Loyola University Maryland

Modern Languages & Literatures

Language Core

All Loyola students are required to fulfill the language core, either in a modern or a classical language (for fulfilling this requirement in a classical language, such as Latin or Greek, visit the Classics website).

Preparing for University-Level Language Study

The department strongly urges students interested in Loyola to complete four full years of world language before coming, preferably continuing through the senior year, so as to assure a reasonable recall of concepts and vocabulary. For those interested in continuing in world languages, this will enable their placement at a higher level; for those not interested in continuing in a world language, it will facilitate their completing the language core in the shortest amount of time possible and lessen the number of electives dedicated to language courses.

Four-Part Series

The department offers a four-part series at the Introductory and Intermediate levels in each of the languages taught (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish).  During these semesters, students acquire the fundamentals of the language in all aspects, including culture. 

The final course, Intermediate II, is a capstone course which reviews, reinforces and expands the crucial elements in all skill areas and gives students a sense of accomplishment and an awareness of their proficiency in the language.  Intermediate II emphasizes the cultural aspect  of the World-Readiness Standards for Language Learning (Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, Communities).

Speaking, listening, reading, writing, and cultural awareness are taught at every level. Curricular materials and exams address each of these skills in some way. Generally, students completing the intermediate level of a language at Loyola, the language requirement, are expected to have attained the intermediate mid-level of proficiency in the target language, according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) scale, a national standard.

Satisfying the Language Core

Most students satisfy the language core by enrolling in a section of the language they studied in high school at the level determined by the placement exam and continuing until they satisfy the core requirement for languages. Some students opt to begin a new language, in which case they must take four semesters.

  • In modern languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish), the language core may be fulfilled by completing the second semester at the intermediate level (AB104, CI104, FR104, GR104, IT104 or SN104)

*Students who place higher than the 104 level on Loyola's foreign language placement exam may be exempt from the world language core, pending confirmation from Loyola's Modern Languages and Literatures department after a proctored on-site placement test. Those students will need to complete one additional free elective in lieu of the world language core. For more information and to register, visit Proctored Placement Test at the Language Learning Center webpage.

**We strongly encourage students who place out of the language core to continue their language skills. Students who place into and successfully complete a 200-level course in the language will receive 3 credits for 104 retroactively. Similarly, students who place into and successfully complete a 300-level course will receive retroactive credit for one course at the 200-level. If interested, students may then apply the credits for both courses to a major or minor in the department. 

Introductory level courses (courses at the 101 and 102 levels) taken by students with no previous preparation in the language will fulfill part of the electives requirement.

Normally, students will complete the language core by the end of the sophomore year at Loyola.

As is the case for all transfer courses, students seeking to fulfill the language core at other accredited institutions must obtain prior permission from the chair of the department of Modern Languages and Literatures and Academic Services and Support Center (ASSC). Students must apply to take courses elsewhere for core credit through ASSC; ASSC then forwards the request to the department chair for evaluation. Only courses at accredited institutions will be accepted.

Placement Exam

Placement Exam tests are available online in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian and/or Spanish. No credit is awarded through these tests. The department encourages entering students to consider taking the advanced placement exam, if available, because a high score on that exam offers the possibility of both advanced placement and credit. Courses numbered 202 and above are normally open only to those who have already satisfied language core for the language in question. Please note that these guidelines pertain exclusively to initial placement into language courses. 

Students tend to be unnecessarily worried about how well they will do on the test, but they should be reminded that it simply establishes a baseline. A low placement score initially is not always a reflection of deficiency but rather a lack of practice in the language.

Accessing Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish Placement Tests

The at-home placement tests are not timed. The student must use their Loyola student ID number for this exam. This seven-digit number is listed in your Loyola username and password technology email that was sent to you.  Placement testing will begin in April. The placement tests can be found on Advising's website.

Placement results will be discussed by the student's advisor on the second day of summer orientation.

Arabic Placement Test Information

The Arabic online placement exam can be taken at this website https://www.esl-languages.com/en/study-abroad/online-tests/arabic-test/index.htm. When the student finds out the score, please email it to our Arabic professor, Dr. Inas Hassan.  She may ask the student to write a small paragraph or two on any topic and then schedule an oral interview.  With all these steps, she will determine where the student should be placed in the core.

Self-Paced World Language Refreshers (Not for credit)

These non-credit online language refreshers contain explanations and exercises to help students review the appropriate Introductory and/or Intermediate levels. Students can navigate through the refresher according to their level and desired goal.

The refreshers can assist students in preparation for the placement exam, so they place into the level of language most aligned with their skills.

Students can also review the language through these refreshers to boost their confidence before taking their first language class at Loyola, especially if they have not taken the language for a while.

All in all, these self-paced refreshers are offered to help students make a smooth transition to college language instruction and to have a great start towards the successful completion of Loyola’s language requirement. 

*Modules for Chinese (CI101, CI102, CI103, CI104), French (FR101, FR102, FR103, FR104), Italian (IT101, IT102, and IT103), and Spanish (SN101, SN102, SN103, SN104) are available. The module for IT104 will follow soon. Thank you for your patience.

Chinese (Mandarin) Online Non-Credit Refresher Course

French Online Non-Credit Refresher Course

Italian Online Non-Credit Refresher Course

Spanish Online Non-Credit Refresher Course

161 Course Option

The 161-level language courses (offered in French and Spanish) are open to all students beginning a new language or those who place into either the 101 or 102 level. The 161 courses are review courses for students who have had three years of language study in high school or for students who wish to begin a second modern language.

The material covered is essentially the same as for the 101-102 sequence, except that it is covered in one semester instead of two. This includes a thorough grounding in the five language skills: reading, understanding, speaking, writing, and cultural appreciation , as well as an understanding of the structure of the language, cultures and literatures of the countries that speak the language studied. Special emphasis is placed on preparing students to begin work at the intermediate language level.

Courses offered

  • FR161 - Comprehensive Beginning French
  • SN161 - Comprehensive Beginning Spanish

Speak with your advisor or a professor within the department to determine if the 161 course option is appropriate for you.

Heritage speakers or students of languages not taught at Loyola

Heritage speakers of languages not taught at Loyola who wish to receive an exemption from the language core may contact the Associate Chair of Modern Languages and Literatures for ways to demonstrate proficiency. Students of languages not taught at Loyola may contact Academic Advising and Support Center to continue to study that language at the college level.
Ana Gómez-Pérez, Ph.D.

Ana Gómez-Pérez, Ph.D.

This associate professor of Spanish and department chair believes Loyola gives students an in-depth education

Modern Languages & Literatures