How to Effectively Test Students in French

As the Popularity to Learn French Increases, So Does the Need for Reliable Placement Testing.


Although only 12% of the world’s population is native French speakers, France still remains the most popular tourist destination in the world. In 2013, France was visited by 85.7 million foreign tourists. This high volume of tourism has led to a stronger motivation from young students in education to learn French in hopes to travel to the beautiful country someday.

While only being the 17th most spoken language by population, French is actually the second most popular language by number of countries. Trailing English (67 countries), 34 countries consider French a national language.

According to an article about the language enrollments in the United States, “in terms of ranking, Spanish and French still lead as the two most studied languages.” (Looney, 2)

The French WebCAPE

As was apparent to Dr. Jerry Larson in 1992 with the Spanish department at Brigham Young University, the French department was experiencing too many students coming in at all levels of placement. As the desire to learn French increased, so did the need to test the French learners.

Shortly after the Spanish WebCAPE was developed (more information on its development here), the French WebCAPE was created as a much cheaper and faster alternative to the current placement testing.

As with the Spanish WebCAPE, the French WebCAPE went through many minor improvement to increase reliability and validity. The Multiple Assessment Programs and Services (MAPS) test from Education Testing Services in Princeton, New Jersey calculated the validity of our French exam.

MAPS found the reliability coefficient to be .76 and the validity coefficient to be .80. Where personally testing each and every student leaves room for human error, the WebCAPE allows quick and accurate testing to help speed up the process while still maintaining reliability.

Sign Up to Test Your Students Today

The growth in French language learning continues today. Due to such a high need for an accurate placement exam with quick results, WebCAPE offers French as a placement test to evaluate language fluency.

To test your students in this language and appropriately place them into correct language courses, click here. We even offer a free 30-day trial for all new institutions so you can get your students familiar to the program before purchasing.


Looney, D., & Lusin, N. (2018). Enrollments in Languages other than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Summer 2016 and Fall 2016: Preliminary Report. MLA,1-19

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