What are LCTLs?

LCTLs is an acronym for “less commonly taught languages,” but which languages are consider “less commonly taught”? There are two generally accepted definitions in the United States:

  1. The National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) defines LCTLs as “all languages other than English and the commonly taught European languages of German, French and Spanish.”
  2. The Modern Language Association regularly keeps track of enrollment in world languages in the United States. In their enrollment reports, they report on LCTLs as “all languages not included in the top fifteen” most enrolled languages.

For the purposes of the National LCTL Resource Center, we consider LCTLs anything other than English and the commonly taught world languages of French, German, and Spanish.


Are you interested in learning more about LCTLs at Michigan State University? Find out more about world language instruction at MSU!