Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC)

Director, 2009-10: Jolene Barjasteh (French), 19th-century French literature, autobiography

Faculty, 2009-10: Karen Achberger (German), 20th-century literature; Christopher Chiappari (Sociology/Anthropology), Latin America; J. Patrick Dale (Political Science), Russian and Eurasian politics; Robert Entenmann (History), Chinese history; Anna Kuxhausen (History), Russian and European history; Eric Lund (Religion), History of Christianity; León Narváez (Romance Languages), Hispanic language and culture; Todd Nichol (History), immigration and Scandinavian history; Dolores Peters (History), French history; Irina Walter (Russian and Russian Area Studies), Russian language and culture

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 an optional 0.25-credit foreign-language component. Each component meets an additional hour each week. 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 college language study. 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 history, religion, economics, political science, chemistry and music) and in a variety of languages (Chinese, French, German, 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.