The National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is dedicated to improving foreign language learning and teaching in the U.S. and has particularly distinguished itself in its focus on the less commonly taught languages of Asia and the Pacific. Established in 1990, NFLRC is the oldest of only fifteen Title VI-funded Language Resource Centers across the US. It draws on Hawai‘i’s geographic and multiethnic location in the center of the Pacific and the rich expertise of the university’s College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature, which offers courses in over 30 world languages and contains internationally renowned departments in linguistics and second language studies.
NFLRC conducts professional development events for language professionals and engages in high-impact research and materials development projects among its main activities. These projects have implications for the teaching and learning of all languages, and their overriding goal is to develop prototypes for language professionals to apply broadly as resources to improve foreign language education nationally.
- The NFLRC publishing arm offers a number of publications for heritage language education in general as well as specific resources in Chinese, Pingapalese, and Samoan.
- NFLRC hosts and sponsors, Language Documentation & Conservation, a fully refereed, open-access journal publishing papers on all topics related to language documentation and conservation, including, but not limited to, the goals of language documentation, data management, fieldwork methods, ethical issues, orthography design, reference grammar design, lexicography, methods of assessing ethnolinguistic vitality, biocultural diversity, archiving matters, language planning, areal survey reports, short field reports on endangered or underdocumented languages, reports on language maintenance, preservation, and revitalization efforts, plus reviews of software, hardware, books, and (from 2012) data collections.
- Connected to this journal, the UHM Department of Linguistics and the NFLRC co-organize the biennial International Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation, which began in 2009 and continued forth in 2011 and 2013.
- During its long history, the NFLRC has offered a number of professional development events focused on heritage languages, including the Heritage Learners and National Language Needs Summer Institute (2002); Ia Faalautele Lau Gagana Samoan Pedagogy Institute (2002); Cultural Diversity and Language Education (CDALE) Conference (2004); On-line Cafés for Heritage Learners of Filipino, Japanese, Samoan, and Chinese (2008); and the 4th Heritage Language Research Institute: Heritage Speakers: Linguistics & Pedagogy (in conjunction with NHLRC) (2010). Emerging out of the 2008 summer institute, the NFLRC also has a comprehensive website on designing online cafés.