Experiential Language Credit Options

Do you already know a foreign language well?

The goal of the general education language requirement is to provide students with cross-cultural understanding through familiarity with the language and thought patterns of a target culture.

Many students acquire foreign language skills outside the classroom. SLCC’s experiential language credit options allow you to demonstrate competencies equal to those of students who have completed two semesters of college-level language study.

NOTE: SLCC’s language department does not permit you to take courses below your proficiency level.

To determine your placement or proficiency level, you have two options:

  1. If you are at low or mid-level ability in a language and wish to pursue further study at SLCC in that language, you should take the placement exam, which will tell you which is the best course for you to enroll in.

  2. If you are at mid to high proficiency and want to test out of SLCC’s Associates of Art (AA) language requirement, you must take the proficiency exam as outlined below.

    • Option 2 is designed for students who have significant experience in the target language and are probably too advanced to take a language course at SLCC – but who need to complete their foreign language requirement for the SLCC’s A.A. degree.

NOTE: You must be currently admitted to and taking classes at SLCC with a degree–seeking program of study in order to take advantage of this possibility.

NOTE: These options are not for native speakers of a language who grew up in a foreign country speaking the language, attended school in the language, etc. Such students can use English as their “foreign language”. See below under “Options for Native and Heritage Speakers”.

How it Works: The SLCC Language Proficiency Exam

If you have advanced language skills learned in a previous setting, either through missionary work, other coursework, or extended stay in a foreign country, your first step is to take the SLCC Language Proficiency Exam, available at a cost of $20.

NOTE: Native speakers cannot take the proficiency test. You can get experiential credit, just not through the proficiency test, because that is not the role of such a test. You must use one of the other experiential language options available to you noted below under “Options for Native and Heritage Speakers”.

The Proficiency Exam is currently available in Arabic, Chinese Mandarin (Traditional and Simplified), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.

You may take it on a walk-in basis in TB 315, Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 3:30 PM. The test takes about 3 hours. Your score results take about two weeks. However, it may take up to 60 days to post results to your transcript. We do not process results during summers or college breaks. Results are processed on a first come, first served basis.

According to your score, one of the following things will happen:

  • If you demonstrate proficiency of LANG 1020 or above, you will have satisfied the A.A. language requirement. Your result will be sent to the transfer evaluation office and your proficiency noted on your transcript through the award of 5 credits for 1020 level.

  • If you score below LANG 1020, no credits will be posted to your transcript. You will need to take courses to satisfy your AA language requirement.

Testing in Other Languages

The SLCC Language Proficiency Exam is available in Arabic, Chinese Mandarin (Traditional and Simplified), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish; see above for details on taking this test.

NOTE: You must take the SLCC proficiency test to receive credit in these languages.

If you wish to show proficiency in another language for which SLCC does not have a proficiency test - in Portuguese, for example - you will need to take the “FLATS” test offered by Brigham Young University (BYU).

  • Click here to see if testing in your language is available.
  • The exam fee is $50 and is paid at the time of registration for the exam.
  • NOTE: We accept only exams proctored at SLCC.
  • To test at SLCC:
    • Register for BYU FLATS at the website linked above.
    • Select SLCC as the testing site. To register, you will need to provide BYU with the following SLCC proctor:

      Bernadette Astorga-Martinez

    • You then contact SLCC Testing Services to set up an appointment to take the exam at 801-957-4964. We suggest waiting two business days after registering before you set up the appointment, to allow BYU to process your registration.

    • Once you’ve taken the FLATS exam, please have your results sent to SLCC.

    • If you successfully demonstrate proficiency at 1020 or above, you will have satisfied the A.A. language requirement. Your result will be sent to the transfer evaluation office and your proficiency noted on your transcript through the award of 5 credits for 1020 level.

Options for Native and Heritage Speakers

Native Speakers: Using English to Meet the Language Requirement

If you grew up speaking a foreign language as your first language, you can use English course work to meet your language requirement.

  • Complete 3 or more credits of ESL 1020 or higher ESL coursework with a grade of C- or better. You must be placed into the ESL course by your Accuplacer test scores.

  • If you graduated from high school in a non-English speaking country but don’t need ESL classes because you scored high enough on your TOEFL or the Accuplacer, you can meet your requirement by completing ENGL 2010 or higher with a grade of C- or better.

    • You will be required to provide a high school (or higher) transcript documenting graduation outside the U.S., at a non-English speaking school, in a non-English speaking country.

Heritage Speakers

A student who grew up in the United States speaking both English and a Foreign Language is considered to be a “heritage speaker.” Heritage speakers can demonstrate language competency by taking the SLCC Language Proficiency Exam as described above.

Many heritage speakers wish to learn more about their heritage language, literature/s and culture/s. The Proficiency Exam can be used to meet your language requirement, and can also be used to place you into an upper-level course, either at SLCC, the U. of Utah, or other four-year colleges. Ask your faculty language mentor to advise you.

NOTE: There is also a Placement Exam for heritage speakers of Spanish. As the name suggests, the test is for placement only; it cannot be used to show proficiency. It will enable you to enroll directly into SPN 2010, 2020, 2040 (“Spanish for Spanish Speakers”) or 2800 (“Medical Spanish”), depending on your score and interests.

NOTE: Heritage speakers who enroll in LANG 1010 and 1020 may be required to switch to a higher-level course, depending on the instructor’s assessment of their language ability. SLCC’s language department does not permit students to take courses below their proficiency level.


For questions regarding the transfer of experiential language credit to other Utah institutions of higher education, please contact the SLCC Humanities department at sarah.southam@slcc.edu or the Humanities academic advisor.

The Humanities & Languages Division is the final arbiter for all non-standard applications of this policy.