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AAS Less Commonly Taught Languages Distance Initiative Funded by the Henry Luce Foundation

The Association for Asian Studies is pleased to announce that it has received a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to fund a pilot project in the association’s new Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs) Initiative. According to the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL), ninety-one percent of American students who study a foreign language learn Spanish, French, German, or Italian. The remaining nine percent are engaged in the study of LCTLs. Even within that category, however, the distribution of students is uneven, with some languages more widely taught than others. In the field of Asian Studies, for example, Chinese and Japanese courses are far more prevalent than those in Burmese or Gujarati—though Myanmar and India are no less important than China or Japan to regional dynamics in Asia. Smooth international relations rely heavily on the presence of government officials, nonprofit workers, scholars, and journalists with fluency in multiple languages. “As the wor ...

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