Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs)

Needs a lot of help

 My understanding is that "Less Commonly Taught Language" has traditionally meant any language other than the three most frequently taught at high schools and colleges in the United States in the twentieth century, i.e., Spanish, French and German.  While this definition may still be somewhat useful--perhaps especially at the secondary school level--I think many professionals would find it useful to have standard terms that would distinguish between the LEAST commonly taught languages (i.e., those typically represented by a single instructor at a major research university, and generally with fewer than 50,000,000 native speakers worldwide) and languages that were perhaps less frequently taught in the first half of the twentieth century, but which have over 100,000,000 native speakers worldwide and are now usually represented at major universities by three- to four-year programs with multiple instructors, e.g., Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese.  In my own discourse, I have referred to the former as "least commonly taught languages" or "minor LCTLs" and to the latter as "major LCTLs", but I am not entirely happy with these terms and wonder if there are any alternatives in use.


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