The faculty yesterday approved the changes in language requirements suggested by the Educational Policy Committee last January and killed the proficiency test.
It gave the foreign language departments power to review and revise their elementary courses. New elementary courses may be provided to avoid duplicating work already done by a student in secondary school.
Under the new rules a student who has two years of a foreign language in secondary school will be able to complete his degree requirement with one year of study in the same language at college.
And a student who begins the study of a foreign language in college may satisfy the degree requirements by completing two years of one language with passing grades.
These revisions apply to all students currently enrolled, as well as to future classes.
Beginning with the Class of 1957, students who pass the College Boards test with a score of 650 to 699 can, by petition to the Administrative Board, get an ungraded credit for one half course in that language. This credit will go toward a degree. Those who obtain a score or 700 or better will be granted a credit for one full course in that language.
Proficiency Test Impractical
In its explanatory note, the Committee called the Proficiency Test, established in March, 1950, "inoperative and impractical." The test was designed by the Committee to find out a student's reading knowledge of a language, but has rarely been used.
The University, however, will retain three features of its former requirement program:
1. A student may fulfill his requirement by attaining a score of 560 or better in the language test of the College Boards. About 40 per cent of each class meets this requirement.
2. He may pass a test in any foreign language in which a competent exam can be given by Harvard.
3. Any student whose native language is not English may meet the requirement by showing proficiency in his native language and English.