Less Commonly Taught Languages







Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL)

The Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures strives to service all languages on campus, including those that do not have a home department or program. If you have an interest in learning or teaching a language not currently offered at Notre Dame, please contact the CSLC and sign up for our LCTL listserv: LCTL-list@nd.edu



  • Bengali
  • Swahili
  • Vietnamese
  • Turkish

Interested?!?! Sign up for our listserv for announcements: LCTL-list@nd.edu



Second only to Arabic, Swahili is the most spoken language in Africa. Its speakers range between 50 and 100 million, spreading across different countries in East, Central, and Southern Africa where it is a lingua franca. Swahili is the official language in Kenya and Tanzania, but it is a national language in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The CSLC offers Swahili I and II (and potentially III, if interest is shown) with an instructor from one of the Swahili speaking countries. Knowledge in Swahili is a valuable skill for researchers, summer program students, and even tourists.


Bengali is the seventh most spoken language in the world with over 250 million speakers. It is spoken in the Indian subcontinent and is the national and official language of Bangladesh as well as the official language of some eastern and north-eastern states of India. For the Academic Year 2017-2018, Bengali will be taught by a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant from Bangladesh. This is an exciting opportunity to learn about the language and culture of Bangladesh from a native speaker. 


Vietnamese is national and official language of Vietnam. There are 68 million speakers of Vietnamese and is the sixth most spoken language in the United Sates with 1.5 million speakers. For the Academic Year 2017-2018, Vietnamese will be taught by a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant from Vietnam. The United States has many strongly established Vietnamese speaking communities, and this would be a class of interest for many heritage speakers. 


Turkish has around 85 million speakers in Southeast Europe and Western Asia. Turkey currently has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Learning a Less Commonly Taught Language such as Turkish will give students an advantage in the job market after graduation. Turkish will be taught by a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant from Turkey for the Academic Year 2017-2018. 


Beginning in AY 2013-2014, the CSLC in collaboration with the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures offers Beginning Catalan, which will be taught by Leonardo Francalanci. For more information, please visit the Romance Languages and Literatures website.


Hindi is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world after English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese, and for Academic Year 2015-2016 the CSLC is bringing to Notre Dame the exciting opportunity to learn about a language and culture that are swiftly growing in importance on the world scale. We have a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant who is coming to Notre Dame all the way from Delhi, India to teach a class in beginning Hindi. She will not only teach the language, but also give students the special opportunity to learn about the culture and traditions of India through lectures and events about India. As more companies grow and expand into India, there will be multiple opportunities for university graduates to live and work in India. Hindi will be a very useful tool for adjusting and adapting to a globalizing world with India as one of its centers. This course is perfect for students interested in studying on the ground in Mumbai, India, during Notre Dame’s India Studies summer program, or for students who want to open their eyes to a unique language and culture that will make them an asset today and in the future.


Past Courses

AY 2017-2018

CSLC 10101/60001 Beginning Swahili I

CSLC 10111/60111 Beginning Bengali I

CSLC 10121/60121 Beginning Vietnamese I

CSLC 10131/60131 Beginning Turkish I

CSLC 20201/60201 Intermediate Swahili I

AY 2016-2017

CSLC 17010 Swahili (3 credits)

CSLC 17012 Swahili II (3 credits)

AY 2015-2016

CSLC 17001 Beginning Hindi (3 credits)