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Traditional and Global

Binghamton University’s LxC model has changed since its inception in 1991. To underscore the importance of the meaningful use of materials from other cultures in meeting the internationalizing learning goals of the Languages Across the Curriculum (LxC) endeavor, and to offer more students the opportunity to participate in the program, LxC offers Global Language as an option to all students in LxC-supported courses. Students, whether native speakers of English or not, draw on materials in English and in some other language. Enrollees are encouraged and assisted in employing their existing skills in languages other than English (irrespective of the language or their proficiency in it) to bring additional cultural perspectives to the topics explored in their Global Language LxC study groups and in their main course.

LxC’s traditional study groups, employing materials in just a single language other than English exist alongside the Global Language option. However, with the creation of the Global Language option, LxC is no longer limited to languages that have at least 6 students in the same course. The Global Languages model offers an opportunity for students with LxC-appropriate skills in a given language to participate even if there is an insufficient number of would-be participants for LxC to establish a traditional LxC study group in that language.

Table comparing Traditional LxC to Global LxC
Traditional LxC
Global LxC
Groups based on a minimum of 6 participants for same language All languages supported – multilingual
Some students who would like to participate will be left out Opportunity for 100% participation (especially for LCTLs)
Very language & culture focused More culture(s) intensive
LRS lends language and culture support LRS lends culture and research support
Country or region specific Global perspective
Many opportunities to use TL in speaking More opportunities to use spoken English, fewer for speaking in TL
Study groups can encompass a wide range of abilities Study groups can encompass a wide range of abilities

How can I choose which format is best for me when both are offered?

Traditional LxC: If you’d like to use your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in a language other than English, and to work with a team of students all working in the same language, led by a Language Resource Specialist with advanced or superior (near-native or native) proficiency in that language, then you want this option. Traditional LxC helps you to:

  • Maintain and build skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) in your target language
  • Prepare for study or work in a non-English speaking country, or in an area with a non-English speaking population
  • Learn discipline- and course-specific terminology in your target language
  • Gain perspectives on course topics from the point of view of a culture or cultures that employ your target language
  • Learn how to locate primary resources as well as scholarly articles about course content in your target language.

Global Language LxC: Do you have a very high level of proficiency in a language other than English? Are your non-English language skills rusty, but you’d be willing to try them out to research some sources related to your course? Would you like to get a global perspective on your course content by using English materials in translation in addition to “foreign” language materials? If you answered yes to any of these, Global Language LxC can help you gain cultural insights from sources from around the world. You will employ whatever skills you have in a language other than English to find and report on course-appropriate materials in that language. Then you’ll share what you learn with the members of your Global Language study group.

A couple of examples of Global Language groups:

Students studying the implications of race and place in U.S. society, might begin by reading an Australian newspaper article describing Prime Minister Likens’ comparisons of Washington’s “botched response” to events in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to Australia’s failure to protect Indigenous children from abuse. A junior who hadn’t had contact with Spanish since she met Binghamton University’s language requirement in her junior year of high school, could tap into Latin American perspectives on the lessons of Katrina response by examining political cartoons in Spanish-language newspapers. Global Language study groups draw on both English and non-English language source materials. While the study group’s language of operation is English, students bring materials in their various languages into the discussion.

Last Updated: 3/1/17