Language Programs

The EALL department teaches elementary, intermediate, and advanced courses in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean in a semi-intensive format, requiring substantial daily preparation and meeting three to five times per week.  The department offers a separate track in Chinese and Korean designed for students who have had varying degrees of exposure to the language in a family or other setting.  Courses in this track are not more “advanced” than those designed for students with no background in Chinese or Korean, but rather address a different set of needs.  Placement in all courses is determined by the teaching staff.

Language Placement and Proficiency Examinations

Course placement and foreign language proficiency exams in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean are given at the beginning of the semester.  Students seeking to demonstrate proficiency through examination or seeking placement based on prior study must take these exams.  The Chinese, Japanese and Korean tests also include online components that students must complete.  For the online tests, it must be completed between July 1-29, 2022. Click here for the Placement Exams and Information.  Click here to access the online Chinese exam, Japanese exam or Korean exam.

2022 Placement Exams - Oral Interview & Written Test

Interviews and writing parts: Interviews will be via Zoom and the writing portion will be done by uploading to Canvas.

Questions regarding the examinations or courses can be addressed to Rongzhen Li for Chinese, Seungja Choi for Korean, for Japanese placement exams and courses, Mika Yamaguchi

If you are in doubt about your status, please come to the placement exam or contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS), Luke Bender, in advance.

The following categories of students must take a placement examination:

  • students who are enrolling in the department’s language classes for the first time but have studied Chinese, Japanese, or Korean elsewhere;
  • students who have any background in one of these languages because of family reasons;
  • students of Japanese or Korean returning from a Light Fellowship-approved program who are enrolling in language classes; or
  • students of Chinese who attended a non-Light-approved program and are enrolling in a language class.

For those students who wish to continue their study of Chinese after returning from a Light-approved program, please refer to the chart found here.

Table of Acceleration Credit

Credits for Study Abroad

Under certain conditions, course credits earned at another college or university may be used toward Yale College requirements.  Please see the Yale College Programs of Study policy on credit from other universities for more information. 

If you are seeking credit for outside courses, including Light Fellowship-approved programs, towards distributional requirements, please contact the DUS, Luke Bender.  To request credit toward the foreign language requirement, please complete the “Earning Credit for Coursework Completed Outside Yale,” form. Please click here to access the form.

For all other questions regarding course credit, please consult the Center for International and Professional Experience or your departmental DUS. 

Language Tables

The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, with the generous cooperation of the residential colleges, maintains weekly lunchtime language tables* for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Contact Kumiko Nakamura (Japanese), Jianhua Shen  (Chinese), or Angela Lee-Smith (Korean) for details.

Language Certificate 

We are now offering a Certificate of Advanced Language Study to students who have completed four courses in any East Asian language beyond L4. At least two (2) of these courses must be Yale courses designated as L5; as many as two (2) may be advanced seminars taught in the language or L5-level courses taken elsewhere.

  • Courses must be taken for a grade (no Credit/D/Fail);
  • Grades must be B or above;
  • At the discretion of the certificate advisor, students may substitute credit-bearing academic study abroad taught in the target language;
  • At the discretion of the certificate advisor, one course conducted in the target language and at the appropriate advanced level may be counted. Qualifying courses might include independent study, graduate seminar, advanced seminar, or language across the curriculum.

Students who take the equivalent of L5 (or higher) courses outside of Yale—for example, as part of the Light Fellowship—would also be able to count up to two credits toward the certificate.

Other sorts of classes conducted in CJK languages at the appropriately advanced level will also count. These might include the Chinese section of EALL 200 or a graduate seminar. A course like “Intro to Literary Chinese” that is conducted in English will not count even though it is designated as an L5 course.

Students who would like to petition for the certificate should complete the “Yale College Declare Candidacy for a Certificate” form found at

If you have any questions regarding the certificate, please contact the DUS, Prof Luke Bender at