The “Non-Level Concept” and Its Potential for Curricular Innovation

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This paper reports on an exploratory study of an innovative approach to the teaching of content in a study abroad context using the ‘non-level concept’ (or NOLC) instruction. Based on triangulated data from classroom observations conducted over the course of a semester, instructor interviews, and student interviews and questionnaires, I present a qualitative analysis of the approach in terms of pedagogical practices, student-student interactions, and instructor intervention, as well as insights from instructor and student alike. Through this analysis I aim to provide a possible alternative to current curricular frameworks in the teaching of content courses in North America and beyond. Although certain modifications would be necessitated by a change in context, the implementation of the NOLC approach has the potential to be a viable and effective alternative or addition to current foreign language curricula.