Double Language Minor

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Herc99, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. Herc99

    Herc99 New Member

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    I received and accepted my appointment to USAFA back in December and I've been thinking about majors and minors. I'd like to do Foreign Area Studies and minor in Spanish, and I know it's very easy to get a language minor with a Foreign Area Studies major. I really do enjoy learning foreign languages though, so I was wondering how hard it would be to squeeze in a second language minor. Is there anyone that has done this or knows anyone that has done this successfully? How much harder would the work load be?
     
  2. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    I know someone who has a double minor in French and Russian. However, she came in almost completely fluent in French. If you come in with no validation credits and no experience speaking either language, it would be pretty difficult. If you do have holes in your schedule because you validated classes or if you are able to place into a higher level language course, you'd have a better chance at succeeding. Honestly though? I probably wouldn't count on it.
     
  3. Jwill35

    Jwill35 JWill35

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    To officially minor in a language you need 5 semesters (ie 5 classes) in addition to the 100 level. The 100 level is the entry/basic language requirement that everyone goes through. So total your looking at 7 semesters worth of the foreign language if you choose to minor in it. As a 4 degree here, I can pretty much guarantee that unless you validate those entry level classes it’s nearly impossible to start another language from scratch and fit it into your schedule. You’ll learn that things pile up real fast at USAFA and whatever you can do to free up time will help you in the long run.
     
  4. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    Generally, you will not choose your language; the nice folks at USAFA choose for you. I believe you are permitted a chance, sometimes, to make a request, though whether it's honored is iffy. As you'll soon learn, everything is "needs of the Air Force." It's worked for a while now.
     
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  5. Jwill35

    Jwill35 JWill35

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    I don’t know where you heard that info, but to put it plainly that’s not entirely correct. Anyone can choose a language. You are 100% guaranteed if you choose one of the four “strategic” languages Chinese, Arabic.. etc. intercollegiate athletes are usually in Portuguese. All the others are usually up for grabs. The only exception is Spanish, which is what over 90% of the incoming cadets took in high school and what most of them put up top on their preference list. They can’t put over half the Cadet wing in Spanish so they have to split it up among the other languages within the department. That’s where the feeling of “oh I wanted this language, why the heck did they put me in Japanese?” comes from. You do get a huge say in it unless you choose Spanish. But if you’re like me and took Spanish in high school, they don’t want to waste time teaching the basics to you again. They want to expand cadets exposure and teach them skills about learning languages in the process.
     
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  6. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    Not to be antagonistic, but you are incorrect when you say you are 100% guaranteed a strategic language if you ask for it. All basic cadets will take a foreign language test in whatever language they believe they are most proficient. If they do well enough, they will test up or out of that language. If not, they will input their top 3 choices, one of which must be a strategic language. In general, if they put a strategic language as their first choice, they will receive it. Also, those with higher academic composites (a magical score that predicts how well you'll do academically at the Academy based on GPA, ACT, SAT etc) will tend to be placed in a strategic language as well because they are usually more difficult. You are never GUARANTEED anything, and additionally, Portuguese is considered a strategic language even though it is considerably easier than the others (Russian, Arabic, and Chinese).
     
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  7. Billberna

    Billberna Member

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    Speaking of languages, just curious - is Vietnamese taught at USAFA?
     
  8. Jwill35

    Jwill35 JWill35

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    @Hoodlum15 that’s what I meant if you want it you’ll put it as your first and then you’ll get it
     
  9. 999132

    999132 Member

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    No, USAFA offers eight languages. Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese.
     
  10. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB 10-Year Member

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    Not in my case. I came in with a pretty solid understanding of German (4 years in high school) and wanted to continue learning German. No such luck, the powers that be put me in Russian because apparently according to the DLAB I had a high aptitude for learning languages...so I took a year of Russian and then quit, not having enough time to learn a whole new language in addition to my double major.
     
  11. HH2023

    HH2023 New Member

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    Quick question, I will be taking Spanish and German for all of high school, would USAFA still put me in a 100 level class or is there an option to test higher (on the exception that I would get the preference of language)?
     
  12. runjoeyrun

    runjoeyrun Member

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    Do you take the DLAB at USAFA?
     
  13. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB 10-Year Member

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    We did during basic back in 2008, not sure if they do now
     
  14. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    JWill35, I can only speak from some ten years of experience, parent of two now ADAF Captains (pilots). If things have changed, then they have changed. To my knowledge, no basics go into USAFA guaranteed they'll study the language of their choice. But, as I said, things can and do change, and then, poof! They change back.

    There now, feel better?
     
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  15. 2021mom

    2021mom Member

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    My son wanted Spanish (4 yrs in HS) but the nice folks at USAFA said Mandarin. He was able to switch into Russian and considered it a big win. For what it's worth, Russian was the only alternative to Chinese he was offered.
     
  16. c17hopeful

    c17hopeful Member

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    Minor in a strategic language. If you finish the minor you'll have the ability to make extra money
     
  17. jeffinCharlotte

    jeffinCharlotte Member

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    So which languages can you make extra money for that are taught at the academy?
     
  18. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA Alumnus 5-Year Member

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    Any language that is on the Air Force Strategic Language List. Since it's FOUO (for obvious reasons) the most current list isn't really supposed to be publicly available, though I imagine someone smart could think of at least a few languages which are usually included.

    Just knowing the language doesn't qualify you for extra pay. There are quite a few other requirements detailed in AF Instruction 36-4002 AF Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus Program:

    http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/af_a1/publication/afi36-4002/afi36-4002.pdf
     
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  19. c17hopeful

    c17hopeful Member

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    The ones that we have are (I believe) Russian, Chinese, Arabic. Personally, I'm biased toward Arabic. I believe we are probably the smallest language here and we have some great native speakers as instructors.
     
  20. jeffinCharlotte

    jeffinCharlotte Member

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    My daughter is in 10th grade and is fluent in German and getting there in French. They have been in immersion since kindergarten. Say in 4 years she is fluent in both reading, writing, listening, speaking. Would they put her in a strategic language like Russian or would they possibly let her continue in German and French?