Languages Across the Curriculum (LxC)
Languages Across the Curriculum (LxC) is a Global Learning Initiatives curricular enrichment program that provides students with the opportunity to meaningfully apply their existing language skills in courses outside of language departments.
Recognizing Untapped Potential
Most university students lack curricular opportunities to develop foreign-language competencies in their areas of academic interest. At the same time, international students lack opportunities to employ their non-English language skills during the course of their education. Recognizing the untapped potential in higher education’s increasingly diverse student body, LxC began in 1991 as a way for students, both domestic and international, to use their non-English language skills and multicultural backgrounds in new contexts. Since then, students have used LxC groups to deepen and broaden their knowledge of course content, to develop foreign language and cultural competencies in their areas of academic interest, and to showcase those competencies with a variety of projects in LxC and in their own courses.
- First-Year Students
Binghamton University’s student body is increasingly diverse, reflecting the changing demographics of the United States: the overwhelming majority of incoming students have a multicultural and/or multilingual background, and include first, second, and third-generation immigrants. In addition, most students have knowledge of world language(s) prior to their enrollment at the university: many are heritage speakers and most have taken language classes in high school. However, most of these students have never had the opportunity to actually use their skills outside of language classrooms.
LxC offers first-year students the opportunity to use their existing language skills in courses linked to a variety of popular 100-level courses (Note: each LxC course focuses on a particular language). In LxC courses students have the freedom to explore how topics & themes they find interesting connect with other languages, countries, and cultures. LxC enables students to “internationalize” their learning without taking a traditional language course or going on a study abroad program!
LxC equips first-year students to learn from (and to learn with) cultures and languages so that they may gain valuable intercultural knowledge and independent learning skills. These are key skills which will become increasingly important in their academic and professional careers.
- International Students
International students bring with them a wealth of knowledge, skills, experiences, and perspectives; however, they are not always given an opportunity to demonstrate them while studying in the United States. LxC empowers international students to apply their unique multilingual and multicultural knowledge and strengths to the full range of university activities: learning, research, and teaching1.
1Davies, Diana K. and Suronda Gonzalez. 2017. Empowering Learners: A Win-Win Solution for Students and Educations. New Directions for Student Services 158: 23-35.
- Upper-level students
Upper-level students (juniors, seniors, and some sophomores) who have a declared major and wish to add a multi-lingual or intercultural dimension to their studies can benefit from LxC. Students engage in self-directed research, employing their world language abilities to target topics and global regions relevant to their respective fields, and produce multimodal projects that can appeal to diverse audiences. These projects can be impactful well beyond the LxC course: students can showcase their strengths as vibrant scholars who possess multi-lingual & intercultural competence, and sophisticated digital literacy skills—key assets for today’s world!
The goals of LxC, from its outset to today, are succinctly expressed by founding Director H. Stephen Straight as “the retention and growth of language skills and intercultural knowledge through ubiquitous curricular use of materials in the world's languages and from the world's cultures.” LxC strives to empower students as adept, flexible, and independent learners equipped for today’s world.
30 Years of Intercultural Engagement.
In the past 30 years, thousands of BU students hailing from all regions of NYS and the US, as well as from all over the world, have participated in the LxC program in different capacities: as students, as Language Resource Specialists (LRSs), and as program assistants.
We have partnered with scores of faculty over the years in order to provide LxC components and study groups to dozens of courses throughout all schools and disciplines within the university.
In this way, LxC has facilitated an intercultural, multilingual learning experience spanning undergraduate and graduate levels in Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Management, College of Community and Public Affairs, Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the English Language Institute.
LxC Course Offerings
LxC shares Binghamton’s commitment to student engagement with and in research, and has collaborated with faculty and administration in a variety of fields to offer intercultural and multilingual learning opportunities to students. LxC is working with diverse departments and programs to create credit-bearing courses.
When any course offered by the university "partners" with LxC, students can either explore themes and issues from that course in languages other than English, or investigate and compare issues from cross-cultural perspectives. With LxC, students do not learn a language: rather they learn how to engage their existing language abilities to enhance and deepen their knowledge about any topic. In short, it is about using language to learn about the world.
In LxC’s personalized and collaborative seminars, students use whatever language abilities they already have—whether learned at home or school—and let their interests and curiosities guide them in exploring discipline-specific themes. Students also engage in collaborative activities and learn from each other in an enhanced cohort dynamic. When students do this something wonderful happens: they add a meaningful real-world dimension to their knowledge, deepen their learning and interpersonal skills, and enhance their existing language abilities.
New Course Lineup
Attention heritage speakers, native speakers, polyglots, and students of language: LxC is pleased to announce a new series of credit-bearing courses for fall 2021 resulting from our partnership with selected departments
- LxC FALL 2021
- LxC 100: ANTH 111 through World Language and Culture (2 credits; Harpur Writing ‘W’)
- LxC 110: PSYC 111 through World Language and Culture (2 credits; Harpur Writing ‘W’)
- LxC 120: PLSC 117 through World Language and Culture (2 credits; Harpur Writing ‘W’)
- LxC 130: CINE 121 through World Language and Culture (2 credits; Harpur Writing ‘W’)
Information (including meeting days and times) about all LxC courses is available here.
The partnered courses required in order to take LxC 100, 110, 120, and 130 are:
- ANTH 111: Introduction to Anthropology (for LxC 100)
- PSYC 111: General Psychology (for LxC 110)
- PLSC 117: Introduction to World Politics (for LxC 120)
- CINE 121: Experience, History and Analysis of Cinema (for LxC 130)
If you have already taken, are currently taking, or will be taking any of the above partnered classes in Fall 2021, consider taking its LxC associated course to use your world language abilities (whether learned at home or in school) to further explore themes and issues from anthropology, psychology, political science, and cinema.
Note: The LxC course is a stand-alone course taught by a separate instructor; however, the themes and subject matter are linked to the partnered course. Each LxC course uses a single world language. See schedule for details.
The minimum language requirement for the above LxC courses can be met by any one of the following:
- If you are a native speaker of that world language
- If you are a heritage speaker (learned at home)
- If you took at least 3 years of that world language in high school
- If you took at least 2 semesters of that world language at college or university
LxC 297: Intercultural Research and Communication
In this stand-alone course students apply whatever language skills they have to a targeted global exploration of issues or topics that connect their academic training and professional interests. Students interact with a diverse interdisciplinary and world language cohort and let their interests guide them in developing a project that can be showcased beyond the course. This “intercultural research project” is the culminating, and distinguishing, feature of LxC 297, and its dynamic intercultural engagement is a hallmark of the LxC program.
*Open to speakers/learners of any world language
In these LxC courses you will:
- Earn 2 credits toward your Harpur W Gen Ed with each LxC course, while using your knowledge and language skills in an intercultural context.
- Use your language abilities to learn about how subject matter (e.g. psychology, cinema, etc.) connects to other cultures, countries, and regions.
- Collaborate on topics and activities with your classmates, and design your own intercultural project related to the partnered course and culture of your choice.
- Develop valuable intercultural competencies and research skills which can be applied to the rest of your undergraduate studies and beyond.
- Enhance your academic and professional portfolio with your LxC work.
LxC Program Assistant
Location: Library North (LN) 2202
LxC Instructor & Practitioner
Director, Global Learning Initiatives
Phone: (607) 777 - 4564
Location: Library North (LN) 2204
- Cultures & Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) Consortium