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Report on prioritizing instruction in the LCTLs of Latin America and the Caribbean

Professor John Bratzel (FLAS Coordinator of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Michigan State University) and Sharon Mujica (Outreach Coordinator of the Duke/University of North Carolina Program in Latin American Studies) have coordinated the discussions of prioritizing the instruction in the LCTLs of Latin America.

Initial discussions held at the Conference on "Distance Learning and the Less Commonly Taught Languages" in Arlington, Virginia, in February 2002 resulted in a decision to coordinate the project with the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP). In September of 2002 a focus group was brought together at the offices of the International Education and Programs Service of the U. S. Department of Education to discuss how LCTL instruction could be increased in both depth and breadth with greater cooperation and planning between major institutions.

Subsequent discussions of issues involved in prioritizing the languages of the region were facilitated by a dedicated LCTL website hosted by Sharon Mujica from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill/Duke University consortium. A series of other meetings were held at:

At the Latin American Studies Association meeting in Las Vegas, the final report which has been disseminated earlier, was approved with minor changes. The report included the priority list and appears below.

Among other things, the report calls for greater interaction between Language Resource Centers and NRCs. To that end, a conference hosted by the Language Acquisition and Resource Center (LARC) at San Diego State University is being organized at San Diego in late April, 2005 to pursue a variety of issues concerning the teaching of Latin American LCTLs. The conference is co-sponsored by LARC, and the Latin American NRC/FLAS universities at Michigan State University, UNC/Duke, and San Diego State University.

Read the 2004 final report "Prioritizing Instruction in the Less Commonly Taught Languages of Latin America and the Caribbean" prepared by the coordinators in 2004.

View the demographic table listing numbers of first-language speakers of the LCTLs of Latin America and the Caribbean (data derived from the web-version of Grimes, Barbara, ed. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 14th edition, vol. 1 (2000))

View data about Latin American and Caribbean LCTL offerings at Title VI centers, U.S. Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Defense Language Institute, and other institutions in the U.S. from 2001-04.

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