Languages Across the Curriculum (LAC)

(The information provided here comes from Next Steps, Languages Across the Curriculum, a publication from the American Council on Education and from Brown U. website on L.A.C)

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 bilingualism as a worthy educational goal and to the belief that multicultural and multilingual approaches to all disciplines are not only enriching but obligatory in a multicultural and global society.

L.A.C. promotes the internationalization of the curriculum, cross-cultural and multilingual inquiry, proficiency in a second language and commitment to bilingualism beyond the confines of a language major, and the dismantling of traditional barriers dividing disciplines.

In order to implement L.A.C, faculty will need to develop 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, and goals. Foreign language faculty will be required to work with content outside their areas of expertise. Faculty from other disciplines may have to refresh their language skills to a certain level for team teaching in LAC courses.

Although expected outcomes will vary from campus to campus, from course to course and even from student to student, in general students will have the ability to interpret the gist or general sense from a written or spoken text; the ability to communicate on topics in the non-language field, and a more global perspective in general and within the discipline being studied.


Adjunct Model: it 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, and 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.

Parallel Model: it 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 European history, for example, this course can be offered with a choice of adjunct sections in a number of different languages.

Fusion Model: in this model the section in the foreign language is internal to the course and all students participate in it. The level of the language is not too high - it requires the ability to read documents, letters, etc.

Combined Model: The professor teaches in the foreign language but students read and write essays in English. Class discussion is also in English.

New courses

Faculty interested in proposing courses with a foreign language component should seek approval through the Curriculum Committee and through the Chair of the respective foreign language department.
For further information contact Candelas Gala, Chair of Romance Languages, Wake Forest University.