Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs)

The center strives to support all languages on campus, including those that do not have a home department or program.

Courses are taught at both undergraduate and graduate level by instructors who are native speakers of the language. These instructors offer linguistic knowledge as well as a cultural perspective on the language.

We also host conversation tables and celebrations of holidays and festivals. This way, students may apply their language skills while learning about the culture where the language is spoken.

Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) courses have particular value for students who:

  • Plan to conduct research in a country or region where an LCTL is spoken

  • Wish to work abroad in a governmental agency or a nonprofit organization

  • Grew up speaking an LCTL at home and wish to further develop their proficiency in it

  • Intend to advance policies, education, or democracy in a country or region where an LCTL is spoken

  • Hope to expand their horizons by gaining proficiency in an LCTL

  • Plan to apply for the CSLC's Summer Language Abroad Grant to further your proficiency in an LCTL 


Hindi is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world and is the preferred official language of India. It is spoken there as a first language by 425 million people and as a second language by 100 million more. For the 2019-2020 academic year, Hindi is taught by a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant from India. As enterprise continues to expand into India, opportunities to live and work there increase.


Quechua is an indigenous language spoken by approximately eight to ten million speakers, living primarily in the Peruvian Andes. Quechua will be taught by our Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant from Ecuador. 


Swahili is a widely spoken language in Africa, and is the national language of Kenya, Tanzania, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). There are between 50 and 100 million speakers spread across different countries in eastern and southeastern Africa where it is a lingua franca. The CSLC offers Swahili with an instructor from one of the Swahili-speaking countries, Kenya. Knowledge of Swahili is a valuable skill for researchers, summer program students, and tourists.

Did you know?

The U.S. government seeks speakers of less commonly taught languages—or critical languages. This is because these languages are important to U.S. national security.

Learning Swahili has not only been an intellectual highlight of my experience at Notre Dame, it has opened a world of possibilities for me. As an anthropology major, I now have the skills to undertake future fieldwork in East Africa. Swahili has been the launchpad to get me to Zanzibar where I am now, continuing to learn the language through the CSLC's SLA program. It has enabled me to conduct original research for my senior thesis, an important step for a future PhD program.
-Nyakeh Tuchscherer ‘21

LCTL Offerings in 2021-2022

Fall, 2021 Courses


  • CSLC 20202 - Section 01: Beginning Swahili I (CRN14824)
  • CSLC 60001 - Section 05: Beginning Swahili I (CRN 14825)
  • CSLC 20201 - Section 01: Intermediate Swahili I (CRN 20258)
  • CSLC 60201 - Section 01: Intermediate Swahili I (CRN 20259)
  • CSLC 60202 - Section 01: Intermediate Swahili II (CRN 20257)
  • CSLC 20202 - Section 01: Intermediate Swahili II (CRN 20256)


  • CSLC 10151 - Section 01: Beginning Quechua I (CRN 17245)
  • CSLC 10152 - Section 01: Beginning Quechua II (CRN 20262)
  • CSLC 60151 - Section 01: Beginning Quechua I (CRN 17244)
  • CSLC 60152 - Section 01: Beginning Quechua II (CRN 20263)


  • CSLC 17001 - Section 01: Beginning Hindi I (CRN 17246)
  • CSLC 10154 - Section 01: Beginning Hindi II (CRN 20260)
  • CSLC 60154 - Section 01: Beginning Hindi II (CRN 20261)
  • CSLC 60155 - Section 01: Beginning Hindi I (CRN 16135)