Foreign Language class

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Alan99, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. Alan99

    Alan99 Member

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    Hey guys! I was just wondering if it was possible to take a different foreign language class than the foreign language you learned in High School. In my case I am a native Spanish speaker and let's just say I want to take Mandarin if I go to the USNA, is it possible?
     
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  2. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Will let a current Midshipman weigh in here, but can't think of any reason why not, particularly with something like Chinese. Course catalogue shows a Chinese 101 course, with no prerequisites.
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    If memory serves, the answer depends on your major and the amount of open courses you have. USNA is not like a normal college in terms of course load. Plebe year is obviously set in terms of courses for 95% of plebes. To be clear, the math course you take may vary but almost every plebe is taking some sort of 4-hour math course, chem, cyber, English, history, leadership and/or nav during the first year. Even if you validated a bunch of stuff, you are probably still locked into that general course load, though a heavy validator might free up some space in his/her second semester.

    Then you need to sort out the requirements for your major. Group 3 ("humanities") majors used to have to take -- or validate out of -- 4 semesters of language. So, if you're a Group 3 major, a language, even a new one, would fit into your schedule provided you plan to take it for two full years (or you validated out of another language, thereby fulfilling your language requirement). I don't know if that requirement still exists -- sure a current or recent mid will chime in.

    If you're a Group 1/2 major, you have distribution requirements in the humanities. Those can (or at least could) be filled with a language course but, in my day at least, that language had to be at the 300/400 level -- IOW, not a 101 class.

    If you are Group 1/2 AND have validated a bunch of stuff so that you have extra time in your schedule AND don't want to use that time for other things such as graduate education, Trident Scholar, etc., then you probably could take the random language class here or there.

    The fact is that USNA is a difficult place to learn a new language unless you're a Chinese or Arabic major, are a Group 3 major or have a lot of free time in your schedule. That is . . . [BIG CAVEAT] unless things have change a lot, which they may well have.
     
  4. Alan99

    Alan99 Member

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    Thanks!
     
  5. Alan99

    Alan99 Member

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    Thanks, can't get this type of info anywhere else!
     
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I actually had lunch today with a rising 2/C. I asked him his biggest surprises. One thing when talking about academics they said they wanted to pick up a new language also and glad they didn't. Languages like Mandarin and Arabic are incredibly difficult when starting out. The last thing you want as a Mid is picking a language that will dominate your time among an already incredible busy and hard schedule. The great part of USNA is you don't declare a major until second semester Plebe year. You have tons of time to talk with other Mids, faculty and officers to figure out the right path.
     
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