Connecticut College students are actively engaged in global communities both domestically and internationally and strong language skills are encouraged. Not only does the study of world languages and cultures foster critical thinking skills, it also helps develop the ability to empathize, communicate and collaborate with others from diverse cultures in their own language. With generous grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the College has been able to enhance the language curriculum.  Information technology has been integrated into language classrooms and opportunities to put languages beyond English into use in a variety of disciplinary contexts expanded.

Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC)

A student's perspective

"I absolutely loved this FLAC section. The opportunity to explore and more deeply understand the botanical Latin that is such an important part of plant identification skills was truly helpful and fascinating; I am inspired to learn more about Latin in general. Also, the deeper connection to scientific plant names afforded by this entertaining study of an age-old language gave more meaning to the plant names I was required to learn for Plant Taxonomy, which was outstandingly helpful. Professor Papathanasopoulou is passionate and very well-versed in the subject, inspiring an interest in and encouraging an understanding of this language that is so clearly at the root of scientific names, and that is closely related to the words we speak daily."

(FLAC) is a national initiative aimed at enhancing language competence by employing content-based language instruction in a wide variety of academic disciplines in conjunction with traditional language classes. The overarching goals are to increase global competencies, to make the curriculum more international, and to enhance opportunities for language learning. First piloted in the early 1990s through a grant from the US Department of Education, the FLAC program at the College has gained significant momentum in the past five years, both in terms of the numbers of faculty participants and the reach of the program across all four divisions of the College. Currently, 20-25 courses are taught each year with FLAC sections, in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Administrative oversight for the program resides in the Office of Global Initiatives.

A FLAC course consists of a regular 4-credit content course taught in English with an extended hour of instruction conducted in a second language.  For example, Professor Natalie Etoke teaches “Foreign Bodies/Forbidden Sexualities in Africa and the Caribbean” with an additional FLAC section in which students discuss course topics and examine primary sources in French.