The Center for Urban Language Teaching and Research emphasizes initiatives that seek to increase student interest in language careers, especially foreign language learning, and to increase retention of foreign language teachers already in schools. Other initiatives, including research on language learning and assessment, particularly in less commonly taught languages, innovative product development and dissemination, and outreach and advocacy efforts to government and non-government agencies, are designed to advance language learning in an urban environment and provide under-represented students a competitive edge in the global marketplace. Activities address the following primary objectives:
In order to address the overarching objectives, CULTR engages in a number of distinct activities and services including offering in-person professional development opportunities for foreign language teachers; creating and distributing resources on innovative teaching methods and technology; developing and disseminating research-based retention activities and researching causes of foreign language teacher attrition; providing materials and events to promote foreign language learning; engaging with policymakers and other stakeholders on foreign language-related issues; establishing collaborations with schools, educational and civic organizations, and other LRCs interested in urban language education; and conducting and disseminating research projects that address learning and assessment in LCTLs.
CULTR continues to sponsor annual professional development workshops, teacher retention workshops, webinars, online mentoring, and an annual meeting of language, education, business, and legislative policymakers.