ATLANTA—Students at Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology can now enroll in elementary Hindi and Portuguese, widely spoken but rarely taught languages used in two of the world’s top 10 economies.
Hindi is one of the most commonly spoken first languages in the world, with 341 million native speakers worldwide, including India—the world’s seventh largest economy. Portuguese is the first language of 221 million people around the world, including residents of the world’s ninth largest economy, Brazil.
“Learning these languages will give students, whatever their area of study, the ability to connect with populations and regions of the world that are booming with economic opportunity, as well as experiencing myriad problems in need of solutions in the areas of climate change, environmental sustainability, urban development, public health, and more,” said Anna Westerstahl Stenport, professor and chair in Georgia Tech’s School of Modern Languages and founding co-director of the Atlanta Global Studies Center (AGSC).
The courses are being offered starting with the Fall 2019 semester. They will be taught by faculty of Georgia Tech’s School of Modern Languages in collaboration with Georgia State’s Department of World Languages and Cultures.
The offerings are part of the universities’ partnership in the AGSC, funded through a $2.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Students attending colleges and universities affiliated with the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE) may be able to join Georgia State and Georgia Tech students in taking the new classes through the council’s cross-registration program. Students at other institutions should check with their school’s registration office for details.
Students will attend classes in state-of-the-art classrooms equipped with videoconferencing technology, making them accessible to registered students on other campuses.
“These courses provide a complementary vehicle to deliver language learning in ways that are resource-efficient and collaborative, building further bridges between Georgia State and Georgia Tech to strengthen the region’s global competence, while also complementing faculty research expertise in studies of India, Brazil, and Portugal at both institutions,” said Anthony Lemieux, professor of global studies and communication at Georgia State, as well as director of the Global Studies Institute, and founding co-director of the AGSC.
While the initial offerings focus on elementary Hindi and Portuguese, Georgia Tech and Georgia State expect to add intermediate and advanced-level courses in upcoming semesters. AGSC will also offer programming, events, and faculty development opportunities in these areas during the coming years.
The AGSC is a U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center and Foreign Languages and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship program established in 2018. Its mission is to enhance access to advanced language learning and deepen knowledge of global and intercultural issues for the benefit of Atlanta-area students, faculty and the public.
The Center, composed of faculty from Georgia Tech and Georgia State, seeks to engage Atlanta-area college students, including those in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, as well as community college students and minority, first- generation, and low-income students. Its goal is to serve areas of national need by educating students for careers in business, education, security and defense, and public and governmental sectors.
The Department of World Languages and Cultures is part of Georgia State’s College of Arts and Sciences. Georgia Tech’s School of Modern Languages is a unit of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.