About Us

What is LCTL?

Housed in the Department of Linguistics, the Less-Commonly-Taught Languages (LCTL) Center exists to broaden the range of options in foreign language instruction at the University of Pittsburgh. Here, coursework is offered in more than a dozen languages that are pertinent to many programs of study but not available in the University's other academic departments.

The center's teaching staff is comprised of approximately 25 experienced language instructors, many of whom are native users of the languages they teach. In any given semester, 500-700 students may be enrolled in our 50-60 course sections, with class sizes ranging from small independent study groups with two or three students to larger sections with up to 20 students.

Who Studies Less-Commonly-Taught languages?

Students often pursue instruction in the LCTL Center because they are engaged in research on a particular area of the world, because knowledge of a LCTL will enhance their academic program, or because they have a personal interest in one of the countries where the language is spoken. Many students in this latter group have friends, family, or ancestors who are or were speakers of a particular language. Creating language learning opportunities that are not widely available in other venues furthers the University's mission of enhancing the professional and academic qualifications of its graduates, while also offering students a chance for personal enrichment. For information about requesting a particular language course, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.