“New Missionary Language Training Center,” Ensign, Feb. 1974, 71
The First Presidency has approved the construction of a new Language Training Mission complex to provide centralized training of all non-English-language-speaking full-time missionaries.
The new facility, to be constructed on the Brigham Young University campus southwest of the Provo Temple, is expected to be completed within two and one-half years. It will be administered by BYU under the direction of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve.
In its new location, the facility will be able to take advantage of the extensive training operations already in existence on that campus. An added advantage is that more than 7,500 BYU students are returned missionaries, many of them fluent in non-English languages and available to assist in teaching languages and cultures.
The mission complex will be composed of nine buildings and will provide residence halls for elders, lady missionaries, and missionary couples, in addition to food services, classrooms, language laboratories, laundry facilities, and administrative offices.
When the center is completed, the existing language training centers at BYU, Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, and Church College of Hawaii will be closed.
The Language Training Mission, first established at BYU in 1961 and then expanded to Ricks College and Church College of Hawaii, offers Afrikaans, French, German, Italian, Navajo, Portuguese, Spanish, and Tahitian at BYU. Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish are taught at Ricks College; training in Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Samoan, Tai, and Tongan is offered at the Church College of Hawaii.
Church officials point out that existing facilities on all three campuses are crowded due to the growth of the missionary program. A special study committee formed to plan the new center reported that, presently, approximately half the total full-time missionaries need to speak languages other than English.
All new missionaries will continue to report initially to the Missionary Home in Salt Lake City. As in the past, after the initial orientation and instruction, those called to serve in English-language missions will go directly to their missions, and the others will transfer to their language training center.