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About the e-LCTL Initiative

Project Elements
Project Partners
Project Personnel

In a time of national and international need for an enlarged pool of learners of key languages around the globe, a strategic effort has been needed to enlarge the number and depth of offerings of the less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and their availability to learners across the nation, especially at the post-secondary levels. This requires greater collaborative effort among the nation's universities in deciding among themselves, with attention to broad national needs, which languages to offer, at what levels, when and where, and what new learning materials are required. These emergent plans then will require the support of funding agencies to achieve those goals. Planning will focus on courses and language-learning materials for on-campus academic year, summer, and distance learning. Without planning and coordination among institutions, we will be left with the small number of LCTL offerings, dictated largely by the market of graduate and heritage student demand and other short-term needs.

During 2001-2002, with funding from the Office of the Provost at Michigan State University (MSU) and the U.S. Department of Education (US/ED), and with consultation with the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC), the National Council of Organizations of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL), and the Language Resource Centers at the University of Hawaii and the University of Minnesota, we engaged in planning activities and in preparation for a national conference, "Distance Learning of the LCTLs," at Arlington, Virginia, February 1-3, 2002. This conference brought together experts on distance learning, language acquisition, and area studies to discuss potentials for expanded LCTL offerings.

With additional funding from US/ED, we have invited participation in a broadened collaborative effort for surveying offerings and enrollments and for setting priorities for LCTL instruction in each world region. Although begun at MSU, the Initiative seeks to engage all the National Resource Centers (NRCs), Language Resource Centers (LRCs), the Centers for International Business Education and Research (CIBERs), and the American Overseas Research Centers (AORCs) in the process.

The principal elements of this e-LCTL Initiative are:

Collaborating Partners

The four Title VI Centers at MSU with funding from the MSU Provost and utilizing their Title VI grants are:

The other MSU partners are:

The National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland serves as a consulting partner. The Evaluator of the e-LCTL Initiative is Dr. Scott McGinnis, Defense Language Institute, Washington Liaison Office and former executive director of NCOLCTL.

MSU Project Personnel

Co- Principal Investigators:

Members of Steering Committee Additional to Principal Investigators:

e-LCTL Data Collection, Analysts, and Designers

Distance Learning Database

Database Language Data Search and Collection:

Distance Learning Conference Planning and Administration

Joe VanDeventer, Webmaster, African Studies Center

Joanne Peterson, Financial Administrator, African Studies Center

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