Mission Statement

Mission Statement

The Center for Language Studies helps learners acquire the advanced language and cultural skills they need for personal enrichment and for global careers in any of the University’s academic disciplines.

Motivation

In pursuing the CLS mission, we are motivated by a conviction that:

  1. Advanced language learning brings advanced cultural insights, increases global understanding, and reveals the limitations of any monolingual view of the world.
  2. Knowledge of more than one language increases language awareness and sensitivity, promotes life-long learning, and is a hallmark of the educated person.
  3. The second language skills of BYU’s faculty and students are a “core BYU competency.”*
    1. They provide students with “access to a wide variety of markets.”
    2. They “make a significant contribution to the perceived customer benefits” of hiring BYU graduates.
    3. They would “be difficult for competitors [other universities] to imitate.”

Functions and Goals

The Center for Language Studies provides strategic planning and assessment services for the College of Humanities, oversees special-purpose language resource centers, supports majors in 11 foreign languages, and regularly offers instruction in about 50 additional languages.  The Center’s goals can be grouped into four functional areas.

  1. Providing Instruction.  The Center’s instructional goals are to:
    1. Provide students with the professional language skills, cultural knowledge, and ethical standards required for global careers and world-wide service – regardless of their major field of study.
    2. Offer professional development and graduate study options that will prepare professional language educators to teach, conduct research, develop curricula, create tests, and manage second language programs.
    3. Increase the language and cultural awareness of all BYU students.
    4. Raise the general public’s awareness of the value of second language skills.
  2. Assessing Progress.  The Center’s assessment goals are to:
    1. Create a culture of assessment, reflection, and innovation.
    2. Improve language programs through data-driven decision making.
  3. Conducting Research.  The Center’s research goals are to:
    1. Link linguistic theories to pedagogical strategies.
    2. Engage in scholarly research on language teaching, learning, and testing.
    3. Use research results to enhance instructional practices and learning behaviors.
  4. Developing Curricula.  The Center’s curricular goals are to:
    1. Develop the curricula, tests, and technologies needed to support the Center’s instructional, assessment, and research goals.
    2. Coordinate and collaborate with other national curriculum projects to accomplish more than would be possible with the Center’s resources alone.

*  “The Core Competence of the Corporation,” C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel in Harvard Business Review.  May-June 1990, p 83.  [The most frequently republished of all HBR articles.]