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College of Languages, Linguistics, & Literature

Providing comprehensive first and second year language courses in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, ancient Greek, and classical Latin.

Our Mission

Expand knowledge of the humanities by teaching and conducting research in the modern and classical languages, literatures, and cultures through the courses constituting the department’s overall program.

The Role of Languages, Linguistics, & Literature

The College of Languages, Linguistics, & Literature offers a comprehensive and complementary curriculum in English, foreign and heritage languages and literatures, second language studies, and linguistics.  Many of its Asia and Pacific focused courses are world-class, having capitalized on Hawaii’s unique geographical location and population profile.

Faculty teach more than 25 languages, and have the capacity to teach more. Students seek courses from the college for academic, personal, and professional reasons because today’s global society calls for such knowledge.

Departments in the College of Languages, Linguistics, & Literature assume large roles, often with unique expertise and specialization. They are:

Programs, centers, and institutes enhance the departments and provide remarkable breadth and depth to studies. Together, they help provide a highly integrated, cohesive, and effective curriculum. They are:

  • Center for Biographical Research
    Dedicated to the interdisciplinary and multicultural study of life writing. CBR programs include teaching, publication, and outreach activities.
  • Center for Interpretation & Translation Studies
    Training in translation and interpretation, and offers undergraduate courses and a six-week intensive training program.
  • Center for Language & Technology
    Provides support for the integration of technology into instruction and research in the curriculum of the College of LLL.
  • Center for Second Language Research
    Provides assistance securing extramural funding for Second Language Studies research on learning, teaching, and reviving languages.
  • Chinese Language Flagship Center
    An intensive Chinese learning experience that allows students to attain professional language and cultural proficiency
  • English Language Institute
    Provides English instruction for university students who do not speak English as a native language in order to facilitate their academic studies.
  • Hawaii English Language Program
    An intensive English language program run by the Department of Second Language Studies to train students for academic-level study.
  • Korean Language Flagship Center
    Dedicated to the only federally funded program in the U.S. to cultivate Korean specialists with professional-level proficiency in Korean, including BA, MA, and Certificate tracks.
  • Language Analysis & Experimentation Labs
  • A research and teaching facility dedicated to human language and cognitive mechanisms responsible for it.
  • Language Documentation Training Center
    Helps native speakers of underdocumented languages document their languages through workshops on language documentation techniques and issues.
  • Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center (Tech Center)
    This national center coordinates technology integration efforts of 24 peer Language Flagship universities. The Tech Center identifies and develops best practices for effective language teaching and learning through The Language Flagship programs.
  • National Foreign Language Resource Center
    One of only sixteen federally funded centers in the U.S. dedicated to improving the learning and teaching of languages, focusing primarily on the less commonly taught languages of Asia and the Pacific. The NFLRC is the only Title VI LRC that has been continuously funded since the inception of the LRC program in 1990.
  • Sato Center for Pidgin, Creole, and Dialect Studies
    Dedicated to research on pidgin and creole languages, as well as stigmatized dialects, with a focus on research that can benefit speakers of such varieties.

Our Vision: Playing A Pivotal Role

The college plays a pivotal role on campus in that it comprises one of the four Colleges of Arts & Sciences, the largest academic unit on campus. LLL’s academic offerings comprise the hallmarks of an excellent liberal arts education, highly regarded for its well-rounded graduates who can rise to many occasions.

The relevance of languages, linguistics, and literature is as important today as it was at the start of civilization, and will remain so. Language learning and understanding is central to humanity, and so it follows that the College of Languages, Linguistics, & Literature is central to UH Mānoa.

Areas of excellence include:

  • The breadth of language courses, which also encompasses associated literatures and cultures, is remarkable. Many less-commonly taught languages of the Pacific and Asia are taught, making UH Mānoa the only place to obtain such instruction. 
  • The faculty include highly distinguished and productive scholars from a variety of disciplines. 
  • The college is fulfilling the goals of indigenous Hawaiian scholarship as established by University of Hawaiʻi leaders.
  • The State of Hawaiʻi, private and public employers, and educators see the college as a rare resource that can help resolve issues related to multilingual workforce supply and demand.
  • Second language studies and linguistics research have earned respect and renown among universities.

  • Coveted “flagship” status for Korean and Chinese language programs reflect their premier ratings and high regard in academia.
  • Faculty and students are helping to document languages that are headed for extinction.

Securing Excellence

The College already has in place many of the key components necessary to fulfil its extraordinary potential for the benefit of the greater community. It demonstrates what can be achieved through public education with resourcefulness, hard work, and dedication. 

We would like to build on this success and augment State funding with private support to create a new financial foundation for the college. 

Dean Robert Bley-Vroman is grateful for the critical, basic funding provided by the State of Hawaiʻi.  The importance of the state-provided budget is neither underestimated, nor taken for granted.  Monies are administered with thoughtful stewardship and planning. 

However, institutions of higher learning have changed dramatically and bare essential state funding can no longer provide the extras that are contributing factors to excellence. 

Funding Priorities

Support of Students - $3 million

Undergraduate Scholarships

Undergraduate scholarships will help to ensure access to higher education for Hawaii’s citizens who already face one of the highest costs of living of states throughout the country.   Financial assistance makes it possible for students to better focus on studies, thereby increasing their chances for academic success and graduation in four years. 

Scholarships provide for not only tuition, but also books, computers, and other necessities related to earning a degree.  Scholarships can attract students who might otherwise have gone to another institution, or who might otherwise not been able to attend at all.

Graduate Fellowships

Graduate fellowships will attract more students pursuing Master’s and PhD programs, making LLL more competitive with other research institutions.  Graduate programs are critical to research universities like UH Mānoa for many reasons, including their ability to leverage intellectual capacity and obtain support.


Support of Faculty - $3 million

Endowed Department Chairs and Professorships

Students benefit from eminent faculty.  Endowed department chairs and professorships will attract outstanding scholars and researchers for the college.  The benefits of increased numbers of distinguished faculty will be seen on many levels, including attracting undergraduate and graduate students.

Faculty Research

Outstanding research enhances UH Mānoa’s role in the advancement of knowledge.   By providing resources necessary for faculty research, the awards will facilitate advanced investigation and scholarship, increase potential for significant grant funding, and encourage achievement.

Support for Programs and Facilities & Equipment - $1 million


Support will enhance academic programs throughout the college.  Chairs and directors will be able to respond to critical needs with the flexible funding that private gifts provide.

Facilities and Equipment

Renovated and improved facilities will draw and inspire faculty and students.  State-of-the-art technology will heighten teaching, learning, and research and position the college for the future.

Support for Community Outreach - $1 million

Much of the excellent work taking place in the college touches the community. There are many opportunities to further partner with the community, for example, in the area of multi-lingual workforce demand.

Support The Journey

Together, we can move Hawai‘i and its people toward a remarkable future.
Together, we can Journey Beyond

For information on supporting The College of Languages, Linguistics, & Literature, please contact:

SaraLyn Smith
Director of Development, UH Mānoa
(808) 956-2305 •