Cultures & Languages Across the Curriculum

The Cultures & Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) program offers half credit courses that focus on current issues in global health, public policy and the environment. CLAC courses are taught in a foreign language and allow you to put your skills to use in a real world context. If you have finished your language requirement and want to extend your fluency, these courses will help build your conversation skills. If you are preparing for or returning from service learning abroad, they offer a great way to process your experience. CLAC will prepare you for an international career using your foreign language skills.

Explore at: https://sites.duke.edu/clac/clac-pedagogy/

Fall 2017 Courses

Voices in Public Policy: Spanish: Language, Policy, and the Law in the US and abroad (PUBPOL 271T/SPAN 273T)

Image of people picketing for sanctuaryStudents will explore how language, culture, and legal systems impact public policy and practice. Students will examine the intersections of public policy, language, and the law with regards to immigrants to and from the US. Through authentic text, video, and case studies in Spanish, students will analyze legal and political issues in Latino sending and receiving communities to develop their understanding of core issues in the field.

Instructor: Rebecca Ewing
Tuesdays 4:40-5:55

Spring 2017 Courses

Voices in Global Health: ARABIC (GLHLTH 270T-2/AMES 270T)

Learning Arabic? Explore how language and culture impact health beliefs, behaviors, and interventions. Through practical and theoretical discussions around case studies, visual texts, and interviews in Arabic, students will examine issues including gender, the environment and social norms. Guest speakers will help us explore the underlying reasons for different beliefs and behaviors, with the goal of creating culturally appropriate interventions.

Prerequisite: 3rd-semester or equivalent of Arabic. Half course. Sat/Unsat. Professor Azeddine Chergui and Maha Houssami. Wednesdays 4:55-6:10.

Voices in Global Health: FRENCH (GLHLTH 270T-3/FREN 270T)

Want to combine your knowledge of French with studies in Global Health? Through critical analyses of case studies, film, and interviews, we will explore how language and culture impact our understanding of beliefs, health care, and education. Our focus this semester will be on creating culturally appropriate interventions in local Francophone communities.

Prerequisite: 300-level or equivalent of French. Half course. Sat/Unsat. Professor Deborah Reisinger. Wednesdays 11:45-1. NB: This course has a service learning designation. Student in this course will be paired with community partners from Central Africa.

NEW! Voices in Global Health: Swahili (GLHLTH 270T-6) 

Interested in studying or working in East Africa? This course will introduce you to Kiswahili through community-based exchanges with partners from Central Africa. We will examine how language and culture impact shape beliefs and behaviors, and how together, these impact global health interventions. No prior knowledge of Swahili is required! Half course. Sat/Unsat. Wednesdays 4:40-5:55.

NB: This course has a service learning designation.

Voices in Global Health: MANDARIN CHINESE (GLHLTH 270T-5/AMES 270T)

Want to practice your Mandarin? Explore how language and culture impact health beliefs, behaviors, and interventions. Through practical and theoretical discussions around case studies, visual texts, and interviews in Chinese, students will examine issues from disease prevention to health care systems. Guest speakers will help us explore the underlying reasons for different beliefs and behaviors, with the goal of creating culturally appropriate interventions.

Prerequisite: 300-level or equivalent of Chinese. Half course. Sat/Unsat. Professor Yan Liu. Wednesdays 4:55-6:10.

Voices in the Environment: SPANISH (ENVR 269T/SPAN 272T)

Interested in combining your knowledge of Spanish and Environmental Studies? This course will help prepare you for research and fieldwork abroad by exploring how language and culture impact environmental policy and practice. Through interviews, case studies, and authentic documents in Spanish, we will explore how communities in North, Central and South America approach issues from energy and biodiversity to conservation and sustainability.

Prerequisite: 300-level or equivalent of Spanish. Half course. Sat/Unsat. Mondays 4:55-6:10.

Fall 2016 Courses

Voices in PUBLIC POLICY in Spanish (PUBPOL 273T/SPAN 273T )

In this course, students will explore how language and culture impact public policy and practice. Through authentic text, video, and case studies in Spanish, students will analyze policy issues in Latino communities to develop their understanding of core issues in the field. 1/2 credit. Pass/fail. Tutorials meet for 75 minutes/week. Taught in Spanish. Pre-requisite: 4 semesters or equivalent of Spanish.

Spring 2016 Courses

Voices in Global Health: ARABIC (GLHLTH 270T-2/AMES 270T)

Learning Arabic? Explore how language and culture impact health beliefs, behaviors, and interventions. Through practical and theoretical discussions around case studies, visual texts, and interviews in Arabic, students will examine issues including gender, the environment and social norms. Guest speakers will help us explore the underlying reasons for different beliefs and behaviors, with the goal of creating culturally appropriate interventions. Prerequisite: 3rd-semester or equivalent of Arabic. Half course. Sat/Unsat. Professor Azeddine Chergui. Wednesdays 6:15-7:30.

Voices in Global Health: FRENCH (GLHLTH 270T-3/FREN 270T)

Want to combine your knowledge of French with studies in Global Health? Through critical analyses of case studies, film, and interviews, we will explore how language and culture impact our understanding of beliefs, health care, and education. Our focus this semester will be on creating culturally appropriate interventions in local Francophone communities. Prerequisite: 300-level or equivalent of French. Half course. Sat/Unsat. Professor Deborah Reisinger. Wednesdays 11:45-1.

NEW! Voices in Global Health: INDIA (GLHLTH 270T-4/AMES 270T)

Interested in India? Want to learn more about Global Health Issues? Explore how language and culture impact health beliefs, behaviors, and interventions. Through practical and theoretical discussions around testimony, case studies, and interviews, we will explore the underlying reasons for different beliefs and behaviors, with the goal of creating culturally appropriate interventions. No language prerequisite! Half course. Sat/Unsat. Instructor: Divya Rajan. Wednesdays 4:40-5:55.

Voices in Global Health: MANDARIN CHINESE (GLHLTH 270T-5/AMES 270T)

Want to practice your Mandarin? Explore how language and culture impact health beliefs, behaviors, and interventions. Through practical and theoretical discussions around case studies, visual texts, and interviews in Chinese, students will examine issues from disease prevention to health care systems. Guest speakers will help us explore the underlying reasons for different beliefs and behaviors, with the goal of creating culturally appropriate interventions. Prerequisite: 300-level or equivalent of Chinese. Half course. Sat/Unsat. Professor Tianshu He. Wednesdays 3:05-4:20.

NEW! Voices in the Environment: SPANISH (ENVR 269T/SPAN 272T)

Interested in combining your knowledge of Spanish and Environmental Studies? This course will help prepare you for research and fieldwork abroad by exploring how language and culture impact environmental policy and practice. Through interviews, case studies, and authentic documents in Spanish, we will explore how communities in North, Central and South America approach issues from energy and biodiversity to conservation and sustainability. Prerequisite: 300-level or equivalent of Spanish. Half course. Sat/Unsat. Instructor: Mariano González Roglich. Wednesdays 4:55-6:10.

Soccer Politics (ROMST 204/ICS 204) (Discussion sections in French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese)

This course explores the history of soccer and of its premier competition, the World Cup, in order to understand how and why it has become the most popular sport in the world. We will examine the development and spread of the game, the institutions that have grown up around it (such as F.I.F.A.), and the economics of the sport. We will also study the biographies of legendary players and the return to legendary World Cup games stretching from the 1930s to 2006. Throughout the course, we will focus particularly on the way in which soccer condenses, channels, and at times transforms politics. Our examples will be drawn from Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. We will read works of history, anthropology, literature, journalism, as well as memoirs and biographies, and watch several documentary and feature films as well as clips of classic games.

Students will be able to participate in smaller discussion sections, either in English or in one of several foreign languages – French, German, Spanish, or Portuguese. In the foreign language sections, students will work with instructors to gather journalist and literary materials in the language and prepare portions of the Soccer Politics website in that language with the goal of dialoguing with fans and constituencies in the relevant countries. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:05-11:20. Professor Laurent Dubois.

Fall 2015 Courses

Voices in GLOBAL HEALTH in Hindi (GLHLTH 270T-4/AMES 270T/HINDI 270T)

Interested in India? Want to learn more about Global Health Issues? Explore how language and culture impact health beliefs, behaviors, and interventions. Through practical and theoretical discussions around case studies, visual texts, and interviews, we will explore the underlying reasons for different beliefs and behaviors, with the goal of creating culturally appropriate interventions. Tutorials meet weekly for 75-minutes. No prerequisite! Half course. Pass/fail. Wednesdays 4:40-5:55.

Voices in PUBLIC POLICY in Spanish (PUBPOL 273T/SPAN 273T )

In this course, students will explore how language and culture impact public policy and practice. Through authentic text, video, and case studies in Spanish, students will analyze policy issues in Latino communities to develop their understanding of core issues in the field. 1/2 credit. Pass/fail. Tutorials meet for 75 minutes/week. Taught in Spanish. Pre-requisite: 4 semesters or equivalent of Spanish.

Spring 2015 Courses

Voices in Global Health: Chinese (GLHLTH 270T/AMES 270T) 

Want to practice your Mandarin? Explore how language and culture impact health beliefs, behaviors, and interventions. Through practical and theoretical discussions around case studies, visual texts, and interviews in Chinese, students will examine issues from disease prevention to healthcare systems. Guest speakers will help us explore the underlying reasons for different beliefs and behaviors, with the goal of creating culturally appropriate interventions. Tutorials meet weekly for 75-minutes. Prerequisite: 300-level or equivalent of Chinese. Half course. Pass/fail. Professor Tianshu He. Wednesdays 4:40-5:55.

Voices in Global Health: Arabic (GLHLTH 270T/AMES 270T) 

Learning Arabic? Explore how the language and culture impact health beliefs, behaviors, and interventions. Through practical and theoretical discussions around case studies, visual texts, and interviews in Arabic, students will examine issues including gender, the environment and social norms. Guest speakers will help us explore the underlying reasons for different beliefs and behaviors, with the goal of creating culturally appropriate interventions. Tutorials meet weekly for 75-minutes. Prerequisite: 4th-semester or equivalent of Arabic. Half course. Pass/fail. Professor Maha Houssami. Wednesdays 6:15-7:30.

Soccer Politics (ROMST 204/ICS 204)

This course explores the history of soccer and of its premier competition, the World Cup, in order to understand how and why it has become the most popular sport in the world. We will examine the development and spread of the game, the institutions that have grown up around it (such as F.I.F.A.), and the economics of the sport. We will also study the biographies of legendary players and the return to legendary World Cup games stretching from the 1930s to 2006. Throughout the course, we will focus particularly on the way in which soccer condenses, channels, and at times transforms politics. Our examples will be drawn from Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. We will read works of history, anthropology, literature, journalism, as well as memoirs and biographies, and watch several documentary and feature films as well as clips of classic games.

The writing for the class will focus on producing material for the Soccer Politics Blog (sites.duke.edu/wcwp), which already includes many materials and is widely read as well as cited by media outlets. In anticipation of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, we will focus particular attention on the history of women’s football, and students will work collectively to create a set of online resources aimed at increasing the visibility and attention paid to the competition and to players from throughout the world. The course will include class visits and culminate in a symposium on the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Students will be able to participate in smaller discussion sections, either in English or in one of several foreign languages – French, German, Spanish, or Italian. In the foreign language sections, students will work with instructors to gather journalist and literary materials in the language and prepare portions of the Soccer Politics website in that language with the goal of dialoguing with fans and constituencies in the relevant countries. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Most Duke students graduate with proficiency in a second language, but they are not always sure how to apply this knowledge to their major or field of study. The Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum initiative at Duke is built upon a simple, primary concept: students should have multiple opportunities to apply their knowledge of languages in a variety of curricular contexts, not just within the traditional language classroom.

CLAC builds upon the premise that knowledge exists within and is shaped by culture. Just as materials in many languages can and should be incorporated into all parts of the curriculum, intercultural perspectives can and should inform the teaching of academic content in many curricular contexts. CLAC puts translingual and transcultural competence within reach of all students, not simply for those who major in a foreign language or participate in immersive study abroad programs.

What is CLAC?

CLAC courses are small tutorials tailored to the needs of a specific group of students. Taught in the target language, they use authentic materials produced by other cultures to foster an intercultural approach to learning that enriches critical thinking in a variety of disciplines. CLAC is a four-year initiative supported by Dean Laurie Patton’s office.

How did CLAC start?

CLAC is founded on the principle that students should have multiple opportunities to apply their knowledge of languages to a variety of curricular contexts, including traditional language classroom. The initiative responds to efforts to internationalize the university, as well as to explorations of different approaches to language instruction. The CLAC approach helps students advance beyond a basic level of fluency.

How is CLAC different from a typical language class?

Duke’s language departments offer a wide array of courses that span the arts, humanities, and the professions, from literature, film, politics, intellectual history, visual culture, and linguistics to language for special purposes such as business and medicine. CLAC courses expand upon these offerings by giving students a skillset tailored to a specific area of study. Courses are developed in tandem with faculty from multiple departments, and students learn both language and disciplinary skill from experts in those areas, helping them to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

What kinds of CLAC courses are offered at Duke?

CLAC courses at Duke come in a couple different forms. One model is the ½ credit tutorial taught once a week in the target language. Another model is the discussion section, in which the large lecture is in English, and discussion sections take place in a number of languages.

What kinds of students take CLAC courses? Who are they geared to?

For students who have finished their language requirement and want to extend their fluency, these courses help maintain and build language skills while adding depth to their field of study. For those preparing for or even returning from a service or service-learning experience, CLAC courses offer a unique environment to contextualize and personalize their learning experience.

Because CLAC emphasizes vertical integration, language learners have the opportunity to work with heritage speakers, and undergraduates with graduate students.

How are decisions made about which languages will be offered?

CLAC aims to be needs-driven, and so our first efforts have been to survey students to identify which languages they speak, where they are already working internationally, and where they intend to conduct research, complete service, or work abroad.

Contact

For more information about the Cultures Across the Curriculum Initiative, current classes or future courses, please contact:

Professor Deb Reisinger
(919) 660-2420
debsreis@duke.edu