Established in 1994, UBC’s Centre for Intercultural Languages Studies is a cross-campus centre for research, outreach, and collaboration on issues broadly connected to language, culture, and education. CILS receives support from the Faculty of Education, Faculty of Arts, and Continuing Studies. CILS members come from these and other parts of campus as well as from other institutions in the Lower Mainland. Historically, one of the Centre’s mandates has been to consider innovations in second language curriculum and methodology, particularly at the post-secondary level, with the recognition that it is in a nation’s and university’s best social, economic, and intellectual interests to have culturally sensitive, bilingual or multilingual citizens with excellent communication skills. CILS has therefore had significant involvement over the years from faculty, instructors, and graduate students in the departments of Language and Literacy Education; Asian Studies; Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies; French, Hispanic and Italian Studies; the English Language Institute; Linguistics; and the Centre for Intercultural Communication, among others.
CILS regularly offers workshops, research seminars and an annual research symposium on such topics as technology in language education, issues related to language, culture and identity, software and website development for language education, and other innovations in international, heritage and community language education. CILS also sponsors research and development projects of interest to its members, funded by University and other sources.