Foreign Language Requirement Regulations - FAQs

Q1.   What is the Foreign Language Requirement Policy?

Ans.  In alignment with the strategic objective to become a multi-lingual university, The UWI Foreign Language Policy mandates that students demonstrate proficiency or conversational competence in a language other than English before they graduate.  According to the policy, all students who have been accepted or readmitted into The UWI in academic year 2023-2024 to read for an undergraduate degree are required to register for and successfully complete a prescribed three (3) credit Foreign Language, Sign Language or Caribbean Creole Course.


Q2.   When does the Foreign Language Requirement Policy take effect?

Ans.  The foreign language requirement policy shall take effect in academic year 2022-2023, however, it is applicable to all FSS undergraduate students who accepted an offer to start studies in August 2023, i.e., academic year 2023-2024.


Q3.   How do I determine if I qualify for an exemption from the foreign language requirement?

Ans.   The following students shall be exempt (without credit) from the requirement:       

(i)    Regional students accepted with a foreign language at CSEC (Grade 1-3) or CAPE Unit I/II (Grade 1-5) or an equivalent.

(ii)   International students whose first language is not English and who were accepted into The UWI with English as a second language qualification.

Exemption (without credit) applies when a student has completed a course that is equivalent to a required course.  The exemption, therefore, removes the need to enroll in that specific course. However, it's important to note that no credit will be awarded for the exempted course. To earn credit in place of the exempted course, another course, typically at the same level, must be completed.


Q4.   Should I submit an exemption-without-credit request or will it be automatically applied?

Ans.   Eligible students must apply for “exemption without credit” on the Automated Student Request System (ASRS) via the SAS Portal. In making the request, students must use the course code that matches the language previously taken.


Q5.   Are there suggested foreign language courses that non-exempted students can take?

Ans.   Yes. The Faculty recommends the following language courses for eligible students:

            CHIN1001: Chinese (Mandarin) 1A

            FREN0101: Beginners’ French

            JAPA1001: Japanese Language 1

            LING1819: Beginners’ Caribbean Sign Language

            SPAN0101: Beginners’ Spanish


Q6.   Will I be awarded credits for the foreign language course?

Ans.   Yes.  Students will be awarded three (3) credits upon successful completion of the foreign language course.


Q7.    Are there suggested non-foreign language courses that exempt students can consider taking in order to fulfil the credit requirement?

Ans.    Yes.  To fulfill the necessary Level I credits, students have the option to select any two out of the following three courses.  These are:

                    (i)   FOUN1101: Caribbean Civilization

                    (ii)  FOUN1201: Science, Medicine & Technology in Society

                    (iii) One Level I Free Elective


Q8.   Can students who are exempted (without credit) based on CSEC/CAPE passes do the same language as their level 1 free elective?

Ans.   Yes.  Students exempted based on CSEC/CAPE Spanish or French and opting for the same language as their Level I free elective should follow the recommended guidelines below:

                    (i)   Students with passes in CSEC Spanish must take SPAN1000 instead of SPAN0101

                    (ii)  Students with passes in CAPE Spanish must take SPAN1001 instead of SPAN0101and SPAN1000

                    (iii) Students with passes in CSEC French must take FREN1000 instead of FREN0101

                    (iv) Students with passes in CAPE French must take FREN1001 instead of FREN0101 and FREN1000


Q9.   Do I have to satisfy the language requirement in my first semester?

Ans.    No.  Students may sit the foreign language course at any time during their programme, however the Faculty recommends that students complete their level 1 courses/credits before advancing to levels 2 and 3.


Q10.    I pursued foreign language in the past but I do not have the certification, what options are available to me?

Ans.    Students who do not possess a foreign language certification may be required to take a diagnostic test to determine proficiency.  It is recommended that you reach out to the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures in the Faculty of Humanities and Education regarding this test.  Once proficiency is established, you should (i) apply for “Exemption without Credit” on the Automated Student Request System via the SAS Portal and (ii) sit all three (3) foundation courses.