Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Logo
Apply to SIUE

Foreign Languages and Literature

Foreign Languages & Literature



Please see Foreign Languages and Literature Home Page for current accommodations regarding the placement/proficiency exam due to COVID-19. 

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 receive 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 students obtain 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.  If students believe their experience with the proficiency exam is not an accurate assessment of their language abilities, they are encouraged to talk to the department chair or language section faculty to further assess appropriate level of instruction.

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.

101-202 Courses Students who place above 101,102, 201, or 202 get credits (maximum of 16) for these courses free of charge. They do not have to register for the course(s). The credit and letter grade(s) 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.

PLEASE NOTE: The Department of FLL does NOT accept credit for CLEP test scores.  AP credit is accepted as transfer credit with the following equivalency for French and German:

AP score of 3 = 4 hours of 101

AP score of 4 = 8 hours of 101 and 102

AP score of 5 = 16 hours of 101, 102, 201 and 202

For Spanish

Spanish Language

AP score of 3 = 16 hours of SPAN 101, 102, 201 and 202

AP score of 4 = 20 hours of SPAN 101, 102, 201, 202 and 301

AP score of 5 = 23 hours of SPAN 101, 102, 201, 202, 301 and 303

Spanish Literature and Culture

AP score of 3 = 20 hours of SPAN 101, 102, 201, 202 and 301

AP score of 4 = 24 hours (beginning Fall 2019, 23 hours) of SPAN 101, 102, 201, 202, 301 and 302

AP score of 5 = 24 hours (beginning Fall 2019, 23 hours) of SPAN 101, 102, 201, 202, 301 and 302

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 a course for which a grade has been earned.
  2. Credit for 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. Proficiencies for all advanced courses are awarded as in-class proficiency.
  5. 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 designated instructor who teaches or oversees the course.



Beginning Fall Semester, 2019, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville accepts the State Seal of Biliteracy as equivalent to 101-202 in language courses offered at the university, namely sixteen (16) credit hours. When the seal is granted in a language not offered at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, sixteen (16) credit hours in a lower division foreign language course (FL 101-202) will be awarded. In all cases, students must request course credit for their seal within 3 academic years after graduating from high school.

Olga Bezhanova, Chair and Professor of Spanish

Department of Foreign Languages and Literature

College of Arts and Sciences, Peck Hall 2309
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1432

Secretary: 618-650-3510

Fax: 618-650-3509


facebookoff twitteroff vineoff linkedinoff flickeroff instagramoff socialoff