Experiential Language Credit Options

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, and therefore such cross-cultural understanding, outside the classroom. SLCC’s experiential language credit options allow you to demonstrate competencies equal to those of students who have completed four or more semesters of college-level language study.

  • This option 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, or for the B.A. degree at the U. of Utah, for example.

    Note: You must be admitted to SLCC with a declared program of study in order to take advantage of this possibility.

  • This option is not designed 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”.
  • If you want to study a foreign language at SLCC, please read about our SLCC Language Placement Exam.

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 no cost to current SLCC students, allows you to complete your language requirement without taking a class.

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 below. [The language requirement is not about having a foreign language; it is about learning a culture and a different way of thinking. We don’t award credit to native speakers for having their own language, just as we don’t award native speakers of English credit for knowing English. If you, as a foreign native speaker, demonstrate equivalent proficiency in English, then THAT is your foreign language, and the English credits fulfill the language requirements for you.]

The Proficiency Exam is available in Arabic, Chinese Mandarin (Traditional and Simplified), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian (as of April 2017), and Spanish.

You may take it on a walk-in basis in TB 418, Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 3:30 PM. The test takes about 3 hours, and it takes approximately two weeks to get your result. You may take it at any time during the semester.

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

  • If your skills are very advanced, you will place into a 3000-4000 level course. This means you’ve completed your A.A./B.A. language requirement. Your result will be sent to the SLCC’s Office of the Registrar and Academic Records, and your transcript will show that the requirement has been met.
    • We ask that you consult the department’s academic advisor, Sidney McGuire Brown, after receiving this result. You can make an appointment.
    • To continue your study of this language, you are encouraged to explore options at the U. of Utah or other four-year institutions.
  • If your skills are at the intermediate level, you may place into a 2010 or 2020 course in the target language. Please see the SLCC Language Placement Exam page.

Testing in Other Languages

The SLCC Language Proficiency Exam is available in Arabic, Chinese Mandarin (Traditional and Simplified), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian (as of April 2017), and Spanish; see above for details on taking this test.

If you wish to show proficiency in another language - 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 FLATS tests your proficiency through LANG 2010 only.
  • The exam fee is $50 and is paid at the time of registration for the exam.
  • The exam is proctored at various locations including Salt Lake Community College.
  • To test at SLCC:
    • Register for BYU FLATS
    • 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.

Using English to Meet the Language Requirement

If you are a non-native speaker of English, 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.

Note: A student who grew up in the United States speaking both English and a Foreign Language is not considered to be a “non-native speaker”. Such a student would need to take a foreign language to satisfy the Language requirement of an AS degree in keeping with the spirit of the requirement: to learn another culture through its language.


For questions regarding the transfer of experiential language credit to other Utah institutions of higher education, please contact the SLCC Humanities academic advisor, Sidney McGuire Brown.

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