Grant supports language learning research

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Angelika Kraemer, director of the Language Resource Center (LRC) and Emma Britton, LRC Coordinator of Language Learning Initiatives, both in the College of Arts and Sciences, have received a grant from ACTFL for their project “Languages Across the Curriculum: Assessing Reflexivity and Critical Language Awareness.”

Gustavo Quintero, PhD student in Romance Studies (ROMS), teaches Spanish (SPAN) 3020.

Languages Across the Curriculum (LAC) is a novel programmatic model for world language education that has risen in popularity since the 1990s. The goal of the LAC program is to move language instruction out of the traditional classroom and integrate it into disciplinary areas. LAC sections often are attached to disciplinary “parent” courses and offered as one-credit co-requisite language courses. Content in LAC classes is not traditional grammar, but rather field-specific academic discourse, specialized vocabulary, and technical terms drawn from the “parent” class.

At Cornell University, LACs are typically taught by graduate assistants who are native speakers of the target language and disciplinary (rather than language) specialists. Since 2016, the LRC has supported more than 80 LAC courses in 14 languages across the disciplines; the courses have enrolled close to 500 students.

While LAC offers great promise in promoting critical curricular innovations, it is still an emerging field and as such is under-researched as a programmatic model, according to Kraemer: “Understanding the impact of LAC on all participants will allow us to build on its success and offer multilingual students more opportunities to engage with their disciplinary content in languages other than English.”