What is Languages Across the Curriculum (LxC)? LxC is a model that seeks to provide opportunities for students to use their foreign language skills in courses outside of traditional language-learning classrooms. The focus in such courses is on the content material; language becomes the vehicle through which content knowledge is acquired, rather than the subject of study itself.
How does it work? Several models exist. At the University of Minnesota, we are currently working toward the following:
1-credit concurrent discussion sections. In this model, courses offered in English are enhanced by 1-credit discussion sections conducted in languages other than English. The goal is to tie the material from the discussion sections back to the main course content in meaningful ways. Example: Gender and Family in the Islamic World, taught in English by a faculty member, with a 1-credit Arabic discussion section taught by graduate TA.
1-credit combined discussion sections. In this model, a graduate TA facilitates a 1-credit discussion section open to students in two or more different content courses. Example: A discussion course in Arabic serves students in two different courses: Islam, Religion and Culture and Gender and Family in the Islamic World.
Foreign language-enhanced course research. In this model, a student enrolled in a course delivered in English works with a graduate TA from a language department to include foreign language readings into a pre-approved research project. This permits students to capitalize on the breadth of academic research available in their discipline, diversifying the views represented in their papers. Example: For their final research papers, students enrolled in the course 'Geography of Europe' can access and reference articles in academic journals written in European languages (i.e., French, German, Russian, Italian, etc.)
Courses taught in a language other than English. In this model, a faculty member teaches the content of her or his course in another language. Example: Latin American Politics, taught entirely in Spanish.
What kind of support is offered? Funding for curriculum development is available, as well as training and support.
Why LxC? The rationale for LxC, as stated by the Consortium for Language Across the Curriculum (1996), is as follows:
1. Understanding of a given culture and its documents and artifacts is greatly enhanced through a knowledge of its language.
2. A curriculum that includes materials in multiple languages provides access to a wider range of perspectives, encourages greater depth of exploration, and opens the door to greater understanding.
3. The use of materials in multiple languages significantly enhances any and all disciplinary inquiry.
4. Languages Across the Curriculum enhances cross-cultural competence and the ability of students to function in an increasingly multicultural society and a globalized economy.
For more information on Languages Across the Curriculum (LxC), click here to visit the Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum Consortium.
For more information on the University of Minnesota's Languages Across the Curriculum (LxC) initiative, email us or contact Dr. Carol Klee, Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, at firstname.lastname@example.org