Nahuatl-Language Instruction

The LAI is committed to the instruction of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) as a means of fostering a greater understanding of Latin American issues and strengthening the capacity of leaders in world affairs. Nahuatl is a major indigenous language spoken in Mexico today by more than a million people, the language spoken by the Aztecs and other Nahuatlaca of Mesoamerica.

  • Nahuatl Instructors: (Left) Eduardo de la Cruz Cruz and LAI Director, Kevin Terraciano

  • Eduardo explaining class activity to his students

  • Loteria game card used to teach students Nahuatl terms

  • Elementary Nahuatl Fall 2015 class

This course is funded in part by the UCLA Latin American Institute (LAI) through a grant from the US Department of Education. The LAI is a Title VI Foreign Language Area Studies fellowship center that supports the instruction and learning of lesser commonly taught languages spoken in Latin America, and a National Resources Center for research and teaching on the region.

Nahuatl will be taught in multiple levels by LAI director and professor of history Kevin Terraciano and Eduardo de la Cruz. Eduardo de la Cruz is a native Nahuatl-language speaker from the Huasteca region of Mexico who has been teaching his language to international students for several years. Kevin Terrraciano reads and translates texts written in Nahuatl from the 16th century onward. The courses are designed to introduce students to the Nahuatl language or lengua mexicana as it is spoken today.

Nahuatl language courses combine distance learning with periodic on-site instruction, collaborating with the Mexican Instituto de Docencia e Investigación Etnológica de Zacatecas (IDIEZ), Stanford University, and the University of Utah.


For more information, please contact:
Kevin Terraciano
terra@history.ucla.edu