Native and Heritage Speakers


Native Speaker Policy

For departmental purposes, the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics defines a native speaker of a language as any individual who has been raised in a family and a society where this language is habitually used for everyday communication and is the language of instruction in the student's school system.

 To satisfy the General Education language requirement, native speakers must obtain a waiver of language requirement form from the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics and take an appropriate test.

 A native speaker may not enroll in any undergraduate skills course in his or her native language, with the single exception of the course in Advanced Composition 3423, but may earn credit by advanced standing exams. Undergraduate skills courses include all courses in which the primary goal is language usage, i.e., all elementary and intermediate courses, and all composition, conversation and phonetics courses. However, this does not preclude native speakers from earning credit by advanced standing exams.

 If a student seeks a teaching certificate with a major in his or her native language, the student must complete the advanced composition course, as well as all literature and civilization courses or equivalent required for the major. If additional hours are needed in order to meet the 35 hour certification requirement for a language major, the student may apply for retroactive credit for as many hours of skills courses as are needed to meet that requirement, provided that a grade of B or higher was earned in Advanced Composition. Such hours are entered on the student's transcript, but under no circumstances may they count toward any MLLL degree program at the University of Oklahoma.


Foreign Language Requirement Approval

The Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics (MLLL) has established a procedure for assessing language competence for students who are fluent or native in a foreign language.

If a student intends to waive their language requirement, they need to meet with a native or fluent speaker for an assessment interview. Students need to visit the Language Learning Center in Kaufman Hall to obtain a form and contact information of an interviewer and schedule an appointment for the interview. The interviewer will indicate the student’s proficiency on the form. If the student is intermediate, advanced, or native in the language, the department will provide a memo of certification for the student to give to his/her academic advisor who is responsible for notating this on the student’s transcript.

This method of testing out of a language does not offer credit; it only waives the language requirement. To earn credit for a specific language course(s), students can take a Prior Learning Assessment (formerly called Advanced Standing Exams) for a fee at the CIDL Testing Center. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the testing center at 325-1208.