Foreign Languages & Literature
FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY EXAM POLICY
Students who have taken one year or more of a foreign language in high school are strongly encouraged to take the Foreign Language Proficiency Exam in the Foreign Language Training Center/Lab (located in Peck Hall Room 2310). There is no charge to take this exam. Ideally, students should take the proficiency exam prior to enrolling in a foreign language course. However, for those students who are already enrolled, they have up to two weeks at the beginning of the semester to take this exam. Based on their scores on the Foreign Language Proficiency Exam, students are placed in an appropriate language course, and they may earn up to 16 semester hours of credit.
The Foreign Language Proficiency Exam will allow a student to skip up to two complete years of a foreign language at SIUE. The grade will either be an A or a B with 4 credit hours earned for the successful completion of each semester. If a student obtains a grade of B on the Foreign Language Proficiency Exam, they have the option of taking the class regularly with the objective of possibly obtaining a higher grade. The exam is computerized and will take approximately 35-40 minutes to complete, but there is no time limit to finish it. These language exams are not based on any particular textbook. Therefore, students should review their grammar, vocabulary, conversation, and other structures of the target language as best they can.
Students do not need to make an appointment to take the Foreign Language Proficiency Exam. They may take it at any time the Foreign Languages Training Center / Lab(FLTC) is open. However, students do need to make sure they arrive at least one hour before closing. Please check the hours of operation for the FLTC with the lab attendants.
Also, please note that students may take the exam only once. If a student is currently enrolled in a course in which he/she gains proficiency credit, he/she must officially drop this course himself/herself. Not doing so may result in an unauthorized withdrawal on their transcript. PLEASE NOTE: It is not the responsibility of the Foreign Languages Department to drop a student from a course in which he/she has gained proficiency credit. This action is solely the student’s responsibility.
101-102 Courses — Students who place above 101 or 102 get credits (maximum of 08) for these two courses free of charge. They do not have to register for the course. The credit and letter grade are entered into their transcripts immediately after the proficiency exam. These are called “out-of-class proficiencies,” and the grade that goes into the student’s transcript is the grade he/she earned in the proficiency exam. Students will only pass the proficiency exam if they earn A or B. Anything lower than a B (i.e., C, D, or F) will not register as a passing grade.
201-202 Courses — Students who place above 201 or 202 get credits (maximum of 08) for these two courses but, differently from 101-102, they have to enroll and pay for them, if they want the credit on their transcripts. They have to register for the course themselves. PLEASE NOTE: It is not the responsibility of the Foreign Languages Department to register a student for a 201 or 202 course in which he/she has gained proficiency credit. This action is solely the student’s responsibility. For 201 and 202 courses, the proficiency credit and letter grade are entered into the student’s transcript at the end of the semester. Students have to notify the instructor of record not to drop them from the class list, as they do not have to attend. They do not need to take any quizzes, tests, or exams in the course in which they are enrolled. These are called “in-class proficiencies,” and the grade that goes into the student’s transcript is the grade they earned in the proficiency exam. Students will only pass the proficiency exam if they earn A or B. Anything lower than a B (i.e., C, D, or F) will not register as a passing grade.
PLEASE NOTE: The Department of FLL does NOT accept credit for AP or CLEP test scores.
Based on this policy, students may take any available proficiency examinations subject to the following limitations:
1. A proficiency examination for a specific course may not be taken more than once. In addition, students are not allowed to take proficiency examinations in course for which a grade has been earned, attempted, or they have already taken as Educard / Audit.
2. Credit for intermediate (200 level) and advanced (300 and 400 level) courses is processed as in-class proficiencies.
3. The only advanced course into which students may be placed through placement / proficiency examination is 301.
4. Exceptions with regard to course proficiency at the intermediate and advanced levels may be made with the consent of the Chair, upon instructor’s recommendation, but never to exceed four semester hours. Proficiencies for all advanced courses are awarded as in-class proficiency.
5. Only a grade of an A or B will be accepted as proficiency credit.
6. The Foreign Language Proficiency Exam in French, German, and Spanish is a computer-based test. For the other languages offered in the department students take a written exam — usually the final exam — in the desired course, with the permission of the instructor who teaches or oversees the course. We currently offer proficiency credit via final exam in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, Italian, and Yoruba. This final exam option is not available in French, German, or Spanish.
Thomas Lavallee, Chair and Associate Professor of Chinese
Department of Foreign Languages and Literature
College of Arts and Sciences, Peck Hall 2309
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1432