The Languages of New Haven


As a place that has for centuries been home to different populations, New Haven today boasts a diversity of languages and cultures: one in eight of its residents are foreign-born, over 60 home languages are spoken by students of Greater New Haven’s public schools, and dozens of modern and classical languages are taught here (see DataHaven report below). Yet, while popular U.S. culture often denies a public role for languages other than English, many of New Haven’s languages remain invisible to casual visitors and longtime residents alike.

Inspired by such initiatives as the multi-city LUCIDE research project in Europe, Multilingual Manchester (University of Manchester, UK), and the Language Capital Project (University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ), The Languages of New Haven represents an attempt to give greater visibility and recognition to New Haven’s linguistic and cultural diversity as a community asset and educational opportunity.

New Haven Community Language Map

This collaborative map was begun by participants at a CLS Instructional Innovation Workshop on Community-Based Language Learning in May 2016. It does not (and cannot) attempt to depict the ‘complete picture’ of linguistic diversity in New Haven. Instead, it invites reflection and continued contributions from the public by pointing to some of the intersections between language and place including: 

  • Places where languages other than English are spoken, can be overheard, and/or where the written languages are visible in public
  • Places where languages other than English are taught or learned, either in a formal institution, or less formally
  • Places where language other than English used to be heard, seen or taught but is no more; alternatively, a place where a language is not audible or visible, but is felt, imagined, or hoped for
  • Places in New Haven that have appeared prominently in literature, song, film or other media in a language other than English

Suggestions for additions are welcome and encouraged from all community members! Please use this form to contribute.


Maps and Reports

Language Education in New Haven

Community-Based Language Teaching and Learning