Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC) is an initiative to allow students to use and develop their language expertise beyond the boundaries of the language programs.

In a sense, our most natural FLAC opportunities occur on certain OCS programs — where students may take courses in political science or history in the language of the country where they study. The CGRS works to develop such opportunities on the Carleton campus.

Of course, it’s not practical to offer entire courses in a foreign language outside of departments that specialize in foreign literatures and cultures. But there are many different ways to thread the use of foreign language through other parts of the curriculum. Here are a few examples:

  • Some professors have offered so-called “trailer sections” for a course. For instance, a course on Latin American politics could be taught in English, but a sub-set of the students could meet once a week to discuss primary materials in Spanish. (Trailer courses may be offered by the principal instructor, or may be run by a member of a foreign culture/literature program. Either way, with deanly approval such teaching can receive partial course credit.)
  • Some professors invite (or even require) students to put their foreign language to work for particular assignments in a class. For example, students may read some primary material in a foreign language, and then share that work (either in class discussion or in written work) with others.
  • Some professors select materials (such as subtitled movies) that provide language work for students who are able to follow in the language, while still exposing the other students to non-verbal (but still culturally anchored) elements of communication.

As you can see, there are “heavy” and “light” models for FLAC; some require active language use by students, while some are more passive. CGRS is keen to support more adventures in FLAC. If you would like to consider integrating a FLAC component in a class, please speak with us: we can help!