by Anne Nygard

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Special Language Program

The Special Language Program (SLP) offers Stanford students the opportunity to study a Less Commonly Taught Language (LCTL).  Students enroll in SLP courses because of their interest in a geographic area and its people, or in order to acquire valuable skills for field work and study abroad during their academic career.  Others study a LCTL to fulfill their requirements or to obtain a minor in Modern Languages.  Many of the students who take LCTL are connected to it through heritage and they find it a unique opportunity to enhance their knowledge.  

SLP classes are usually small and they offer opportunities for individualized learning.   Instructors create specialized, proficiency-based curriculum and facilitate self-paced instruction with a learner-centered approach.  Students learn how to break linguistic and cultural barriers through opportunities for active learning, the use of authentic text and materials, and innovative uses of technology.

In addition to the current language offerings, students can request a language by filling out the Request a Language Form (available for a limited time during the academic year).  Requests for the following academic year must be submitted by Spring Quarter of the current academic year.  Please note that we receive many requests and we are not able to guarantee that we will be able to offer every requested language.

Languages Offered for Academic Year 2023-2024:

  • American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Armenian
  • Cherokee
  • Czech
  • Dutch
  • Filipino
  • Finnish
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hawaiian
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Khmer
  • Lakota
  • Modern Greek
  • Nahuatl
  • Navajo
  • Polish
  • Punjabi
  • Quechua
  • Samoan
  • Romanian
  • Sanskrit
  • Tamil
  • Tibetan
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese

Fulfilling the Language Requirement

Students who have already taken courses in the relevant language at another institution, or who have previous knowledge of the language, can request to be tested. Tests are comprised of written and oral parts. A student must display a level proficiency equivalent to completion of a first-year sequence at Stanford in the requested language in order to fulfill the requirement. Testing is guaranteed only for the languages offered for the current academic year. Students planning to take a test must contact the Special Language Program no later than the Spring Quarter of sophomore year. To submit a request for language testing, please contact the languagecenter [at] (subject: SLP%20Language%20Testing) (Language Center)


Saadet Ebru Ergul

Saadet Ebru Ergul

email: sergul [at]



Requesting a Less Commonly Taught Language

The Stanford Language Center does its best to accommodate students who request language services outside regular Language Center offerings. 

Requests for instruction in languages not regularly offered need to be made one academic year in advance of beginning instruction.  This time lag is necessary because the Language Center needs to find qualified instructors and to budget for courses outside the regular curriculum.  Please use the following request forms to request instruction in a language. 

To request an African or Middle Eastern Language not already taught at Stanford:  AME Request Form

To request another language not already taught at Stanford:  SLP Request Form