Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs)

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

Less Commonly Taught Language 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. Each year, we welcome new instructors through the Fulbright program.

See Semester Course Offerings

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 

Did you know?

The U.S. government seeks speakers of less commonly taught languages—sometimes called 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 2023-2024

Fall 2023 Courses


There are between 50 and 100 million speakers spread across different countries in eastern and southeastern Africa where it is a lingua franca. It is also an official language of the African Union. Knowledge of Swahili is a valuable skill for researchers, summer program students, missionaries, and tourists.

Don't see the level you think you need? Email the CSLC and we will work with you to create an appropriate section/level.

Title Course Number Crosslists with

Beginning Swahili I

CSLC 10101/60001

AFST 10577

Beginning Swahili II

CSLC 10102/60002

AFST 10581

Intermediate Swahili

60002CSLC 20201/60201

AFST 10578


Quechua is an indigenous language spoken by approximately eight to ten million speakers, living primarily in the Peruvian Andes and Ecuador. It is a thriving indigenous language dating back to the Incan Empire!

Title Course Number Crosslists with

Beginning Quechua I

CSLC 10151/60151

LLRO 10101

Beginning Quechua II

CSLC 10152/60152

LLRO 10102


Hindi is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world and is the preferred official language of India. Globally, Hindi has over half a billion speakers. As enterprise continues to expand into India, opportunities to live and work there increase, making it a competitive language for commerce and technology.

Title Course Number Crosslists with

Beginning Hindi I

CSLC 17001/60155

ASIA 17001

Beginning Hindi II

CSLC 10154/60154

ASIA 10154

Intermediate Hindi I

CSLC 20223/60223


Hindi for heritage learners

coming soon! ask us for more info.