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 SPRING 2022
Attention: Heritage speakers, international students, native speakers, polyglots, and students of language: LxC is pleased to announce a new series of credit-bearing courses resulting from our partnership with selected departments.
This course is tailored for students who wish to use their existing French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish language skills to build on their knowledge of PSYC 111 and gain valuable linguistic & cultural insights.
*Open to students who will take PSYC 111 in Spring 2022, or who have already taken PSYC 111 in a previous semester.
This course is tailored for students who wish to use their existing French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish language skills to build on their knowledge of CINE 121 and explore their interests in world cinema and gain valuable linguistic & cultural insights.
*Open to students who will take CINE 121 in Spring 2022, or who have already taken CINE 121 in a previous semester.
This course is tailored for students who wish to use their existing Chinese language skills to enhance their knowledge of geography, explore topics & issues of interest, and gain valuable linguistic & cultural insights.
*Open to students who will take any of GEOG 101, 103, or 121 in Spring 2022, or who have already taken any of GEOG 101, 103, or 121 in a previous semester.
This course is tailored for students who wish to use their existing French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish language skills to enhance their knowledge of chemistry, explore topics & issues of interest, and gain valuable linguistic & cultural insights through real-world applications.
*Open to students who will take any of CHEM 104, 107, or 111 in Spring 2022, or who have already taken any of CHEM 104, 107, or 111 in a previous semester.
In this stand-alone course students apply any existing world 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 manageable project that can be showcased outside of the course. This “topical intercultural project” is the culminating, and distinguishing, feature of LxC 297, and its dynamic intercultural engagement is a hallmark of the LxC program.
*Open to all majors as well as users/learners of any world language.
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 of that world language (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
With any LxC course you can:
- Earn 2 credits toward your Harpur W Gen Ed with each LxC course, while using your knowledge and language skills in intercultural contexts.
- Use your language abilities to learn how subject matter (e.g. psychology, chemistry, cinema, etc.) connects to other cultures, countries, and regions.
- Collaborate on topics and activities with your classmates, and create your own intercultural project related to the partnered discipline and culture/language 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
- Cultures & Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) Consortium