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Archived Content from Conference Held in March 2012 

Exploring Approaches to Cultures & Languages Across the Curriculum

Plenary Speaker

Modeling Collaboration between Foreign Languages and Sustainability Studies


The presenters will describe initiatives at the University of Minnesota to develop learning opportunities for students that reach across foreign language (CBI) and Sustainability Studies courses, and that can prepare students for CLAC in study abroad and experiential learning. Ranging from the strategic integration into existing curricula of content incorporating global environmental perspectives to the development of new advanced-level language courses that can prepare students for study abroad and experiential learning, these initiatives are intended to encourage cross-cultural skills essential for environmental imagination and literacy. Models for encouraging the development of translingual and transcultural competence related to environmental topics through content-based instruction in French, German, and Spanish will be provided.

In French, an advanced oral communication course was revised as an intercultural content-based course addressing various issues related to the theme of water and content related to sustainability is being developed for other courses. A series of new German courses with an environmental literacy focus is being piloted to respond to the interests of students seeking to develop advanced communication and interpretive competencies that enhance their work as double majors in a variety of fields. Units focusing on sustainability issues have been introduced in the language program in the Spanish and Portuguese Department to reflect realities of the developed and developing Spanish-speaking world and to introduce students to these global conversations as they intersect their own areas of academic and personal interests.

photo hereFrances Matos-Schultz is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.  She has been working with hybrid course design and technology mediated language learning since 1999.  She is currently engaged in cross discipline content initiatives for novice and intermediate language level courses, development of hybrid and blended models and online learning.

photo hereCharlotte Melin is an Associate Professor in the Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch at the University of Minnesota. Among the administrative positions she has held, she served for over a decade as the department’s Director of Language Instruction and has been the P.I. for several curricular initiatives, most recently the Green German Project. Her teaching and scholarly publications focus on German literature after 1945 (especially poetry); issues in the teaching of language, culture, and literacy; program design and foreign language policy.

photo herePatricia Mougel is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Minnesota where she serves as Director of French Language Instruction. She regularly teaches at all levels of instruction: beginning to graduate.  In her recent courses she has increasingly integrated language and content instruction.  Her research interests rest in the areas of second language acquisition, contemporary French business and society.


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