Reading Proficiency

Demonstrating Reading Proficiency in Chinese, Japanese or Korean

MA and PhD students wishing to use Chinese, Japanese or Korean to fulfill a reading proficiency requirement should first give some thought to how they wish to use the language in research.  The main purpose of the reading proficiency requirement is to demonstrate that the student will be able to use primary sources written in their chosen language to conduct research in his or her field.  All students should read the section in the University Graduate School Bulletin on Foreign Languages and Research Skills.

Once the student and his or her advisor decide that Chinese, Japanese or Korean will be an appropriate research language, the student should determine which method of proficiency demonstration will be best.

There are several means of demonstrating reading proficiency in one of the EALC languages:

  • successful completion of coursework.  By completing, with a grade B or higher in the second semester of the third year of Chinese, Japanese or Korean, (EALC-C or J 534 or K302) the student is considered to have demonstrated reading proficiency in that language.
  • achieving an appropriate score on a standard language proficiency exam.  Students with previous experience in the language may take the language proficiency exam.  Generally, the exams for Chinese and Japanese are administered before the start of each semester.  Students should contact EALC for details on the date, time and place of the exam.  Students wish to take the Korean exam should contact the Korean Language Coordinator. Students demonstrating proficiency at the level of the second semester of the third year of the language will be considered to have demonstrated reading proficiency.
  • achieving an appropriate score on an individualized language proficiency exam.  Given that the purpose of reading proficiency in a language is to conduct research in that language, students may work with their advisor and EALC to have an individualized reading or translation exam given.  Usually in these cases, the student’s advisor and an EALC faculty member will work together to identify  an appropriate text and the exam, administered by the EALC faculty member, will consist of a translation of that text.
Contact Information

East Asian Languages and Cultures
Goodbody Hall, Room 230
1011 East Third Street
Bloomington, IN 47405-7005