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Language Requirement

Language Requirement

  • What is my language requirement?
  • If you are earning a B.S. in the College of Arts and Sciences, then your language requirement is to complete a world languages class at the level of 112 or higher, or completion of Level III of one high school world language, or earning the Seal of Biliteracy.
  • If you are earning a B.A., then your language requirement is to complete an ISU world languages class at the level of 115 or higher. There is no high school equivalent in this case.
  • If you are unsure, ask your academic advisor.
  • International students from a country where English is not the primary language and whose first language is not English will have this requirement waived.
  • I haven't completed my language requirement, so what are my options?
You can complete your language requirement in three ways, either by 1) taking a world language class or classes at Illinois State, (or transfer in the equivalent of 112 or 115 from an accredited college/university), by 2) taking a proficiency exam at Illinois State, or, 3) if the language that you know is not taught at Illinois State, by taking an Oral Proficiency Exam offered through Language Testing International.

1) You can start in the beginning level of a language and take classes through the level of language that meets your requirement, OR, if you have already taken several years of the language, it is possible for you to begin at a higher level, perhaps even at the exact course that you need (112 or 115). Take the online readiness test (in French, German, and Spanish only) to find out for sure, or contact Laura Edwards if there is no readiness test. Between taking one class and earning CAP credit (4-8 hours of free credit that you get after earning a C or better in your first ISU world languages class at the 112 level or higher), you would likely be half-way to completing a minor. Again, contact Laura Edwards for more information.

2) If you know that you speak and write the language very well and do not wish to take a world languages class at all, then you can take a written proficiency exam in the following languages at Illinois State for $10:

Chinese (115 only), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, or Spanish

If you pass, you will get credit for the level of exam that you take. For more information about exams offered and to register for an ISU proficiency exam, follow the steps at this link to the Registrar's site. You may register for proficiency exams only during fall/spring registration.

3) If you speak a language other than what is offered at ISU (heritage, native speaker, or other equivalent), you may be able to take a proficiency exam to earn credit toward the language requirement. This credit would count toward four hours of one of the following: LAN 112, LAN 115, or LAN 116. Language Testing International (LTI) offers Oral Proficiency Interviews (OPI) in a variety of languages. The exam (an interview over the telephone) costs approximately $150 and takes around 30 minutes. Depending on the difficulty of the language that you speak, your proficiency rating (in most cases it is between Novice High and Intermediate Mid) equates to Illinois State credit and the language requirement. For more information, see the chart here.

LTI is constantly updating OPI languages, so if you can't find your language on here, it is best to go directly to their website and search under "Select a test language".

  • What exactly does the OPI entail?
There are many videos and descriptions at the following link to help you understand the structure of the OPI.
  • I want to register for the OPI, but is my language included?
  • Afrikaans
  • Akan-Twi
  • Albanian
  • Algerian
  • Arabic
  • Azerbaijani
  • Baluchi
  • Bamana
  • Bengali
  • Bulgarian
  • Cambodian
  • Cantonese
  • Cebuano
  • Chinese Mandarin
  • Czech
  • Dari
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • Ga
  • Georgian
  • German
  • Gujarati
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hausa
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hmong
  • Hungarian
  • Igbo
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Kikongo
  • Korean
  • Krio
  • Kurdish-Kurmanji
  • Lao
  • Lingala
  • Malay
  • Nepali
  • Norwegian
  • Persian
  • Persian Farsi
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Punjabi
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Serbian/Croatian
  • Slovak
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Swahili
  • Swedish
  • Tagalog
  • Tajik
  • Tamil
  • Tausug
  • Telugu
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Turkmen
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese
  • Wu
  • Yoruba
  • What are the steps for registering for and taking the OPI?
Here are detailed steps for registering for the OPI in a language other than those offered at Illinois State. LTI permits students to take the OPI from home with an official LTI proctor. Be sure to click on "web-based testing" when filling out the application to take the OPI.
  • I want to know how my credit is going to be applied to my transcript at Illinois State