The seventh annual conference of Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum will emphasize ways to grow and sustain CLAC programs in present times of economic uncertainty.

The national conference, held at University of Richmond Sept. 19 and 20, will attract attendees from all over the country to learn from experienced CLAC practitioners about how to start a CLAC program, involve international students, create a foundation for community-based learning and generate opportunities for returning study abroad students.

Joe Hoff, interim dean of international education, said, "C-LAC, as we call it here, is a program where a quarter-unit section can be added to a regularly taught course in a target language, so that students can practice their language skills and increase their fluency, as well as learn about the cultural perspectives of a particular region where they speak the language related to the content of the particular course."

The first step to adding the program as an extension of a course is either for a professor to request a CLAC session, or a student to ask a faculty member if he or she can take a section for a certain class.

Once a section is set up, there are two options for students. They can join a small discussion group with a faculty member who is well-versed in the target language or with a hired international student, who will lead the discussion. The other option is an independent study project for which the student would do more written work and research in the target language. Students must have finished at least a COM2 level in order to enroll in a CLAC section, Hoff said.

The conference aims to accommodate an audience of CLAC practitioners and those interested in setting up the program at other institutions. If a student wishes to attend, he or she must complete registration and pay a fee of $80.

"The organizing committee has been working on the conference for more than a year," said Sara Jaax, manager of international communications and events. "We have planned the event to give the attendees an opportunity to see various aspects of campus and especially to experience the Carole Weinstein International Center during a special reception with posters. We also have partnered closely with University Catering and Student Activities as the conference sessions will take place at Tyler Haynes Commons."

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