What Do I Need to Know?

1. Student Status:

The Language Certificate program is available to all matriculated BYU students who are pursuing any BYU undergraduate or graduate degree.

2. Required Courses:

1. Completion of three courses*, focusing on each of the following:

a. Language

b. Civilization

c. Literature

*See Course Options for more information.

*Note for Language Degree Seekers: Students who have completed all of the coursework required for a language major or a language minor will also have satisfied the coursework requirement for the Language Certificate.

2. A minimum of a B- grade in each class is required for the program.

3. The coursework must be taken at BYU—transfer credits do not qualify.

3. Required Exams:

In order to increase the validity of our assessment process, BYU utilizes an off-site assessment service: Language Testing International (LTI), the testing office of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

You will be required to take two assessments.

1. Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI): As described by ACTFL, “The Oral Proficiency Interview is a carefully structured, 20-30 minute telephonic interview between an ACTFL Certified Tester and a candidate. The interview is interactive and adaptive to the experiences and linguistic competence of the candidate. The digitally recorded sample is double rated.” Please see the OPI page for more information.

2. Writing Proficiency Test (WPT): As described by ACTFL, “This is a proctored, standardized test for global assessment of functional writing ability, measuring how well a person writes in a language. Candidate’s writing samples are double rated.” The WPT is a 90-minute hand-written test, or an 80-minute computer-based test, depending on your language. Please see the WPT page for more information.

NOTE: These assessments must be done on the BYU campus, and must be completed before graduation.

4. Exam Results:

The ratings for each assessment will typically be available within a month of taking them. These ratings are structured as follows:

Advanced (High, Mid and Low)
Intermediate (High, Mid and Low)
Novice (High, Mid and Low)

The ratings you receive on the OPI and WPT will determine your eligibility for the Language Certificate as well as the level of the notation that will be placed on your transcript.

You must score at least an Advanced Low or above on the OPI or the WPT to be eligible for the Language Certificate.

Graphic Courtesy of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages