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Why Cultures and Language Across the Curriculum?

The purpose of Cultures and Language Across the Curriculum sections is to ensure that our students acquire cross-cultural competency through the use of their language skills in the context of another discipline. The goal is ease of communication, not perfect grammar or syntax. While C-LAC students use foreign languages to discuss subjects of particular interest to them, they are improving their fluency, vocabulary and grasp of the primary course material. Programs like Richmond's exist at forward-thinking universities across the country.

Cultures and Language Across the Curriculum can be used as a different kind of resource for students of different needs but it's especially useful for those planning to study abroad or who want to maintain their proficiency after returning from a semester or year abroad. Native-speakers can also enjoy this program. International students who study subjects in English at Richmond find they have trouble discussing what they've learned in their own languages when they return home. C-LAC provides them with opportunities to discuss and enhance what they're learning in English, in their native languages.

In essence, any student with a background in a second language will find C-LAC to be a useful and enjoyable program. Teachers are usually native-speakers who have struggled with English, so they're sympathetic to students' struggles in French, Spanish, Italian, German or any other language used in the C-LAC program.

Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum

"The question is not whether to engage in a Languages Across the Curriculum effort, but rather how to do so. Those institutions that do not will fall behind in the race to prepare students for informed and effective citizenship in the global information age." 

- Fichera & Straight, 1997

Contact Information

Questions about the Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum Program (C-LAC) should be directed to Joe Hoff.