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Language and Culture Learning creates bridges of understanding between peoples and cultures.

Language and culture learning is essential for building the strong partnerships that undergird language development.  A language community's needs and aspirations are best understood and assisted when communication takes place in the local language, within the local cultural context.   Sometimes several languages are needed to communicate with all the partners in the development team: the local language, a language of wider communication, the official language of the country. Language development team members, therefore, often need to learn one or more new languages. SIL is committed to working with communities in the language or languages that are most appropriate to help them achieve their goals.

The international worker has many options for learning different languages.  But not all options exist for all languages and in all locations. For some languages, the learner can choose among language schools, language courses, tutors, lesson books, and interactive programs.  For other languages with few or no written materials, the learner must take a self-directed language learning approach.  SIL prepares its international workers to make effective use of whatever options they have available.