-Gregg Roberts (World Language and Dual Immersion Specialist for the Utah State Office of Education)
The Center for Latin American Studies promotes the study of Latin American languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Nahuatl and Quechua. We encourage students to build on language skills learned in the home, in K-12 classrooms, and through experiences living abroad. We also encourage students to go beyond the minimum university BA language requirement or the minimum language requirement for the Latin American Studies major and minor to achieve advanced proficiency in one or more languages of Latin America.
Ways to Study a Latin American Language
- Declare a minor, major, MA, or PhD in Spanish or a minor in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies
- Practice your skills outside of the language classroom and take a CLAC section in one of our Latin American courses
- Study an indigenous langauge of Latin America and register for a distance-learning course in Nahuatl or Quechua
- Take courses through the BYU Center for Language Study (CLS)
- Complete a study abroad!
Languages of Latin America Taught at the U
Visit the Department of World Languages and Cultures for information on majors and minors in the above languages.
Indigenous Languages of Latin America
Latin America is one of the most linguistically diverse regions in the world. In countries like Bolivia and Paraguay, and in large areas of Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico, the majority of people speak a first language other than Spanish. An estimated 40 million people in Latin America speak an indigenous language; Quechua alone accounts for about 10 million speakers. The Department of Languages and Literature offers instruction in two indigenous languages of Latin America: Ecuadorian Quechua and Nahuatl (Aztec), spoken by over 1 million in Mexico today.
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) identifies three main benefits to learning foreign language found in scholarly research:
- Higher Academic Achievement
- Improves Cognitive Abilities
- Positive Attitudes and Beliefs about other Cultures
Language Skills and the Job Market
CNNMoney "The hottest job skill is,,,"
Chicago Tribune "Bilingual-jobs: Foreign-language careers on rise"
International Business Times "Foreign language skills provide sharp edge in the job market"
American Councils for International Education "Five Ways to Make a Difference Using Your Language Skills"
Department of World Languages and Cultures: Scholarships for students declared as language majors.
Learning Abroad: Scholarships for intensive language learning abroad programs.
Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Scholarships: Scholarships available for selected Latin American languages.