Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages
Less Commonly Taught Languages
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Less Commonly Taught Languages Program

Welcome to the homepage of the LCTL section of the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages. Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs) are world languages that are less frequently studied by Americans. All languages except English, French, German, and Spanish are considered LCTLs. The MSU LCTL program coordinates those less commonly taught languages that have variable enrollments, but are considered of critical need. Some of these are taught as traditional teacher-fronted classes, some are taught as individualized, small-group classes, and some are offered as online courses with weekly virtual meetings. Most of the language classes offered are open to everyone, but some have limited enrollment or may only be available for graduate students who have received language fellowships. Native speakers of a language, heritage speakers who have some proficiency and those who already have some instruction in a language should refer to the Placement Testing page. Many scholarships are available for study of Less Commonly Taught Languages.

Please note: Because many of these courses are at least partially funded by grants, we are able to offer most of them even in the event of very low enrollments. However, due to the nature of these courses, last minute schedule changes may occur.

All of our languages are under the LL course code in Schedule of Courses. Each section is a different language.

Regularly Offered (section number in parenthesis) 

Indonesian (010) Ojibwe (001) Persian (008 and 738)
Tagalog (005) Tamil (025 and 731) Thai (006 and 736)
Turkish (007 and 737) Vietnamese (004 and 734)  


Offered on-demand or through Big Ten Academic Alliance CourseShare (section number in parenthesis)

Bengali (027) Czech (035 and 335) Dutch (018)
Finnish Haitian-Creole (016) Hungarian
Kazakh (013) Khmer (009) Krygyz
Malay (009) Mongolian (019) Nepali (012)
Pashtu Polish (014 and 314) Tibeten (032 and 332)
Romanian (033 and 333) Sanskrit (021) Swedish
Tajik (020) Telugu (026) Uzbek (011)


Other Languages

If you are interested in learning a language not listed here, please contact the less commonly taught languages program coordinator.

Non-MSU students

Non-MSU students are welcome to enroll in these classes, usually under the Lifelong Education category. Visit MSU's Lifelong Education page.

Tuition varies based on residency and graduate or undergraduate status. As a starting point, check out these tuition tables and/or contact Lifelong Education for confirmation of costs.

Transferring credits back to your institution:  Talk to your advisor at your institution--if you need a syllabi or other documentation to facilitate the transfer, please contact the coordinator, Danielle Steider.

High school students

High school students may be eligible for Dual Enrollment through the Gifted and Talented Education Program.  Please contact the language coordinator, Danielle Steider, to set up a placement test if the student has previous experience with the language.


Looking for the LCTL Partnership Mellon Program?

This project is housed under another College of Arts & Letters unit, the Center for Language Teaching Advancement. For more information, see the LCTL Partnership homepage.