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FAQ: Languages Across the Curriculum

1. Who is eligible for LAC?

Any student with intermediate-level proficiency in a second language can enroll in a LAC 391 independent study linked to an appropriate course. Intermediate level proficiency is the equivalent of two 200-level courses in a second language.

2. What if I haven’t taken two 200-level language courses at TCNJ but feel I have a solid knowledge of a second language? Can I still enroll?

If you have intermediate-level language skills based on prior knowledge of a language, such as a study abroad experience or knowledge from home, you may be eligible to enroll in Languages Across the Curriculum. If you can do at least the following in the target language(s), you have the language level needed to complete a LAC project:

  1. Usually follow the main message in various time frames in straightforward, and sometimes descriptive, paragraph-length informational texts.
  2. Usually follow the main story and actions expressed in various time frames in paragraph-length fictional texts.
  3. Usually understand the main idea and flow of events expressed in various time frames in conversations and discussions.
  4. Give detailed presentations on a variety of familiar topics and some concrete topics I have researched, using a few short paragraphs, often across various time frames.

3. Is a LAC independent study available for all courses?

LAC is available only for those courses where the professor has agreed that course-related activities in a second language will support and enhance the focus of the course. Clearly some courses do not lend themselves to a foreign language component, but many disciplines can easily integrate foreign language materials through complementary readings, research or community-based activities.

4. What types of activities does the LAC independent study typically include? 

LAC projects are quite varied and are tailored to the requirements of the particular courses involved, which come from a wide range of disciplines. They may include:

  • conducting course-related research for papers and projects by accessing and incorporating authentic materials in a second language;
  • supplemental course readings in the original language;
  • oral presentations (in English) based on foreign language sources not available to other class members;
  • submission of written work in the target language (where the course professor is able to evaluate this work);
  • community-based work with local foreign language populations.

5. What are some specific examples of LAC projects?

Past and current LAC projects have come from at least 10 different disciplines. A few sample activities include:

Course Project Description Language
WGS 325/Feminist Theories Dissect how the glorification of femininity and the perpetuation of colorism in lead female actresses in South Indian (Telugu) films continues to feed into the stereotype of the perfect female. Telugu
HIS 498/Senior Honors Capstone Research Seminar Use primary and secondary sources penned in French and Latin to research into the performance of Cardinal Wolsey’s convictions and theology in liturgy, his arranged shows of royal authority, correspondence, and architecture. French, Latin
ITL 327/Italian Short Story Use the Italian version of English short stories to gain a deep understanding of the historical context that produced the texts. Italian
INT 498/Senior Seminar in International Studies: Social Movements & Popular Protests Utilize language skills in Mandarin Chinese to further understanding of the Hong Kong protests and the reaction that they elicited from the Chinese government. Mandarin Chinese
HIS 498/Senior Honors Capstone Research Seminar Introduce and explain the Howard Crosby Butler Archive at Princeton University, which contains materials pertaining to archeological expeditions done by Butler and others to Syria and Jordan between 1899 and 1904, utilizing the German language Tabula Imperri Byzantani. German
POL 390/Junior Tutorial in Political Science: The Politics of Social Inclusion Policy Research the current femicides in Latin American countries and gender-based policies (or lack thereof) that contributed to the issue. Spanish
POL 390/Junior Tutorial in Political Science: The Politics of Social Inclusion Policy Compare India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh and the manner in which they strive to provide for and protect the citizenship rights of people from certain religious backgrounds. Hindi and Gujarati
COM 345/New Media & Health Communication Incorporate how Spanish culture, both from Spain and the New World, have made smoking prevalent in the Hispanic community in the US, including how new media tools have made it easier to prevent Hispanic communities from falling into the habit of smoking, the different treatment options for breaking the habit of smoking, and a general history of why smoking is so prevalent in the community from a historical context. Spanish

7. Is LAC a language-instruction program?

LAC is not a language-instruction program, but rather a language-use program. It is expected that you have the requisite skill level to engage in independent work utilizing the language. Nonetheless, the LAC director is always available as a resource.

8. What if I need help or have trouble finding materials?

The LAC director will help you access sources and serve as a resource to help you fulfill your LAC project. If the LAC director is not able to aid you in a particular language or field, she will refer you to a faculty member with expertise in that language.

9. What languages does LAC support?

LAC attempts to support any language in which the student has a sufficient skill level to conduct the LAC projects.

10. How many credits is LAC 391?

LAC 391/Languages Across the Curriculum Independent Study is one credit, the equivalent of ¼ course unit.

11. How do I enroll in LAC 391?

Click here for LAC instructions. As with all independent studies, you must register for LAC by the end of drop/add period.

12. How is a grade determined?

LAC is available on a PASS/FAIL basis only. A PASS certifies that you have completed the work and engaged in substantive work in another field using your foreign language skills.

13. Can I take LAC 391 more than once with different courses? 

Yes, it is possible to repeat LAC 391 in conjunction with various courses over the course of one’s academic career since the LAC independent study requirements will vary according to the course to which LAC is linked.

16. Will notice of my LAC participation appear on my transcript?

Yes! Your transcript will indicate that you have completed LAC 391 and the course it is linked to. LAC is a credential that will be meaningful to future employers and graduate schools, as it demonstrates your ability to apply your foreign language skills to courses in other disciplines.