The School of Languages, Literacies and Translation was established in 1972 as a Language Unit under the School of Education. The Language Unit provided the facilities for language learning for the campus community. Bahasa Malaysia and English were the main language courses offered and Thai, Korean, Vietnamese and Tagalog were offered as foreign language courses. Since then, Bahasa Malaysia has been a compulsory course for all undergraduate students while foreign languages have been listed as elective courses.
In 1985, the Language Unit was upgraded to the Centre for Languages and Translation (CLT). At that time, Bahasa Malaysia was made the medium of instruction for teaching and learning and English became compulsory for all undergraduates. As a result, CLT took on a more prominent and significant role.