UCLA International Institute
Asia Pacific Center

Advancing collaborative, interdisciplinary research on Asia worldwide

Webzine Covers Language in L.A.

Webzine Covers Language in L.A.

With student-interns as reporters, the UCLA Center for World Languages launches an online magazine devoted to the city's linguistic diversity.

The idea is to provide journalistic training for UCLA students while covering stories about language learning and use.


Date: Feb. 1, 2007
Contact: Kevin Matthews, kmatthews@international.ucla.edu
Phone: (310) 206-3556

The UCLA Center for World Languages today launched its inaugural issue of LA Language World, also known as LALA, an online monthly magazine for general readers about linguistic diversity and practices in Los Angeles.

Produced by student interns and staff members of the center and the UCLA International Institute, the magazine will publish feature articles, reviews and profiles. It may be viewed at http://www.lalamag.ucla.edu.

"The idea is to provide journalistic training for UCLA students while covering stories about language learning and use," said Kathryn Paul, executive director of program development and administration for the center.

Center director Olga Kagan, colleagues and staff run the National Heritage Language Resource Center and the Language Materials Project, both of which focus on U.S. minority language learning and languages that are less commonly taught in schools. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, more than half of Los Angeles County residents speak a language other than English at home.

The first issue of LALA leads off with an article about a family of Armenian immigrants that has experienced intergenerational problems of communication. Other highlights include a profile of an academic English program in the Los Angeles Unified School District that focuses on English variants, particularly Chicano English, and a first-person account by a local writer about life and learning in a bilingual Japanese American family. The issue also contains sections that seek reader participation and interviews with academics about linguistic maps and the naming of celebrities' babies.

"The student-interns have really taken advantage of the opportunity to define a new publication," said Kevin Matthews, senior writer for the UCLA International Institute and editorial director of LALA. "It might have been mainly about linguists and other scholars but has turned out to have a much stronger connection with the community at large."

Susan Bauckus, managing editor of the the UCLA Center for World Languages' Heritage Language Journal, is the editorial consultant for the magazine, and Scott Gruber of the UCLA International Institute is its webmaster and graphic designer. UCLA undergraduates April Girouard, Margarita Hirapetian and Stephanie Tavitian are reporters.

About LA Language World

LA Language World (LALA) is a monthly online publication that looks at Los Angeles' linguistic diversity case by case. Run by UCLA students and staff members, it fosters an understanding of linguistic communities and of the multiple paths of language knowledge. For more information, visit http://www.lalamag.ucla.edu.

About the UCLA Center for World Languages

The UCLA Center for World Languages is a research and program development office dedicated to language pedagogy, assessment and best practices. Working with departments across campus as well as with local, national and international agencies, the center has gained national acclaim for its success in promoting the teaching and learning of heritage languages and languages that are less commonly taught. For more information, please visit the center's Web site at http://www.international.ucla.edu/languages.

About the UCLA International Institute

The UCLA International Institute is committed to the education of global citizens through its degree programs; through the people-to-people linkages it fosters among students, scholars and citizens around the globe; and through its commitment to helping people everywhere become lifelong learners about their world. The goal of the institute is to be the world's most important and exciting location for the interdisciplinary and cross-regional study of globalization and for international studies in general. For more information, visit the institute's Web site at http://www.international.ucla.edu.

About UCLA

California's largest university, UCLA enrolls approximately 38,000 students per year and offers degrees from the UCLA College of Letters and Science and 11 professional schools in dozens of varied disciplines. UCLA consistently ranks among the top five universities and colleges nationally in total research-and-development spending, receiving more than $820 million a year in competitively awarded federal and state grants and contracts. For every $1 state taxpayers invest in UCLA, the university generates almost $9 in economic activity, resulting in an annual $6 billion economic impact on the Greater Los Angeles region. The university's health care network treats 450,000 patients per year. UCLA employs more than 27,000 faculty and staff, has more than 350,000 living alumni and has been home to five Nobel Prize recipients.