Language Across The Curriculum Approach



Introduction to Concept of LAC Approach

Concept, need, benefits, importance, and aims of LAC Approach


Language Across The Curriculum approach

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Concept of language across the curriculum Approach

Language across the curriculum is a modern approach to learning languages. According to the LAC approach, language learning should occur throughout the school hours in

  1. the language classroom
  2. as well as another subject classroom.

It aims to infuse foreign language across the curriculum. This way student can extend their knowledge of the second language beyond foreign languages courses. They may apply those skills to course materials, research, and projects. The inclusion of authentic course-relevant source materials in other languages prepares students for cross-cultural and multilingual demands of a global society. LAC approach is something we often read about and appreciate. LAC approach is hardly practiced in the classroom due to

  • the pressure of completing the syllabus on time and
  • our inability to break out the rigid boundaries of various subject

Meaning of language across the curriculum approach

LAC is a term for school and college courses that allow students to study a foreign language. It allows students to apply their existing knowledge of a foreign language outside of language learning classrooms.

Need for LAC approach

A LAC approach is one that integrates language learning and content learning. The concept of LAC acknowledges the fact that

language education does not take place in language class alone

LAC approach advocates that it takes place in each subject class.
There is a need for Language across the curriculum approach because language is best acquired through different meaning, making contents and learning in all subjects is dependent upon language. Both content and language are interrelated. Irrespective of the subject learners are studying, learners assimilate new concepts through language. When students listen and talk, read and write in non-language class, they use language. So, while increasing their concepts in non-linguistic fields, they enhance their linguistic skills as well. So, all in the field of education we need a broad perspective that integrates language and content learning.

Benefits of the language across the curriculum approach

(A) for students

  1. It helps learners to improve their communication skills in a foreign language.
  2. It helps students to learn the content more.
  3. It helps learners to expand their ideas.
  4. It helps learners to discuss different issues in a foreign language.
  5. It helps learners to collect different technical terms related to different subjects.
  6. It opens a vast career world before the students.
  7. It helps students getting admitted to foreign universities.
  8. It facilitates effective self-study and referring.

(B) For Teachers

  1. All teachers can improve their skills in a foreign language.
  2. It helps teachers to teach the content in a foreign language.
  3. It helps teachers to update their knowledge.
  4. It helps teachers give clear instructions to students in Foreign Language.

Language skills are important even if the student is studying subjects like science and mathematics etc. In these subjects students need reading, writing and reflecting competencies and skills that are possible only through competent language skill. Sometimes the difficulty in solving a word problem in mathematics is one with understanding the language. Teachers must encourage students for reading, writing and speaking in all the areas of the curriculum. Language naturally is present in all areas of learning. Teachers must use all opportunity that curriculum offers, for developing language skills. A lot of attention needs to be given to the other language skills like reading, listening and speaking.

Aims of the Language Across The Curriculum approach

  1. to support language development in each child.
  2. to Support language development in all domains of language use.
  3. to support language development in each learning activity in schools.

In all school subjects, knowledge and skills to a large extent are gained through language. During the learning process of any subject, learners read, write, talk and listen to the subject matter. Each subject learner is studying, contributes to the learner’s understanding and thinking by introducing concepts specific to its area of Knowledge. It is necessary for learners to master the language to be able to learn in different subjects. A focus on the language itself provides new possibilities for the learners to learn.
Reading and writing strategies are also learning strategies.
Skills developed in LS and FL through the medium of written and oral tests seem to have positive effects on all learning across the curriculum. Various subject teachers can take joint responsibility for language development within limits defined by specific aims of the subject. A variety of teaching methods that enhance abilities to use language in varied ways will also enhance the learning process. So the main aims of LAC are:-



  • Developing subject-specific concepts and genres.
  • Developing varied strategies for learning through language use.
  • Developing meta-prospective on knowledge.

Concept of LAC claims that language and learning are interlinked. So, to acknowledge and develop Children’s existing mental and Linguistics capacities, LAC focuses on active and Constructive learning.
The relationship between language and thinking has become central for LAC, supported by findings in cognitive science, but also in linguistics and language pedagogy itself. So we can state that:-

  • Language is more than communication skills.
  • Language is linked to the thinking process and is used in it.
  • A language is a tool for conceptualizing and for linking information.
  • The language supports mental activities and precision in cognition which is particularly true for Subject-based writing.
  • Language helps to bridge between cognitively demanding tasks and their solutions.
  • LAC is important for young learners to function well within the school and academic setting.

Importance of LAC approach

Language works as a medium between learners and teachers. Hence, the importance of language in Education and
The curriculum is very important. A language is a tool for learning and an aid to understanding. Students develop basic thinking and communication skills that are necessary for their personal development and future career.
Even before going to schoolchild learns how to communicate with his/her family members through the medium of his/her mother tongue. However language and medium of instruction in school are formal which might differ from what he has learned at his home. Now it is important to mention here that the standard of the language used in education should match the level of the standard of the students. If it is mismatched, then efforts made on the part of teacher and learner would not be fruitful.

Difficulty in implementing LAC approach

  • The first difficulty comes with the attitude of subject teachers who resist and object this approach as they do not want to become language teachers on top.
  • Another difficulty is that often in schools there is no one centrally responsible for such a cross-curricular approach except principal. This structural weakness is often found in schools, colleges as well as universities.
  • Introducing LAC requires a radical change in the attitudes and mentality of the teachers involved. Teachers have to be trained and prepared for integrating language into the subject matter teaching at school.

The provision in Indian constitution for language

There is a diversity of languages in our country. After independence mother tongues have received special emphasis as a medium of instruction and subjects of study.
In the constitution of India, it has been laid down that the study of on is own language is a fundamental right of the citizens.
Article 26(1) states,

Any section of the citizens, residing in the territory of India or any part there of, having a distinct language, script or culture of its own, shall have right to conserve the same.

Article 350 A directs

It shall be endeavor of every state and every local authority to provide adequate facilities for instructions in the mother tongue at primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups

Secondary Education Commission, 1952-53 recommended that the mother tongue or the regional language should generally be the medium of instruction throughout Secondary school stage subject to the provision that for linguistic minorities, special facilities should be made available.
Indian constitution makes provision for the development and promotion of Hindi as the national language.

For more information consider visiting the following pages

  1. Language Across The Curriculum pdf
  2. Language education

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