History and Impact of Title
VI on Language Learning in
the U.S.
Elaine Tarone
CARLA, University of Minnesota
America needs more foreign language expertise
 Foreign language ability =‘soft power’
(Armitage & Nye
2008, Heyman 2008, Center for Strategic & International Studies: CSIS)
 Insistence on English is arrogant. Not all those we need
to communicate with know English (Gates 2009). English is
only one of several world languages (e.g. Spanish and
 Languages like Arabic, Persian, Russian and Korean are
critical to our security
 Foreign language expertise continues to be as central to
the national interest as math and reading.
CAL Surveys 1987, 1997, 2008
(two Title VI-funded)
CAL Survey: Languages Studied
1997, 2008
We need increased foreign language
study in U.S. schools K-12
 Foreign languages are not tested in NCLB: lower priority
(Nancy Rhodes, CAL)
 Recession increasing foreign language class cuts
nationwide (Education Week, Mar 4 2009)
 Children learn foreign languages best in elementary
schools, so these trends bode ill for the national
capacity in the future
History of Title VI and Language
1958 National Defense Education Act (NDEA)
1961 Fulbright-Hays Act
1980 Higher Education Act (HEA)
1992 HEA Reauthorization
Fifty years of foreign languages
studied and supported by Title VI
Between 150 and 200 languages have been taught and/or
supported by new materials, assessments, and pedagogical
tools, with funding from Title VI programs
>75,000 FLAS fellowships for individual study of languages
Less commonly taught language courses offered at postsecondary level through NRCs
Curricular materials and assessments developed through IRS and
LRCs for use in teaching less commonly taught languages
K-16 teachers of many languages have been trained by LRCs in
workshops, conferences and intensive summer institutes
Focus on Five Title VI Programs
 FLAS fellowships
 National Resource Centers (NRCs)
 International Business Education &
Research (CIBER)
 International Research & Studies
 Language Resource Centers (LRCs)
FLAS Fellowship Languages
In just the last 3 years, between 2005-2007, 5,927 FLAS
fellowships have supported university students’ study of
125 languages in either academic-year or intensive
summer programs (IRIS, 2009):
*Akan, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic (incl Modern Standard, Egyptian,
Tunisian, Sudanese, Moroccan), Armenian, Aymara, Azerbaijani,
Bamana, Bambara, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Buryat,
Cakchiquel, Cantonese, Catalan, Chatino, Chinese (incl Mandarin),
Croatian, Czech, Dan, Danish, Dogon, Dutch, Estonian, Ewe, Finnish,
French, Fulfulde (Pulaar), Gaelic (Irish) , Ganda (Luganda), Garifuna,
Georgian, German, Greek, Gikuyu, Guarani, Gujarati, Haitian Creole
French, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian,
and more …
Icelandic, Igbo, Indonesian, Inuktitut, Italian, Japanese,
Javanese, Kashmiri, Kazakh, Khmer, Kongo, Korean, Kurdish,
Kyrgyz, Lao, Lingala, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malagasi,
Malayalam, Mandinka, Maori, Marathi, Marshallese, Maya (incl
Yucatec Maya, Mam Maya), Mbundu (incl Loana), Mixteco,
Mongolian (Halh), Nahuatl, Nepali, Newari, Norwegian, Pali,
Pashto, Persian (incl. Farsi), Polish, Portuguese (incl. Brazilian
Portuguese), Punjabi (Lahnda), Quechua (incl Cuzco,
Ayacucho), Quiche, Romanian, Russian, Rwanda, Samoan,
Sanskrit, Scots Gaelic, Serbo-Croatian (Serbian), Shona,
Sinhalese, Somali, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Sunda, Swahili
(incl. Kiswahili), Swedish, Tagalog, Tahitian, Tai (Northern),
Tajiki, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Turkish, Turkmen, Twi,
Ukrainian, Urdu, Uygur, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Welsh, Wolof,
Xhosa, Yiddish, Yoruba, Zapotec, Zulu
Most Frequently Studied FLAS
Languages, 1958-2009
(IRIS, 2009)
National Resource Centers (NRC)
Currently, 125 National Resource Centers, located at 50
universities in 25 states and D.C.
In addition to educating students & K-12 teachers about
world areas, they dramatically expand access to
language instruction, supporting instruction in a total of
more than 150 languages at their university campuses.
Many of the “much less commonly taught languages, such
as Xhosa, Kazakh, and Maya, are not offered in any
government institute but only at Title VI centers and
their summer intensive language institutes.”
(Wiley, 2001: 20)
National Resource Centers
Offer academic year classes and summer institutes at
several proficiency levels in less commonly taught
languages (LCTLs) like Pashto, Tagalog, Swahili, Urdu,
Arabic, Persian, Korean, Kurdish and many more.
Leverage the universities’ investment of their own
resources (Wiley 2001). Because of them, universities:
 Co-fund NRC-supported LCTL courses, and
 Add institutional funding for LCTL courses, as these grow to
meet minimum enrollments
Example: U Minnesota’s 3 NRCs
Fund all third-year LCTL courses whose enrollments fall below
college minimum: currently, Turkish, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Danish,
Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian (with the U supporting first and
second years of these languages).
Offer supplementary funds for teaching materials for all LCTL
teachers, including those supported by UMN.
Offer summer language courses: in 2008, Vietnamese, Hmong (2
levels), Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean
Administer FLAS fellowships for LCTL study: 26 in last 4 yrs, >50% for
study abroad, to enable students to move to more advanced levels
of LCTL study than is possible at UMN.
International Program Learning Abroad Center: earn program credit
for FL study abroad ( NAFSA’s Paul Simon award for 2009).
Centers for International Business
Education and Research (CIBER)
Located in business schools on university campuses, to
prepare students to do business in contexts where they
MUST know the language to compete
Teach less-commonly-taught business languages: Arabic,
Catalan, Farsi, Filipino, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian,
Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian,
Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, Wolof
Students taught:
 1989 to 1995: 16,522
 1989 to 2002: 108,817
 1989 to 2006: 181, 541
Is the language instruction good?
Have you ever had trouble learning a language
because of poor instruction or poor materials?
Money spent for poorly taught, ineffective classes is
money poured down the drain.
The effectiveness of any language course depends
on the quality of its teaching materials &
assessments and the teaching methods used by its
Supporting Effective Language
Instruction: IRS and LRC
LRCs, often supplemented with IRSP funds, develop
teaching resources and in-service teacher education to
support the effectiveness of the language classes
offered nationwide in schools and universities, through
FLAS, by NRCs and CIBERs.
LRCs produce:
Materials: books, audio-visual, computer resources
Language proficiency assessment measures & procedures
Inservices for language teachers on effective methods
Research documenting what works
A dissemination infrastructure to make materials, resources
and information widely available to teachers & students
International Research and Studies
 Since 1959, IRSP has offered grants for the development
of language teaching materials, and projects such as the
development of language assessment measures, surveys
and research studies.
 Projects: for example, CAL national K-12 foreign
language surveys in 1995 and 2006; research on
innovations in elementary school foreign language
International Research and Studies
 Materials: for example, instructional modules for
Arabic, Persian and Turkish in the middle schools; online
translation modules for Japanese and Arabic; Chinese
literacy instructional materials; computer-adaptive
tests in a variety of languages.
Language Resource Centers (LRC)
1990: LRC program established: 3 centers. Mission:
improve the nation’s capacity to teach and learn
languages effectively.
2009: 15 LRCs, leading applied linguists and SLA
researchers. Focused on effective materials,
assessments and teacher preparation.
The LRCs hand out fish ...
… and teach to fish.
Locations of the LRCs
 Today, the LRC network provides teaching
resources, workshops, and support for language
teachers (both university-level and K-12), whose
expertise sustains the effectiveness of the language
classes offered by the nation’s K-16 system.
 That infrastructure also disseminates resources and
information to language teacher educators,
program administrators, and language
Search the LRC website:
Material Series for Specific Languages
Handbooks for
students of
Middle Eastern
• Introduction of
strategies and
resources for
studying Arabic,
Hebrew, Persian,
Materials for Specific Languages
 Learners’ Reference
Grammars, and the
Let’s Speak Series
 NALRC @ Madison
 Swahili, Amharic, Shona,
Zulu, Asante-Twi, Kikongo,
Somali, Akan, Hausa,
Sesotho, & more
Material Series for Specific Languages
Reading & Listening
Modules and
• CelCAR @ Indiana
• Mongolian, Pashto,
Tajiki, Uyghur,
Material Series for Specific Languages
Digital Media
• LARC @ San Diego
State University
• Lesson at different
levels include
video, audio, and
• Arabic, Chinese,
Farsi, German,
Hindi, Italian,
Japanese, Korean,
Mayan, Portuguese,
Language Materials for K-12
• Business Language
Packets for High School
Classrooms (French,
German, Spanish)
• CLEAR @ Michigan State
• Downloadable PDFs
that focus on business
Online Tools to Create Materials
Rich Internet
• CLEAR @ Michigan
State University
• Online programs for
recording, uploading,
mixing, and
Teacher/Instructor Guides
• The Essentials of
Language Teaching
• NCLRC--George
Washington University,
Center for Applied
Linguistics and
Georgetown University
• An on-line guide to
essential principles and
methods of FL
Teacher/Instructor Guides
 How does a teacher
effectively respond to
the diverse needs of
the learner?
 National K-12 FL
Resource Center @ Iowa
• How do teachers vary
instruction and
assessment in order to
be responsive to the
needs of all students?
Teacher/Instructor Guides
• Corpus Portal
• CALPER @ Penn State
• Provides quick and
easy access to all
materials developed
Teacher/Instructor Guides
Content-based Language
Teaching through
CARLA--University of
CoBaLTT provides online
resources that help
foreign language and
immersion teachers
create content-based
lessons/units using
technology to enhance
students' language
proficiency and content or
cultural knowledge.
Language Materials & Assessments
• LinguaFolio
K-12 assessment
lessons in social
sciences in
French, Japanese
and Spanish
• CASLS @ University
of Oregon
Directories of Resources
• The LCTL Database
• CARLA @ University
of Minnesota
• A database of
where Less
Commonly Taught
Languages are
taught in North
America. Includes
over 12,500 listings
for over 300
Directories of Resources
Orient Yourself:
Online Catalog of
Study Abroad
Opportunities in East
• NEALRC @ Ohio State
• For American
students to access
information about
East Asian institutes
and American
institutes that offer
study abroad
programs in East
Asia, as well as
scholarships and
financial aids for
study abroad.
Journals and Newsletters
 American Council on Immersion Education Newsletter archives
• The Culture Club e-magazine
• Global Connections annual newsletter
• Heritage Language Journal online blind-refereed journal
• Intercom email service
• Language Documentation and Conservation peer-reviewed journal
• Language Learning and Technology online peer-reviewed journal
• The Language Resource monthly e-newsletter
• Reading in a Foreign Language online peer-reviewed journal
• South Asian Language Blog
• South Asian Language Pedagogy and Technology online peer-reviewed journal
Journals and Newsletters
• South Asian Language
Pedagogy and
• SALRC-University of
• Online peer-reviewed
Journals and Newsletters
• Language Learning
and Technology
• CLEAR @ Michigan
State University &
NFLRC @ University
of Hawai’i
• Online peerreviewed journal
Journals and Newsletters
• Heritage Language
Consortium for
Language Learning and
• Online peer-reviewed
Title VI programs, including FLAS fellowships, NRCs,
CIBERS, IRS & LRCs, have been fostering expertise in
foreign languages in the nation’s schools &
universities, K-16, since 1959. And yet too few
Americans have been able to benefit from these
of limited
But Title VI
VI need
more funding
be expanded
to have
more the
if they
are to truly
widespread impact on the nation’s foreign language
nation’s need for FL expertise in the 21st
expertise, building on its capacity in the K-16

History and Impacts of Title VI on Language Proficiency in