Critical Issues/Online Discussion

One of the main goals of NCOLCTL is to facilitate dialogue among its members and other concerned language educators and policy makers on critical issues facing the field of less commonly taught languages.

To achieve this goal, NCOLCTL will use the website to periodically convene moderated and unmoderated electronic discussions. Some discussions will feature one or more guest "speakers" who will present and discuss issues within their field of expertise. Such discussions, which will be asynchronous in nature, will take place over the course of one to three weeks. At other times, the discussions will be open forum focusing on an issue affecting all members or a current event that warrants attention. Discussions will only be open to registered members of NCOLCTL. This interactive function will be operational soon.

If you wish to be informed by e-mail when the on-line discussion forums are working please complete the Guestbook. Also, if you are interested in eventually participating in forum discussions, we recommend that you complete the registration form so that you will have a valid user ID and password by the time the discussion forum is up and running.

As NCOLCTL staff prepare for this exciting feature, we are considering the following critical issues as possible areas of discussion.

Discussion Topics

The following is a list of suggested topics for future discussions. We encourage you to suggest other topics for future discussion.


How can we take advantage of technology for teaching and learning of LCTLs in the next century?

Study Abroad:

Where does it fit in with formal instructional programs? How should they be structured? What are we going to do with the students who return from the study abroad program?

Grammar Teaching:

How important is it to teach grammar in LCTL instruction? When should it be introduced?

Heritage Schools:

How can we meet the needs of the heritage students in the formal language programs?

Teacher Training:

How can teacher training be specifically directed to meeting the needs of LCTL teachers?

Title VI Reauthorization:

How valuable are the Title VI National Resource Centers to the LCTLs? What changes should Congress make to this legislation, to better address the needs of learners?

Issues of Common Interest:

Understanding of national language capacity and needs.
Demand for LCTLs in the United States, particularly in the service professions.
Capacity building -- and federal legislation: Title VI of the Higher Education Act and the National Security Education Program.
Declining language enrollments generally and low student interest in the LCTLs.
Sparse resources and expertise: field based national language resource centers.
Heritage language communities as a national language resource.
Standards and "Language Learning Frameworks."

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