Established in 2014, the mission of CULTR is to enhance the language proficiency, cultural awareness, and professional development for all learners and educators regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, developed environment, and social class. To drive language education forward for everyone, CULTR is an urban LRC that leads a significant commitment to enhance the global skills opportunities of urban and underrepresented students.Looking at home and abroad, global skills, particularly language expertise and cultural competence, serves to engage people, promote understanding, convey respect for other beliefs, and provide an opportunity to learn more about a country and its citizens. Moreover, this comprehensive skill set builds the essential components of a country’s national security, diplomacy, law enforcement, and business competitiveness. As one of the U.S. Department of Education’s sixteen LRCs, CULTR highlights our country’s push to develop and retain a capable and diverse workforce that can advance mutual understanding, effective communication, and powerful relationships.
Through ambitious initiatives and prospects, CULTR grants opportunities for urban and underrepresented students to envision, explore, and realize global careers in diplomacy, national security, international business, public health, and the sciences.
Staying true to this mission, CULTR’s activities address the following 5 primary objectives:
• Provide in-person professional development opportunities for foreign language teachers
• Develop and disseminate resources to foreign language teachers on innovative teaching methods and technology
• Develop research-based retention activities and resources for foreign language teachers
• Research causes of foreign language teacher attrition
• Provide foreign language learning opportunities and materials for students
• Provide materials and events to promote foreign language learning
• Engage with policymakers and other stakeholders on foreign language-related issues
• Conduct and disseminate new and expand current research projects
• Promote new foreign language research with Center mini-grants
• Develop collaborations with schools, educational and civic organizations, and other LRCs interested in urban language education
• Develop and disseminate resources for language teachers and students that address the challenges and highlight the opportunities for language learning in urban areas