The South Asia Language Resource Center is a collaborative effort funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education's International Education and Graduate Programs Service. The Language Resource Center at the University of Chicago is one of fifteen nationwide that exist to improve the capacity to teach and learn foreign languages effectively. SALRC primarily focuses on the needs concerning South Asian language pedagogy in American universities. A list of participant institutions may be found here.
South Asia is one of the most linguistically diverse areas of the world with four language families comprised of more than 650 individual languages. Apart from the languages that rank in the top ten numbers of speakers worldwide - Hindi ranked second and Bengali sixth - many of the so-called minority languages are spoken by significantly greater numbers of people than more well-known and more-widely taught European languages. Because of this astonishing linguistic diversity, no single U.S. university has the resources to address the demand for expertise. SALRC is structured to assist in meeting this pressing need. Consequently, all of the universities currently designated by the U.S. Department of Education as Title VI National Resource Centers for South Asia established the South Asia Language Resource Center to meet this pressing need for expertise. Other U.S. universities with South Asia programs also collaborate in this effort. The new language resource center is an umbrella under which less-commonly-taught languages are advanced through a coordinated program to improve the national infrastructure for language teaching and learning. The South Asia Language Resource Center is engaged in the following major tasks:
- Create and disseminate new resources for teaching and research on South Asian languages, mostly via the World Wide Web;
- Offer advanced courses in language pedagogy in conjunction with the South Asia Summer Language Institute;
- Develop a shared infrastructure for delivery and archiving of South Asia language resources; and
- Share infrastructure and approaches with other institutions having overlapping language interests, such as other Language Resource Centers, most notably those for the Middle East and Central Asia.
Our most important annual reporting is to our main funder, the U.S. Department of Education. That reporting is primarily on an April to April basis. Starting with 2005 we have produced an annual report for general consumption on an academic year basis though developed from the official reports submitted to the Department of Education. Much of the format and specific requirements of the report follow US/ED standards and any duplications that occur from one year to the next are attributable to this dual reporting standard.