The situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) is evolving rapidly across the United States. Please see for the most up-to-date campus information.

All Linguistics Department faculty, lecturers, graduate students, language program instructors and staff are now working remotely and all Spring 2020 linguistics and language courses will be offered online. The physical facilities are closed. View student resources for Spring 2020 term here.

General Information

The Linguistics Language Program (LLP) offers beginning language instruction in American Sign Language (ASL), Arabic, French , German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Through the Heritage Language Program (HLP), courses are offered in Filipino, Hindi, KoreanPersian and Vietnamese.

Our aim is effective communication in a second language. The courses satisfy general education requirements of the various colleges, prepare students for literature and education-abroad programs, and provide for maintenance of existing language skills. In addition to its regular language classes, the LLP offers self-instructional courses for some 60 languages and has self-study materials for preparing graduate students for foreign-language reading examinations.

The Language Laboratory, an integral facility of the LLP, has up-to-date computer, audio, and video facilities for language learning. The laboratory maintains reference materials for nearly 200 languages.

Second-language acquisition and language pedagogy traditionally have been important applied areas within the discipline of linguistics. UCSD is unique in having a language program administered by linguistics faculty interested in applying research on second-language acquisition to the foreign-language classroom.

LLP Structure

The Director of the LLP is a professor within the Linguistics Department. Academic coordinators for the various languages work with the Director in designing curricula, establishing academic policies, and training and supervising language instructors. Graduate-student teaching assistants provide nearly all of the instruction for the LLP. The Department's clerical, technical, and language-laboratory staff work closely with the academic staff in their continuing pursuit of quality and innovation in language instruction.


Since the founding of the UCSD campus in 1964, the LLP has had four directors.

Leonard Newmark created an innovative way of teaching languages, a forerunner of the kinds of communicative approaches that are widespread today.

Tracy Terrell brought to the program a theory of second-language acquisition known as the Natural Approach. Terrell's textbooks for Spanish, French and German are widely used in colleges throughout the United States.

Sanford Schane introduced into the Program computer-assisted language instruction and other technological applications.

Grant Goodall is the current director of the Language Program.

Language at UC San Diego

UC San Diego is known for its innovative, non-traditional approach to language instruction. Multiple units share language instruction rather than having individual departments for English, French, Spanish, or Asian or Romance languages. Learn about language courses and programs available at UC San Diego, and how to enroll in them.