What is CLAC?

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Duke’s language departments offer a wide array of courses in the arts, humanities, and professions. CLAC expands on those offerings by embedding innovative programming in languages other than English across our campus.

Hallmarks of our program include:

  • exploration of culturally-specific solutions to real-world issues
  • meaningful engagement with local and global populations
  • discourse competence for subject-specific use
  • critical reflection about how language and culture impact worldview

Street signs in Chinese

All CLAC courses are created through an intentional “backward design” methodology. We use a multi-literacies framework that supports critical reflection within a learner-centered classroom. Coursework is based on real-world challenges and whenever possible includes the local community, through guest speakers, shadowing, or site visits.

Course types

There are two kinds of CLAC courses:

  1. ½ credit courses in the Duke Global Health Institute, Sanford School of Public Policy, and Nicholas School of the Environment. Classes meet once a week for 75 minutes. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. Languages include Arabic, French, Hindi, Mandarin, and Spanish.
  2. Discussion sections in languages other than English for large lecture courses in the humanities. Classes meet once a week for 75 minutes. Languages have included French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.