Located at an urban minority-serving Title III and Title V research university, the Center for Urban Language Teaching and Research (CULTR) is the first LRC in the Southeastern United States. CULTR’s mission is to enhance the global skills opportunities of urban and underrepresented learners and educators. CULTR’s slogan, “Languages for all”, underscores the Center’s commitment to providing access to fulfilling language programs and meaningful professional development. To this end, the Center has created a unique identity around serving the needs of all students and the communities they represent by helping to provide empowering language learning opportunities as part of 21st-Century global education. CULTR is guided by its core values of access, advocacy, outreach, and research and has gained a national reputation for innovative approaches to promoting access to language education for all students regardless of their socioeconomic and ethnic background.
Guided by its core values, CULTR’s initiatives fall into four central objectives: professional development, career readiness, advocacy, research.
- Professional development centers on increasing learning and growth opportunities for language teachers and building communities of practice.
- We promote career readiness through language study and the development of global skills vital to academic and career preparation for all 21st-Century students.
- Our advocacy initiatives aim to increase awareness of the national need and support for language education and global skills preparation among parents, schools, communities, and the private sector.
- We strive to conduct and disseminate meaningful research on access to Dual Language Immersion and the learning, teaching, and assessment of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs), which can be translated into improvements in practice.
Under these objectives fall several projects such as the creation of downloadable free Infographics, a Family and Community Toolkit, Podcasts and Videos to build communities of practice among language educators, as well as hosting annual Global Language Leadership Meeting and World Languages Day events, Teacher Professional Development Workshops, Family and Community Camps, and others. Research includes a national Dual Language Immersion mapping project and the study of motivation, assessment, and linguistic urban landscapes, all in relation to the teaching and learning of LCTLs.