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Monday, September 18, 2017

PACE Project: Advanced Speaking Proficiency Update and Year Four Team

The fourth year of the PACE project is underway! This academic year will build on the work of the past three years. The focus this year is on analyzing and responding to student proficiency test data. The PACE project team is working closely with two other grant recipients who have been conducting parallel projects: Michigan State University (MSU) and the University of Utah (Utah).
One of the major initiatives of the year is the collaborative Advanced Speaking Proficiency Project. In collaboration with MSU and Utah, PACE will support the design and implementation of activities and pedagogical interventions for upper-division content courses in literature, culture, or linguistics that focus attention on speaking and will provide opportunities for students to develop proficiency beyond the Intermediate High level. UMN Teaching Assistants (TAs) in Arabic, French, German and Spanish will join with instructors from the other two institutions and an external consultant to form a collaborative cohort that will meet throughout the year. Each TA will be mentored by a faculty member in conducting a content-focused course and will provide support in delivering the course over Spring 2018.

The Advanced Speaking Proficiency Project courses and teams are:
  • ARAB 5102: Dr. Katrien Vanpee and Emily Sumner are integrating more speaking and other activities into this advanced-level Arabic course.
  • FREN 3611 / 3711: Dr. Mary Franklin-Brown and Rachel Balstad are providing speaking activities for the French students in this new bilingual course on Speaking of Love in Medieval France.
  • GER 3431: Dr. Ruediger Singer and Emily Groepper are creating speaking activities for this 19th Century Literature course.
  • SPAN 3510: Dr. Michelle Hamilton and Alex Korte are integrating speaking activities into this topics course on Medieval Spanish Literature.

The other 2017-2018 PACE administrative and academic team members are:
  • Dan Soneson, Director of the Language Center and the Principal Investigator
  • Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Professional Development Specialist at the Language Center and the Curriculum Specialist
  • Carter Griffith, Research Professional
  • Kate Paesani, Director of CARLA and the Research Consultant
  • Stephanie Treat, Administrator of the Language Center and the Project Administrator

The PACE Project is funded by a grant from The Language Flagship.

Register Now for TandemPlus Language and Culture Exchanges!

TandemPlus is off to an exciting beginning of the semester, with 300 participants signing up by the second week of class. Intrigued by the thought of having a language partner this year? Anyone who is interested is encouraged to join. It’s free, and voluntary! Participants will have the opportunity to search for a partner with whom to practice and share in conversation and cultural exchange, to the benefit of each person in the partnership.

To register, visit tandem.umn.edu and sign up with either your X500, or personal email account. Registration takes 5 -10 minutes. You’re now able to search for your own partner with self-matching, and Tandem will continue to search for a partner for you throughout the semester.

Have questions about registration or the program? Email tandem@umn.edu, or read our program overview.

Introducing the New Tandem Assistant

Megan Schley is a sophomore at the university working towards her degree in Independent Studies, focusing on English, German, and Teaching English as a Second Language. Before coming to the U, Megan studied abroad in Austria, following her passions of travel and language learning. She loves her job, stating that it combines her favorite things: language learning and planning!

University of Minnesota Language Programs: Awards, Honors and Kudos

Dr. Frances Matos-Schultz, Department of Spanish and Portuguese; and Dr. Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, CLA Language Center, received a grant from the ACTFL Research Priorities Project for their research project titled Blended learning and online coaching: Investigating differences of instructional interventions in the self-assessment of fluency. The ACTFL Research Priorities Project supports empirical research on priority areas that are currently critical to improving foreign language education.

PACE: Springboard to Research and Curriculum Design

PACE: Springboard to Research and Curriculum Design Friday, September 15, 2017 9:00 - 3:30 p.m. Folwell 5 Online Registration Over three years the PACE project has collected data on students of Arabic, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, including proficiency ratings in reading, listening, and speaking, self-assessment ratings, and survey data on language background, use, and motivational factors. Now in in its fourth year, the PACE project invites language instructors to explore and analyze the data collected thus far. Join us for a workshop that will introduce the available data, and provide you with examples of possible research inquiries that can impact your curricular programming and decisions. Paula Winke, Associate Professor at Michigan State University (MSU), will share what MSU is doing with similar data at that institution and will engage with participants to explore ways to interpret and analyze the Minnesota data. Using Excel, participants will have an opportunity to approach the data with specific questions that can be useful for the relevant language program or for larger questions regarding second language acquisition more generally. In addition, a short introduction to the statistical program ‘R’ will be presented. Please let us know if you plan to attend by registering for the event, or email carri093@umn.edu. We encourage you to bring a laptop with Excel installed to the event for hands-on experience working with the data. Before Friday’s event, please read the article Setting evidence-based language goals (Goertler, S, Kraemer, A., & Schenker, T., 2016), which illustrates how one German program analyzed test data to fortify and revise their curricular expectations. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Check-in starts at 8:30 a.m. The PACE Project is funded by a grant from The Language Flagship.