Real-client projects in the LSP classroom: Business and German students teamworking across disciplines


This paper presents a cross-disciplinary project in which business German and international marketing management students were teamed up to complete work for a real client. Each team developed a proposal for a new marketing and communications strategy for a non-profit organization focused on the German language and cultures. We first examine real-client projects as a subcomponent of experiential learning, with benefits highlighted in the secondary literature including the opportunity for students to apply their course-gained knowledge and skills and to interact with local communities, which lends purpose and authenticity to their classroom learning. We then present our cross-disciplinary version of a real-client project, outlined in four phases with specific tasks, deliverables, and goals. Project outcomes demonstrate the ways in which the real-client project allowed students to apply content knowledge and skills from their respective fields, while supporting peer-to-peer learning within a disciplinarily diverse team in a professional setting. We conclude with recommendations to facilitate developing and carrying out cross-disciplinary real-client projects in business language or other LSP fields.