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Keywords:

  • academic questionnaire;
  • 1st-/2nd-year foreign language courses;
  • LCTL/CTL comparisons;
  • student demographics;
  • student self-perceptions
  • relevant to all languages

Abstract: Efforts to fund the teaching of critical languages, along with increasing enrollments in less commonly taught language (LCTL) classes, have evidenced a renewed interest in LCTL pedagogy. While much is known about enrollment trends, materials development, and professional training, far less research has compared LCTL and commonly taught language (CTL) students. Students from 83 classes (nine different languages) at a large university completed a questionnaire containing items requesting demographic and academic information. The results of a chi-square analysis demonstrated that LCTL learners were older, expected higher grades, reported higher GPAs, found their courses more difficult, and had studied a third language at a much higher rate. Although far from conclusive, these data begin to identify differences that may exist between LCTL and CTL students, specifically in university, introductory-level courses.