic ESL/EFL

    Academic ESL, or English as a Foreign Language (EFL), is for students for whom English is a second language. You will have to pay tuition for Academic ESL/EFL courses. Take Academic ESL/EFL courses if you:

    • want to earn college credit for English courses in order to further your education or career
    • are an international student with an F-1 visa
    • want to enter a Central Piedmont degree program or a university
    • are not eligible to take Adult ESL through College and Career Readiness

    You may take one, two, three, or four Academic ESL classes in a semester. 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. If you have a tourist visa, you may not take more than one Academic ESL course in a semester.

    If you are not sure if you should take Academic ESL/English as a Foreign Language or if you should take Adult ESL, learn more about the differences between English as a Foreign Language and Adult ESL.

    Get Started with Academic ESL

    If you are an international student (have a F-1 visa), contact International Programs and Services first.

    First, take the Academic ESL Placement Test. Then, meet with an academic advisor. International (F-1 visa) students need to meet with an Academic ESL instructor.

  • Available Courses, Locations, and Delivery Methods

    For a full listing and descriptions of French, German, Spanish, and Academic ESL courses, please visit the college catalog.

    To meet the needs of our diverse student population, we offer some courses online. Course offerings and availability can change each semester. Always confirm where and how (in-person, online, or combined) foreign language courses are available for upcoming semesters.

    Academic ESL classes are only offered on Central Campus.

    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.