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Monday, November 25, 2013

Spanish Students: Help pilot a new resource and receive a free gift certificate!

December 11, 2013, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Jones 35

The Spanish and Portuguese Studies department and the Language Testing Program are collaborating on a new resource to help students assess their own Spanish language abilities, called an Advanced-Level Self-Assessment Instrument. It is intended for Spanish majors and other students in higher-level courses to help them understand and describe their own abilities.

The Advanced-Level Self-Assessment Instrument will be piloted for the first time on December 11, 2013. We are looking for Spanish students to help us improve the instrument by coming to a workshop, completing the assessment, and providing feedback to the developers. We are particularly interested in receiving feedback from Senior Spanish major students.

All students who help pilot the assessment will receive a $20 gift certificate to their choice of the University Bookstore or Bordertown Coffee as a thank you for their participation.

Registration of interest is required. Space is limited, and priority will be given to Senior Spanish major students. If you are interested, please submit this interest form by Friday, December 7, 2013. You will be informed the following Monday if we are able to accommodate you at the event. If we are not able to accommodate you at this first pilot, don't worry, there will be additional opportunities to take the self-assessment during Spring 2014.

Please keep in mind that this is a pilot of the assessment instrument. Your participation will help us to refine the instrument and make it even more useful to advanced-level Spanish students.

Professional Development Survey

After meeting with various Directors of Language Instructions and level coordinators during October, the ComSLE professional development subcommittee developed a survey for all instructors in CLA language programs to help determine areas to include in a systematic program of professional development. The purpose of this survey is to determine instructors' preferences and to gather suggestions for professional development. A big thank you to all those who have responded already!

Due to a small glitch in the survey instrument software, several of you have been unable to complete the survey. Thank you for letting us know of the problem. If you receive a message which states "Your session has expired and your response, if any, has been recorded", please e-mail Caroline Vang who will send you another invitation. This error is an internal issue with the Qualtrics survey, and can be easily resolved by sending you another link.

The survey is anonymous, and shouldn't take more than 10 minutes of your time. Please contribute to this effort by completing the survey by Wednesday, November 27th.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Interested in Telecollaborating Next Semester?

Attention, language teachers: do you want your students to have virtual language partners who are native speakers of the languages they're learning? Would you like them to learn from their partners while negotiating language meaning in both their first and second languages? Would you like them to have an unforgettable and fun language experience in your class? If so, consider trying a Tandem exchange next semester. Whether you call it telecollaborating, a class-to-class exchange, teletandem, or something else, the concept is the same: domestic language students get paired with university students in a different country who are native speakers of the target language (for instance, students in a French class at the U of M would be paired with students in an English class in France), and the students converse in their first and second languages to learn more about their partner's language and culture. TandemPlus can find a complementary language class for your students at a partner university in another country, arrange the partnership, provide support for you, and even provide activities. If you'd like more information, e-mail us at tandem@umn.edu.

Presentation about the "Traits of Successful Online Learners" on Wednesday


What are the characteristics of students who succeed in online and hybrid courses? What can instructors do to help students succeed in online and hybrid courses? Learn why students do--and do not--succeed in online and hybrid courses. Learn strategies for engaging your students and helping them keep on track.

Presenters: Bill Rozaitis (CTL) and Cris Lopez (Academic Technology Support Services). This event will take place on Wednesday, November 20 from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in Appleby 226.

Register here for the workshop.
Register here to participate online via UMConnect.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Join TandemPlus for Turkey Bowl!

The TandemPlus Culture and Conversation Program will host Bowling Night on Friday, November 22 at Goldy's Gameroom in Coffman Union from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The event is open to all TandemPlus participants, both paired and unpaired. TandemPlus will cover the cost of games and it is Free Shoe Friday. As an added bonus, it is Turkey Bowl at Goldy's, meaning if you bowl 8 pins with no tap, you win a plush turkey, or other prizes. Join us for fun, food, plush turkeys and foreign languages!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Parlez-Vous Pizza?

TandemPlus hosted a Pizza Social at Punch Pizza in Minneapolis on Tuesday, October 29. This event, which was attended by approximately 60 TandemPlus participants, provided language learners with an opportunity to use their first and second language skills while enjoying free pizza and beverages.

Native Spanish speaker Malca Garavito commented, "It's nice being here because you have the opportunity to listen to native English speakers, or people who speak the language you're practicing, so you get used to it.

Native English speaker Chris Senn said, "I'm really happy I found someone who can help me with my Chinese."

The next (and final) TandemPlus event of the semester, which is open to all participants (both partnered and unpartnered) will be bowling at Goldy's Game Room in Coffman Union on either November 21 or 22; stay tuned for more details.