Masks are required as the campus is at red status.


By Dahlia Davis
Office of University Marketing and Communications

The University of Central Arkansas Department of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures, and Cultures was awarded a $10,000 COVID-19 Relief Grant from the Japan Foundation Los Angeles (JFLA). Thanks to the grant, the department was able to continue providing its Japanese-language learning course, which it has offered since at least 1996.

JFLA provides assistance for nonprofit educational institutions and school districts in the U.S. with financial difficulties due to COVID-19. 

“COVID-19 was the catalyst for taking another look at our Japanese course offerings, and we were well on our way to hiring a full-time, permanent lecturer in Japanese this year when the funding crisis hit us,” said Lynn Burley, interim chair of the Department of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures, and Cultures. “If we hadn’t been awarded the JFLA COVID-19 Relief Grant in order to provide a salary to Mr. David House, who teaches the classes, we would have suspended teaching any of the Japanese classes until such time as we could secure funding.”

The Department of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures, and Cultures, housed in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, educates students on the connection between language and cultural identity by teaching foreign languages and the four fundamental language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. 

The relief grant is being used for the 2020-21 academic year.

“We are incredibly lucky to have Mr. House here, and we want to do everything we can to find a way to secure a full-time position in Japanese so that we can look towards adding a Japanese minor to the curriculum,” Burley said.