NCOLCTL's mission is to increase the number of Americans who choose to learn one or more of the less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) as a means of enhancing cross-cultural communication among citizens of the United States. NCOLCTL's work focuses on the less commonly taught languages which are becoming increasingly vital to the security, economic, social and political welfare of the United States. NCOLCTL seeks to improve the teaching and learning of these languages and to make them more generally available. NCOLCTL is the national voice for organizations and individuals who represent the teaching of these less commonly taught languages at both the collegiate and precollegiate level. NCOLCTL also promotes the use of technology, especially computers and the Internet, to enable a new era in cross-cultural understanding, communication, and language education.
NCOLCTL constitutes a national mechanism devoted to strengthening the less commonly taught language professions through enabling its members to work toward "shared solutions to common problems." NCOLCL principally directs its efforts toward building a national architecture for the LCTL field and in making the field's resources easily accessible to language programs and individual learners around the United States.
Activities of NCOLCTL
Since its establishment in 1990, NCOLCTL has carried out a variety of activities to raise awareness about the importance of less commonly taught languages. NCOLCTL achieves its goals through the following activities:
- Website: This interactive website allows NCOLCTL members to communicate on critical issues and to share information
- Annual Conference in conjunction with the Delegate Assembly
- Conducting research to promote and facilitate the learning and teaching of the LCTLs
- Planning for and establishing a national policy for building the national capacity for the study of the LCTLs
- Enhancing the capacity of existing LCTL national associations, and organizing new ones
- Establishing a system for networking and communication among member organizations, and facilitating their collective efforts to solve problems in the LCTL field
- Developing language learning frameworks to guide teacher training, curriculum design, materials development, and seek ways to address problems of articulation among different levels of the American educational system
- Working, on behalf of the members, with government agencies, foundations, and the general foreign language community on policy issues and to seek funding to establish effective standards for the less commonly taught language field
- Fostering national and international linkages within and across the various language areas