Ever wonder what a LCTL is?

If you’ve ever wondered what a LCTL (less commonly taught language; pronounced [licktle]), the answer is just about everything except for Spanish, French, German, and Italian. See here for a list of LCLTs.

EthnicTV Network on the internet

I saw a post about this website recently:

The premier Russian TV videos site, available in broadband, is on the Ethnic
TV Network at:


Superb, full-screen videos. Thousands of taped programs available in the
archive. Thsi is a commercial site. Cost: $10 for 20 hours a month, $20 for
50 hours a month, $40 for unlimited viewing.

Edward Tufte Workshop

I attended a workshop by Edward Tufte a few weeks ago and found it quite interesting. There’s lots of information available at his website: www.edwardtufte.com


And here’s another tool for learning vocabulary or other brief, factual information: Quizlet.


You can use the tool to make your own vocabulary lists and quiz them in a number of ways.

WordMate (by a UofC alumnus)

Here’s a product for vocabulary acquisition made by a University of Chicago alumnus:


DishNetwork in the CSL

Since June, the CSL has had DishNetwork satellite dishes ready to receive foreign language programming. We tested the system with German, Polish, and Russian television during the summer courses. We’ll be adding more programming in Autumn quarter. If you have an interest in programming we aren’t currently offering, talk to your language teacher, language coordinator, and the CSL staff about adding your languages of interest.

See the DishNetwork international programming pages for more information on channel options.

We’ll be looking into ways to make live, pre-recorded, and on-demand foreign language video available for teachers, courses, and students in and around the CSL this fall.


WordChamp is a useful website for foreign language learners to practice their vocabulary (use lists posted by other users or make your own lists). The vocabulary feature allows you to test and restest pesky vocabulary that just won’t stick in your memory. They also have webreaders that will give you glossed vocabulary for certain languages.


What does the sign at the end of the corridor say?

Gracing the south wall of the main corridor in the CSL is a quotation from King Alfred the Great of England (c. 849-899), commenting in the late 9th century about the lack of translations of Latin texts into the English of his day. He writes: ‘They didn’t know that men would every become so reckless and their learning in such decline, therefore they had purposely forsaken it [the translation of Latin and other texts into Old English] and wanted that here there would be more wisdom in the land, the more languages (ġeðēode NOM pl; ġeðēoda GEN pl) we knew.’ This Old English citation has been incorporated into the design and publications of the center, touching on the role of the study of foreign languages amidst the role of English as a lingua franca on a global level as well as at the level of our daily communicaton in the center, yet at the same time the citation reminds us that English can be impenetrable, even to native speakers. The final line underscores the role of the language center in increasing knowledge and wisdom through the pursuit of studying languages.

Alfred's Quote in manuscript form

What is ġeðēode?

ġeðēode (NOM pl) is the Old English for ‘languages’.
[ġ] is pronounced like y in year, ð is th in thigh. This version of the word includes all the scholarly diacritics to help you pronounce the word and get the short and long vowels right.

MLA issues report: Foreign Languages and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World

There’s been a great deal of buzz about this MLA report on foreign language education in the past week.

See here for the report and here for an article in the Chronicle for Higher Education.

More basics on copyright, fair use, TEACH act, and digitization

The Fair Use Policy defines what is and is not legal at a university under copy write laws.

The Teach Act gives some more leeway to the above, for classroom use.

The Digital Millennium Act applies to items that are digitized and accessible online:

Introduction to Copyright for Language courses

The Yale Center for Language Study has prepared a primer on copyright issues for language courses. It was developed by Howard Barnaby, a copyright lawyer now on the staff of the Yale Center for Language Study, in consultation with the Yale General Counsel’s Office. This is being passed around and referred to quite often.

See http://www.cls.yale.edu/ip.

For our campus, this is only the beginning. Any policies would still need to be worked out with and approved by the university counsel’s office.

ġeðēode, the CSL blog is now up and running

Hello everyone. Check back here for more news soon.