The Language Institute strengthens the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a leader in language education and research by promoting:
- excellence in language teaching
- innovation in the design and delivery of effective and inclusive language programs
- student success in reaching their professional and personal language learning goals
- research in second language acquisition (SLA) and related fields, and
- increased awareness of the value of linguistic diversity, and of language and intercultural learning for all.
In each of these areas, we strive to foster productive collaboration across campus and beyond, exemplifying the Wisconsin Idea.
Learning languages offers opportunities for making deep human and cultural connections that are beyond our own immediate experiences. For some, language learning is a window into a new culture and a way of life; for others, it’s a means to explore their personal or family heritage. Regardless, learning languages demands ongoing reflection and a willingness to engage both with difference and with aspects of our shared humanity.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Language Institute believes in the inherent value of all languages and language varieties, and is dedicated to ensuring equitable access to language learning opportunities that strengthen and enhance each person’s academic, professional, and personal goals.
The Language Institute recognizes the existence of structural barriers that can negatively affect the ability of individuals and groups to reach their full potential. In addition to our commitment to promoting equitable access to language learning and to Language Institute programming, we remain vigilant in fostering an inclusive campus climate that values the many ways that each person’s language(s), lived experiences, and individual and social identities contribute to and enrich our shared mission.
The Language Institute:
- Serves as the administrative home to two interdisciplinary academic programs: the Doctoral Program in Second Language Acquisition and the undergraduate Russian Flagship Program
- Carries out research in areas such as language program design and student learning outcomes in postsecondary language education
- Hosts invited lectures by leading scholars in applied linguistics and SLA
- Provides pedagogical training and professional development for UW-Madison instructors of languages, literatures and cultures, including through local as well as inter-institutional initiatives such as the Language Collaboratory
- Hosts a website for undergraduate students and advisors on Languages at UW-Madison
- Offers pre-major and career advising for undergraduate students interested in language studies
- Leads collaborative initiatives that raise awareness of linguistic diversity and bi/multilingualism such as Committed to Change and the Language Ideologies and Linguistic Discrimination website , and initiatives that improve language education such as the Wisconsin Language Roadmap
- Spearheads outreach programs such as Languages of the World Day that help to connect Wisconsin K-12 students and teachers with UW-Madison expertise in languages, literatures and cultures