Archived Content from Conference Held in March 2012

Sixth Annual CLAC Conference

Exploring Approaches to
Cultures & Languages Across the Curriculum

CLAC LogoMarch 9-10, 2012
The University Hotel Minneapolis
Minneapolis, MN

The sixth annual conference on Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) provides an opportunity for faculty, graduate instructors, and administrators to share expertise in building and managing CLAC programs. The conference will address the practical issues related to developing successful pedagogical models for the use of world language and culture learning across the post-secondary curriculum.

Conference Focus

A specific focus of the 6th annual conference on Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) will be on presenting and discussing a variety of models and aspects of post-secondary programs implementing world languages and cultures across the curriculum. Seasoned CLAC practitioners, those in the process of implementing programs, as well as prospective CLAC program developers will come together to share ideas and best practices in our evolving and unique field of education for global citizens. Attendees at the CLAC conference will learn how CLAC programs are implemented at other institutions and will have a rare opportunity for extended discussions examining design and delivery of a CLAC curriculum.

Plenary Speakers

See videos of these plenaries on the videos page.

CLAC in a Nutshell
  • Tanya Kinsella, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
From First- and Second-Year Foreign Language Instruction to CLAC: A Quantum Leap or a Well-Trodden Path
  • Gwendolyn Barnes-Karol, St. Olaf College
Modeling Collaboration between Foreign Languages and Sustainability Studies
  • Frances Matos-Schultz, University of Minnesota
  • Charlotte Melin, University of Minnesota
  • Patricia Mougel, University of Minnesota

Background on CLAC

The CLAC movement intends to make global competence a reality for post-secondary students and to create alliances among educators to share practices and methods for incorporating an international dimension in curricula, and, more generally, to achieve internationalization goals. General principles of CLAC include:

  • A focus on communication and content;
  • An emphasis on developing meaningful content-focused world language use outside traditional language classes;
  • An approach to world language use and cross-cultural skills as a means for the achievement of global intellectual synthesis, in which students learn to combine and interpret knowledge produced in languages other than English and in cultures other than North American mainstream culture.

Within this broad framework, CLAC can take many forms, depending on specific content and curricular goals within a discipline. Some examples of the forms CLAC can take include:

  • Linked world language and disciplinary courses, or disciplinary courses with specially designed world language modules;
  • Disciplinary courses taught entirely or partially in languages other than English;
  • Co-taught courses in which disciplinary content is infused with an international perspective;
  • Large lecture courses with break out or discussion sessions that are conducted in and include the use of materials in a variety of languages, facilitated by graduate or advanced undergraduate native speakers; Discussion sections that are conducted in English but actively incorporate intercultural perspectives (perhaps through the use of English language materials produced in non-English speaking countries); and
  • Study abroad programs that actively and reflectively link together linguistic and cultural experiences from the classroom, the home-stay, and all parts of daily life in the host country.

CLAC can be distinguished from content-based language instruction, or CBI, in terms of where it is situated. CBI is typically situated within the language classroom, where instruction is provided by language specialists and the object is to teach the target language or aspects of the target culture(s). The core locus of CLAC, on the other hand, is in any classroom or other educational setting where the object is to use knowledge of world languages and cultures to enhance and enrich the understanding of any non-language focused content.

For more information on CLAC, visit the CLAC Consortium website at:


Conference Sponsors:
The 6th annual conference on Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum is sponsored by the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota. CARLA is a Title VI Resource Center funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The conference is cosponsored by the institutional members of the CLAC Consortium: Baldwin-Wallace College, Binghamton University-SUNY, Drake University, Portland State University, Skidmore College, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Richmond, and Wittenberg University.

Conference Planning Committee:
Dan Soneson, University of Minnesota (co-chair); Elaine Tarone, Center for Advance Research on Language Acquisition (co-chair); Diana Davies, Princeton University; Cindy Evans, Skidmore College; Suronda Gonzalez, Binghamton University; Joe Hoff, University of Richmond; Tanya Kinsella, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Carol Klee, University of Minnesota

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