LAC- PRESENTATION TO CHAIRS MEETING
LAC is the name given to a family of curricular models through which students can use their foreign language skills in courses in other disciplines. It implies the collaboration of foreign languages faculty with colleagues from other fields. Faculty involved in LAC is committed to blingualism as a worthy educational goal and to the belief that multicultural and multilingual approaches to all disciplines not only are enriching but obligatory in a multicultural and global society. As many as 40 institutions of all types have developed LAC programs -small liberal arts colleges, private and public colleges and universities; among the pioneers are Brown U, U of Connecticut, St. Olaf College, Dickinson College, Agnes Scott College, among others.
the enrichment of the international and intercultural content of the curriculum
interdisciplinarity as a necessary ingredient as the curriculum prepares students in a more rounded and less compartmentalized manner for the 215, century.
- cross-cultural and multilingual inquiry which should lead to a more in-depth understanding of other cultures, which does not happen always when the approach is only in English.
- proficiency in a second language by emphasizing reading skills in a foreign language or foreign language discussion groups appended to mainstream courses
prepare students for the cross-cultural and multilingual demands and opportunities of a global society.
Motivate students to a lifelong commitment to bilingualism by extending their foreign language learning experience beyond the confines of a language major and by linking it with other areas of the student's primary interest.
Offer opportunities for transcending the limitations of individual faculty, for dismantling the barriers between academic specialties, and for deploying new methodologies in teaching andlearning.
It could mean:
- Development of courses and independent studies combining different disciplines with foreign languages, normally at the post-fourth semester level, but also at the elementary and intermediate levels as well. Students can benefit from LAC at any level of language proficiency.
- Curricula models depend on institutions, faculty, goals. A good LAC program is one that works for a particular campus, or even for a particular group of instructors.
- Foreign language faculty will be required to work with content outside their areas of expertise which will necessitate faculty's willingness to do so and the establishment of faculty development programs. Faculty from other disciplines may have to reactivate language skills to a certain level for team teaching in LAC courses.
Expected outcomes (will vary from campus to campus, from: course to course and even from student to student), in general are:
- ability to interpret the gist or general sense from a written or spoken text
- an increase in ability in one or more of the language modes or domains, especially in the ability to communicate on topics in the non-language field.
- development of a more global perspective in general and within the discipline being studied.
- increased ability to use the language for further study and research in the discipline.
- professional competence: the ability to communicate professionally in the target culture and target language.
- Students begin to appreciate the existence of multiple perspectives on a topic, as well as the perspective of a particular culture, by learning the connotations of a word or phrase in a foreign language.
Adjunct language sections: consists of a course in a non-language field with a one-hour "adjunct"or "trailer" foreign language section. Increased language capability is one of the goals of the course in terms of learning specialized vocabulary, learning to recognize or produce the type of argumentative or expository form that is preferred in the particular discipline. Most programs offer adjunct activities as an option although LAC courses and sections are usually offered in only one language.. Often students will ask that an adjunct section be opened for their particular language. For example, if an economics course on European monetary policy is offered with an adjunct German section, students who have studied French, Spanish, or Italian often request adjunct sessions in those languages.
Parallel course model: consists of two independent courses, one in a language and one in another discipline. For example, a sociology course might focus on issues in one or more Latin American countries, while its parallel Spanish course makes use of Spanish language texts addressing the same issues. Students enroll in both courses and faculty collaborate to ensure some overlap in texts, activities, and expected outcomes. At some institutions, students may enroll in just one of the courses, with the option of participating in a fourth hour joint adjunct section in the target language that has been prepared collaboratively by both instructors. In a large-enrollment course, such as Europen history, for example, this course can be offered with a choice of adjunct sections in a number of different languages.Administration Models
- If one credit is awarded, the language department adds a new one-credit course and students receive one language credit.
- Or no additional
credits are given; instead they have course-based credit, rather than
hour-based credit. If the institution requires a full tuition charge
for every credit, making credit for an adjunct LAC will not be attractive
- Add a "language competency certificate" to the transcripts of students who have completed two or more LAC courses.
- Pay faculty for teaching overload or banking the one-hour overload each semester until enough credit is earned for a one-course release, or continued banking for an extended period of time until an extra semester of sabbatical leave is earned.
According to Stephen Straight and Virginia M. Fichera, "the question is not whether to engage in an LAC 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 citicenship in the global information age." LAC also challenges university administrators to review institutional priorities and reward systems and to promote a greater fluidity between disciplines rather than highly circumscribed specialties disconnected from one another.
LAC has helped integrate language and culture study into the curricula of professional school programs such as business, and has often led to the implementation of dual degree options combining buisness, health professions, law with language and culture.helped faculty to bridge "culture gaps"