The growing market of international students puts increasing pressure on higher education providers to also provide language support, as students from non-English speaking background face the dual challenge of developing their English language proficiency alongside their subject content. However, there is little research on how knowledge about language is actually integrated with content knowledge in practice or how such an integration can be supported by curriculum design. Using a case study of a popular academic language support program implemented in an Australian university, this paper examines the relationship between academic literacy and business ethics as two distinct forms of disciplinary knowledge, to investigate how the complexity of their integration is managed dynamically in the classroom. In this study, we draw on Legitimation Code Theory to analyze the role of language in constructing discipline-specific knowledge. Our findings suggest that students do not automatically understand the relevance of language support and that shifting knowledge practices during classroom interaction can enhance students' motivation as well as help students to relate their knowledge about language to the discipline.