Foreign Language Acquisition

Updated: March 11, 2011 (PDF)

Students desiring course substitution of foreign language course requirement(s) are required to submit documentation of a disability related to foreign language acquisition in order to verify eligibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act. These guidelines are provided to insure that reports are sufficient and appropriate to verify eligibility.

Documentation must include:

  1. The results of comprehensive assessment. The tests need to be those which have been normed for adults so that the report covers the four following areas:
    1. Aptitude: Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV (WAIS-IV).
    2. Achievement: Current levels of functioning in reading and written language are required. The Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement-III (WJ-III) are required. The following achievement tests may be used as supporting assessment information: Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test, Tests of Academic Skills (TASK), Tests of Written Language-4 (TOWL-4), Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised, and the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-III (WIAT-III). Please note: Each measure is not adequate alone.
    3. Information Processing: Assessment of long and short term memory, sequential memory, auditory discrimination and perception, visual perception, spatial orientation and relations and processing speed must be included in the testing. Use of subtests from the WAIS-IV, WJ-III or the WMS-IV, are acceptable means of providing this information.
    4. Evaluation: Evaluation, summary, and recommendations by the person(s) administering or evaluating the testing is required.
  2. All of the test scores from the assessment, especially the standard scores and percentiles.
  3. A recent and/or updated report based on adult norms. Since accommodations are based on the current impact of the disability to the student, documentation must be up to date and based on adult norms (age 18 and older). For students under 18, documentation must be current (no more than 3 years old). A thorough assessment is the basis for determining the presence of a disability related to foreign language acquisition and appropriate courses for substitution, therefore it is in the student’s best interest to provide recent, appropriate, and comprehensive documentation.
  4. Documentation must include clear and specific evidence for and identification of a disability related to foreign language acquisition.
  5. The printed name, signature, title, professional credentials/license number, address, phone number and fax number of each evaluator involved as well as the date(s) of testing/evaluation, all on official letterhead. Certified or licensed psychologists, learning disabilities specialists and educational therapists are appropriate evaluators.

All documentation is confidential and should be submitted to:

Disability Services and Programs
University of Southern California
3601 Watt Way, GFS 120
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1692
(213) 740-0776
(213) 740-8216 Fax