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.
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 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.
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.
- 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
Frequently Asked Questions
May I take some of my language cores at home over the summer?
The department offers a limited number of summer online sessions in SN103 and SN104.
Students must take at least one language course at Loyola before taking a language course at another institution, unless approved by the Associate Chair of Modern Languages and Literatures.
As is the case for all transfer courses, students seeking to fulfill the core language requirement at other accredited institutions must obtain prior permission from the Chair of the department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the Academic Advising Student Center (AASC). Only courses at accredited institutions will be accepted. Obtain all necessary forms at AASC; AASC will also tell you the kinds of documentation you must provide and will forward your request to the department of Modern Languages and Literatures.
If I take the placement test at Loyola and place above 104, am I done with my language core?
Students who place higher than the 104 level on Loyola's world language placement exam may be exempt from the language core, pending confirmation from Loyola's Modern Languages and Literatures department after a proctored, on-site placement exam. Those students will need to complete one additional free elective in lieu of the language core. Students in the Honors program have other core requirements. Please see https://www.loyola.edu/academics/honors-program for more details.
We strongly encourage students who place out of the language core to continue their language skills. Students who place above 104 will receive retroactive credit for 104 once they complete higher-level language class, and they will be well positioned to add one of our majors or minors to their degree.
Do I receive college credit if I place above 104?
If a student places above 104 and chooses to continue the language by starting at the 200-level, the student will receive three credits for Intermediate Language II (104) retroactively upon completion of the upper-level course. Native speakers or students who place at the 300-level will receive retroactive credit for SN 203 or FR 216 upon completion of a 300-level course, which they can apply to their Spanish or French major or minor.
If I have a learning disability, do I have to complete the language core?
All students must complete the language core. If you have specific needs for modification, contact the Disabilities Support Services Office. (link to DSS)
How do I get courses from elsewhere approved?
If the course for which you wish to earn credit does not fall into the above categories, then you must apply to take that course BEFORE taking it.
If the course is a core course, you must make the request through AASC (Academic Advising Student Center); AASC will be able to tell you which documentation you must include and will forward your request to the department of Modern Languages and Literatures.
If you're planning on taking the course in a study abroad program, your course will be approved through the international program office.
Also note that you must receive a C or better in the course for the credits to transfer; the grades from other colleges and universities do not transfer (unless the course is taken as part of a Loyola program).