CLIC, the Center for Languages & Intercultural Communication, has two main goals:
- The development of the instrumental ability to interact with speakers of the various languages we teach (i.e., to function effectively in a second language social situation), and
- The development of analytical critical-thinking competence to understand how formal and functional aspects of language help us develop conceptual models of the world, cultural institutions, social groups, culture, and communication in general .
The broadening of the mission statement of the former CSL (Center for the Study of Languages) with the introduction of the second major goal outlined above prompted the faculty in the Center to change its name to provide more transparency about the ambitious objective of the new Rice CLIC. The new name is also an opportunity to reach out to other academic units and institutions interested in a broader, more ambitious educational agenda to understand and promote the benefits of developing critical language awareness about language in general through the study of a second language.
The development of analytical critical-thinking competence in a second language is acquired through the explicit study of languages in their natural sociocultural setting. Thus, Rice CLIC has focused on the expansion and creation of curricular programs for our study abroad programs, the rational implementation of technological resources for second language learning, and the restructuring of our curriculum to usher in innovative and academically-substantive ways to teach and learn a second language.