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WEST learns about Languages Across the Curriculum

June 17, 2010

Yesterday, West European Studies and the IU Center for the Study of Global Change held the “Symposium on LAC (Language Across the Curriculum) at IU and beyond”, which brought together language instructors, area studies staff, and others to discuss how to implement LAC on campus.  In the day-long discussions, the audience learned about two different methods to integrate foreign languages into non-language courses.

Dr. Tanya Kinsella from the University of North Carolina discussed the UNC model, where language sections are added to non-language courses, giving students the chance to discuss topics such as West European Politics or African history in regional languages.  WEST has been following this course for years with its WEUR W-325 1 credit course and other IU area studies centers were interested in adding sections.   Dr. Jan Martson from Drake University talked about how the university taught languages without actually having any language faculty and used technology to build bridges between Drake students and people overseas.   While different from current IU models, WEST has been moving to incorporate technology in language training, such as offering 2nd Year Dutch online this summer.

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and more Americans find themselves working with non-native English speakers, diverse language training options will become more important to allow students to learn foreign language skills that allow them to use their professional expertise around the world.  As a result, this workshop allowed people to brainstorm about LAC and think about ways of using it at IU.

WEST and the Center for the Study of Global Change would like to thank everyone who attended the workshop and we hope that the conversation will continue.

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