How Many Years of Language Other Than English (LOTE) Should I Take?

Students generally need to study two years of the same Language Other Than English (LOTE) in order to meet minimum college admissions eligibility standards. (The caveat is some colleges, like MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, do not require LOTE courses for admissions eligibility.) So, families should check eligibility requirements for first year admissions at a variety of colleges. 

However, students typically ask about the number of LOTE courses when not inclined to learning languages, or in some instances, are multilingual as their families speak languages other than English at home, but are concerned about being “competitive” for college admissions. 

Creative Marbles advises, instead of curating a transcript, which a student believes a college admissions officer seeks to build competitiveness, students can heed advice from Stanford admissions officers

We ask you to exercise good judgment and to consult with your counselor, teachers and parents as you construct a curriculum that is right for you. Our hope is that your curriculum will inspire you to develop your intellectual interests, not suffer from unnecessary stress.

Bolded emphasis added by Creative Marbles Consultancy

In following what is “right for [them]”, students can learn subjects of interest, gaining confidence in their aptitude. And, when following their intuition, students are often less anxious. 

Thus, if students take only the two years of required LOTE courses, then they are free to take courses of interest Junior and Senior years.  Plus, many can also qualify for Dual Enrollment at a community college, accessing a wider variety of courses to explore their interests at more depth.

For over twenty years, Creative Marbles experts have moderated family conversations regarding complex educational decisions, lending our expertise to reduce the risk of malinvestment. For more information, contact us.

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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