World Languages


The world language challenge exams are designed to offer MCC students the chance to earn college credit by proving they are able to communicate fluently in Arabic, French, Khmer, Portuguese or Spanish.  MCC instructors who are content experts developed the challenge exams.  These five languages were intentionally chosen to reflect the multicultural demographics of the communities surrounding our campuses. 

Benefits for Students

Earning college credit by exam is a high-yield and low-risk option for students who have knowledge in a language in addition to English.  Test taking is a convenient option for students because the exam's cost is considerably less than a 3-credit course.  Students do risk losing the non-refundable exam fee if they do not pass, but failing a challenge exam will not affect a student's grade point average. Additionally, students can fulfill their humanities elective credits, general education, transfer, and graduation requirements with a world language challenge exam for credit for prior learning. 

How it Works

To assure quality control, exam components have been included to assess all the modalities of communication: listening and speaking, reading comprehension, writing, and grammar. Before the students pay the $150 fee, they are encouraged to meet with the content expert to obtain review materials and learn how to prepare for the exam.  

If a student can achieve a minimum passing score of 77% or higher, he or she can earn 3 college credits for prior learning and it is noted on his or her MCC transcript as TR (for transfer) from Credit for Prior Learning without a grade. Transfer can be assured only for MassTransfer programs into related programs at another Massachusetts public college.

World Language Prior Learning Assessment Challenge Examination will consist of:

60% - Writing Portion: This consists of 10 exercises covering all grammatical structures and lexical items students learn in a beginning 1 course. 

40% - Oral Portion: This consists of 10 questions to ask the student to prompt him or her to produce spoken language.  This part of exam will include main functions students learn in a beginning I course: greetings, introductions, asking about someone's name, farewells, etc. 

In the receptive listening portion, the student has to listen to some authentic questions and chose the correct answer from a multiple choice exercise. The listening portion can either be chosen from material available in Pearson's language lab or some authentic material spoken by a native speaker and stored electronically.

Courses Where Exams are Offered

LAN 181 Arabic 1 and Culture: 3 credits
LAN 181 Arabic 2 and Culture: 3 credits

LAN 111 French 1 and Culture: 3 credits 
LAN 112 French 2 and Culture: 3 credits

LAN 171 Khmer 1 and Culture: 3 credits
LAN 172 Khmer 2 and Culture: 3 credits 

LAN 141 Portuguese 1 and Culture: 3 credits
LAN 142 Portuguese 2 and Culture: 3 credits

LAN 151 Spanish 1 and Culture: 3 credits 
LAN 152 Spanish 2 and Culture: 3 credits

Course descriptions for all World Languages as of 2021-2022

For More Information, contact:
Marilyn Glazer, Director, World Language Institute & Intensive English Institute 
781-280-3934 / 



Last Modified: 5/6/22