Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

Indigenous Languages Initiative

The Indigenous Languages Initiative (ILI) at LLILAS Benson is focused on teaching, researching, promoting, and revitalizing Indigenous languages spoken in parts of Latin America. Classes are taught by experienced native speakers. ILI has offered classes in Maya K’iche’, Nahuatl, Quechua, and Mapuche languages. 

During the 2021–2022 academic year, Nahua scholar Eduardo de la Cruz Cruz will teach Beginning Nahuatl as well as offer a research seminar in Nahuatl for students with prior experience in the language and a defined project.

ILI forefronts and seamlessly integrates scholarly research with the acquisition of linguistic and cultural competence. Based on the interests and intellectual strengths of native-speaker instructors and students, students in our classes regularly work with one-of-a-kind Indigenous language manuscripts and rare books held in the Benson Rare Books Collection, as well as written and sonic materials from AILLA (The Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America), housed at LLILAS Benson. Students can fulfill their requirement for Intermediate Proficiency in a foreign language with 12 credits of any of our Indigenous language offerings.

Along with our exceptional in-person programming, we also produce state-of-the-art open-access online instructional materials for Indigenous languages, currently in K’iche’ and Nahuatl, with Quechua coming soon.

Read more about our instructors in Portal at Indigenous Languages Thrive at UT Austin: Quechua, Nahuatl, and K'iche'.

If you have questions about our programming, please contact the director of ILI, Kelly McDonough.

Spring 2022

LAL 611C (6 credits) // Intensive Nahuatl II (M - TH 5pm - 630pm)

LAL 385L (3 credits) // Intensive Nahuatl II for graduate students (M and W 5pm - 6:30pm)

Taught by Eduardo de la Cruz, native speaker/scholar of Nahuatl & Kelly McDonough

Intensive Nahuatl II
Once the lingua franca of the Aztec Empire, Nahuatl is the most widely spoken indigenous language in Mexico and in North America as a whole, with 1.7 million speakers and 30 variants. As the vehicle of centuries-old knowledge transmitted orally, Nahuatl offers an entry point into the cultures and worldviews of various indigenous communities today, both in Mexico and its diaspora. This course builds upon materials studied in Nahuatl I, an introduction to Nahuatl (Huasteca variant), through an immersive methodology focused on developing your speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing, while fostering your cultural sensibility and competence.


Study Nahuatl, Spring 2022
Study Quechua, 2020
Study Mapuche, Summer 2021

  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    SRH 1.310
    2300 Red River Street D0800
    Austin, Texas 78712