Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum

Gwendolyn Barnes-Karol, Tomson 324

In keeping with the college’s commitment to integrative study and global perspective, the program in Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC) offers students opportunities to combine their knowledge of a foreign language with their study of other fields in the liberal arts. By definition, FLAC courses combine at least two fields of knowledge: a language other than English and a discipline such as history, religion, or political science.

FLAC courses are specially designated courses that offer a 0.25 credit foreign-language component. Each component meets an additional hour each week beyond the regular class time. In most components, students read and discuss supplementary texts in the designated foreign language. In some components, students read texts in the foreign language and discuss them primarily in English. In others, the “texts” are actually oral/aural sources (e.g., newscasts, dramatizations, films) in a foreign language, discussed in that language. FLAC courses are particularly appropriate for students who are preparing for, or returning from, study abroad, who appreciate literature and the power of language, who enjoy analyzing original texts, or who are considering graduate study that requires the use of foreign language in reading and research.

To be eligible to participate in FLAC courses, students should have proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to at least the fourth semester of French, German, and Spanish (232 level or equivalent) or at least the third semester of Chinese, Greek, Japanese, Latin, Norwegian, and Russian (231 or equivalent). Students who successfully complete the foreign-language component in two FLAC courses (in the same language) will earn Applied Foreign Language Certification on their St. Olaf transcript.  

FLAC courses span the curriculum. Since 1989, foreign-language components have been developed for courses in a variety of disciplines (including art, Asian studies, history, Latin American studies, religion, political science, and music) and in a variety of languages (Chinese, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Latin, Norwegian, Russian, and Spanish). Not every FLAC course is available every year, and new courses are developed periodically. Students should consult the roster of FLAC options available each semester in the class and lab schedule.

Director, 2020-2021

Gwendolyn Barnes-Karol

Professor of Romance Languages - Spanish

Peninsular literature and culture; contemporary Spain; orality and literacy; second language acquisition

Jeane DeLaney (on leave)

Professor of History

Latin American history; Argentina and Cuba; environmental history of Latin America

Kari Lie Dorer

Associate Professor of Norwegian

Norwegian language and culture; applied linguistics; Sami studies; Nordic film.

Kelly W. Figueroa-Ray

Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion

Kristina Medina-Vilariño

Associate Professor of Romance Languages-Spanish

Caribbean Studies; 20th- and 21st-century Latin American studies; contemporary Latino studies; race and ethnic studies

Joanne Quimby

Assistant Professor of Asian Studies

modern Japanese literature

Hsiang-Lin Shih

Assistant Professor of Asian Studies

Chinese literature; classical and modern eras

Kristina E. Thalhammer

Professor of Political Science

comparative politics; Latin American politics; political tolerance; human rights

Jill A. Watson

Assistant Professor of Education

ESL; SLIFE education

Olivia C. Yoshioka-Maxwell

Assistant Professor of Romance Languages - French