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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ACTFL OPI Assessment Workshop: Register Your Interest by January 5

The PACE Project is sponsoring a four-day ACTFL OPI Tester Training workshop for up to ten language instructors May 18-21, 2015. The workshop will take place in Jones Hall and will be conducted by an expert ACTFL OPI Tester trainer.

This four-day workshop introduces the ACTFL rating scale, the structure of the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), and techniques of administering and rating the OPI. Participants observe and conduct live practice interviews across all proficiency levels (Novice through Superior). Participants will critique and discuss interview elicitation, structure, and rating. Participation in this workshop can be the first step towards certification as an ACTFL OPI Tester for those who choose to do so. We hope that participation in this workshop will lead to a greater focus on proficiency and to greater opportunities for student success in developing their proficiency.

The workshop is funded by the PACE Project, which covers the cost of the training plus breakfast and lunch.

If you would like to apply for this opportunity, please register your interest through this form by January 5, 2015. Priority will be given to instructors of PACE languages funded by the grant.

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


Monday, December 15, 2014

ACTFL OPI Assessment Workshop: May 18-21, 2015

The PACE Project is sponsoring a four-day ACTFL OPI Tester Training workshop for up to ten language instructors May 18-21, 2015. The workshop will take place in Jones Hall and will be conducted by an expert ACTFL OPI Tester trainer.

This four-day workshop introduces the ACTFL rating scale, the structure of the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), and techniques of administering and rating the OPI. Participants observe and conduct live practice interviews across all proficiency levels (Novice through Superior). Participants will critique and discuss interview elicitation, structure, and rating. Participation in this workshop can be the first step towards certification as an ACTFL OPI Tester for those who choose to do so. We hope that participation in this workshop will lead to a greater focus on proficiency and to greater opportunities for student success in developing their proficiency.

The workshop is funded by the PACE Project, which covers the cost of the training plus breakfast and lunch.

If you would like to apply for this opportunity, please register your interest through this form by January 5, 2015. Priority will be given to the PACE languages funded by the grant.

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


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Indonesian Through a Screen: Jack Kreiser's CourseShare Experience

This semester, the University of Minnesota has partnered with several Big 10 institutions to provide less-commonly-taught language courses through teleconferencing and other digital means, a project funded by the Consortium for Institutional Collaboration (CIC) CourseShare program. When Junior Jack Kreiser learned about CourseShare, he eagerly got in contact about the possibility of an Indonesian course.
"I've always been interested in languages and geography in general, and Indonesia has always been a sort of favorite of mine," he said.
Thanks to CourseShare, Kreiser was able to enroll in an Indonesian course offered through the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the only U of M student enrolled in this particular CourseShare class. The rest of his class and his instructor only know him from what they've seen of him on their computer screen.
"Before the program started, I was worried about how my classmates would feel about having a stranger in their class studying over videoconference," he remembered. "The students in the class had already had a year of Indonesian class together, and I worried I might be seen as intruding on their class."
Kresier was relieved to find that "all my classmates are very nice and have accepted me into the class." They've made him feel included and welcomed, he said, and they all enjoy joking around with each other--although some of their favorite jokes aren't ones that can be found in a typical classroom.
"For one class activity, we had to line up based on height, age, etc. Because I wasn't physically in the room, the class TA had to stand in my place. My classmates and I also like to tease each other by asking the other if they want some of our food when someone brings snacks to class."
After several weeks of observing the CourseShare classes, Program Coordinator Pablo Viedma is excited to see everything going so well.

"The students seem to be having a lot of fun; they're always laughing and having a good time," he said.
As is the case with most big projects, obstacles presented themselves early on in the semester. Viedma says the staff had to work quickly to correct some technological issues, primarily improving the sound. Since then, there have been no major issues, but Viedma is prepared to confront them should they appear.

"We're learning as we go," he said, "and now it will be nice to be able to anticipate these problems with future courses."

Kreiser is looking forward to continuing his Indonesian course next semester and encourages others to take advantage of CourseShare as well.

"I would really like for the CourseShare program to make itself more well-known on campus. The actual program itself is run very well, it's just that very few people know about it," he said.

He especially encourages those who are interested in less-commonly-taught languages, such as Indonesian, to find out more information about this program and enroll in a course.

"Studying a less-commonly-taught language makes you stand out and differentiate yourself from others. [It] also provides great academic and career options. There are many scholarship programs for a large number of less-commonly-taught languages due to an insufficient number of speakers in these languages. Employers also are interested in speakers of less commonly taught languages because it is very difficult to find employees that can speak these language to meet their language needs.

"Studying a less-commonly-taught language is [also] really cool because people will want to talk to you about the language you are studying. Nobody would be asking me questions right now about the language I study if I had chosen a commonly-taught language.

"I've really enjoyed knowing that I am the only person in the entire university that is taking a class in Indonesian. [...] Indonesia is home to a quarter billion people, but most Americans don't know or hear very much about this giant country. When I tell people I am studying Indonesian, the two most common responses are: 'That's a language?' and 'Where's Indonesia?' This strange lack of interest in Indonesia in our society has draw me to learn more about the country and its people because I believe that our society should be more aware of other places and cultures around the world."
If you are interested in CIC CourseShare and would like more information, please contact CourseShare Coordinator Pablo Viedma by emailing viedma@umn.edu.


PACE Swap Shop: Turnin' Up the Heat with In-Class Activities

On December 1, 2014, the PACE Professional Development (PD) Peer Team held a second Swap Shop event. Swap Shops are short, informal opportunities for language instructors from all departments to share activities and learn from one another. The most recent event included instructors from Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The event began with Rasha El Helw, instructor of Beginning and Intermediate Arabic, presenting the curricular idea of a "Gallery Walk." In a gallery walk, instructors set up different stations around the room with discussion prompts which students explore and and respond to as they alternate between stations. This can serve as a good tool for for prompting discussion about readings, movies, or other class materials, while allowing students to remain active physically.

Next Minori Inada, instructor of Beginning Japanese, and Ayumi Mita, instructor of Beginning and Intermediate Japanese, presented their newly created Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA). IPAs are a type of assessment which gives students the opportunity to show their ability to use language skills in real-life situations. As a part of this IPA, students were asked to identify key pieces of information from Japanese event posters, discuss the event with a partner, and propose alternatives to attending that specific event. This allowed students to put their knowledge of Japanese vocabulary and grammar into practice and accurately showcase their understanding of the language.

Participants discussed these practices and how they could be further developed and applied. Thanks to those who were able to attend and collaborate! Stay tuned for more information about Swap Shops in Spring 2015!


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


TandemPlus Punch Pizza Party

TandemPlus had its third and final get-together of the semester on Wednesday, December 3rd at Punch Pizza in Stadium Village. This event was extra special thanks to generous funding from an Innovative Community Building Grant from ISSS, which allowed Tandem to buy lots of pizza and pop (or "soda" if you're not from Minnesota) for the more than 50 participants who came with their partners or solo to chow down on Neapolitan style pizza and escape the frigid winter. It was a rare and wonderful thing to have speakers and learners of English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and French gathered together sharing pizza and conversing in multiple languages, and a great time was had by all.


Tandem Pizza Party
Tandem Pizza Party
Tandem Pizza Party
Tandem Pizza Party







TandemPlus will open registration for Spring Semester in late January. Have a great Winter Break!


Monday, December 8, 2014

CIC Courseshare: History Class Taught in Finnish Spring 2015

FIN 3670 Suomen Historia / History of Finland

How have Finnish society and culture developed over the course of Finland's history? How does history impact the present and how is it used in the politics of today? This course will cover the history of Finland from the earliest times up to the present, focusing especially on the last 200 years. In addition to the history of great events and statesmen, we will discuss history from other perspectives, including those of ordinary people, women, and minorities. In our discussions we will contemplate history's significance on the present and we will compare Finland's history to that of other countries. In addition to teaching history, the goal of the course is to improve students' reading and listening abilities in Finnish, as well as their discussion skills.

This course, taught entirely in Finnish, is geared toward students who have completed at least five semesters of college Finnish or who otherwise have at minimum an advanced command of the language. The course will be taught on campus and will be sent via CIC Courshare to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Please contact Matti Jutila or Daniel Karvonen with questions.

2015 Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages: Funding Request Application

The Language Center has funds available to cover the early bird registration fee ($140; $85 for full time students; $80 for Saturday only attendance) of up to 30 P&As and graduate instructors from CLA language departments to attend the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (CSCTFL).

The theme for 2015 is "Learn Languages, Explore Cultures, Transform Lives." It will be held at the Hilton in downtown Minneapolis March 12-14, 2015.

CSCTFL is an annual conference that holds more than 200 sessions for world language teachers at all levels of instruction. Topics stretch from generating excitement over language learning to exploring the use of technology. More information about the conference can be viewed at http://www.csctfl.org/. The conference was last held in Minneapolis in 2010.

Funding will be given to those who have not previously attended a CSCTFL conference. If you would like to apply for this opportunity, please register your interest by January 5, 2015.


Monday, November 24, 2014

TandemPlus Punch Pizza on December 3

Tandem will hold its third and final Fall Semester event on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. at Punch Pizza in Stadium Village.

All current TandemPlus participants (partnered or not) are invited. Tandem will provide the first round of pizza and drinks, so come early! Join us with your partners or come alone for pizza, conversation, and camaraderie.

For more information about the Punch Party, contact Tandem at tandem@umn.edu.

This event is partially funded by an Innovative Community Building Grant sponsored by ISSS.


Next Swap Shop - Turnin' Up the Heat with In-Class Activities

Want some more sizzle in your activities and assessments? Join us for the next Swap Shop hosted by the PACE Professional Development Peer Team. Rasha El Helw from Arabic will present a "Gallery Walk" style pre/post-reading activity and Ayumi Mita and Minori Inada from Japanese will present their Integrated Performance Assessment. Look forward to a toasty discussion!

All language instructors are invited to attend.

Monday, December 1, 2014
12:10 - 1:10 p.m.
Nicholson 110


This event is sponsored by the PACE Professional Development (PD) Peer Team, which includes language instructors from French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
 

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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Getting to Know the Multimedia Lab Student Staff

Meet the six multimedia lab attendants for the Fall 2014 semester at the Language Center! Here are some short self-introductions of new and returning staff.

Sorelle

Sorelle Chekam



Hi! I'm Sorelle. I am originally from Bafoussam, Cameroon. I moved to the U.S seven years ago, and I currently live in Roseville, MN. I transferred to the U of M from from Anoka-Ramsey Community College one year ago. My Major is Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering. My first language is French and secondary one is English. I started working at the Language Center this semester, and I am really enjoying being around foreign language learners. My life is centered around work and school, but during my spare time I like to travel, read, and spend time with friends.


Jonathan Prestrud


Jonathan
Greetings! I'm Jonathan and I work with the Language Center as the assistant in the TandemPlus program, and a few times during the week I can also be found in the multimedia lab. I transferred to the University three years ago; this makes me a super senior. I finish my Linguistics B.A. this semester, and will wrap up my GSD (German) major and History minor in the coming spring. As for languages, I've studied five--German, Korean, Spanish, French, and Norwegian--and have been fortunate to do a bit of linguistic fieldwork in Azeri through the Linguistic department. I enjoy all things done well, lightheartedness, and anything that brings about fun.



Salma

Salma Bile



Hello! My name is Salma Bile, and I have worked in the Multimedia Lab for a little over a year now. I am from San Diego, California, but I've lived in Minnesota for the majority of my life. I am a junior studying Biology and plan to go to nursing school when I graduate. I love languages, but I've only studied Spanish and Arabic so far. I hope to study abroad either this summer or sometime next year to work on my Arabic. When I'm not studying, I'm usually spending time with family and friends or watching my favorite sport, soccer!

Rachel

Rachel Groe



Hello, everyone! I'm Rachel and am majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS) and minoring in Marketing. For most of my life I've lived in Bloomington, Minnesota. I've studied German for several years and completed my language proficiency exam (LPE) for German during spring semester of 2012. I studied abroad in Vienna last spring (and highly encourage those thinking of studying abroad to do so; it's a great experience!). I have worked with OFYP's Welcome Week program for the past three years. I also work with the Office of Classroom Management at the UMN, and as the Public Relations Officer for the UMN's Pokémon League. Things that I enjoy doing in my free time include reading fantasy/sci-fi novels, practicing my writing skills, watching anime, hanging out with friends, and playing video games (especially Pokémon).



Hodan

Hodan Jama



Hello! My name is Hodan Jama and I am studying Nutrition and minoring in Public Health. I was born in Somalia but grew up in Minnesota. I have two brothers who are also in college. This is my second semester here, and it is good to see new faces here at the Multimedia Lab. I am planning to go to graduate school for Public Health and work as Public Health Nutritionist. In my spare time, I enjoy watching shows that center around crime investigation. My favorite channel to watch when I am not busy is Investigation Discovery, which features real life crimes. I also enjoy reading and talking to my friends.




Dathan

Dathan Cook



Hello. I'm Dathan and this will be my third semester working at the Multimedia Lab. I am from Eagan, a suburb just outside the Twin Cities, and I have lived in Minnesota for all of my life. I'm currently a sophomore and planning on majoring in computer science, but I'm also studying French while attending the U. I would love to learn several other languages as well as have a study abroad experience before finishing my time here. I spend most of my free time watching some of my favorite TV shows, spending time with my family and friends, or exploring around the city and trying new things.



Monday, November 17, 2014

Food Drive in Jones 110 This Week

The CLA Student Board is sponsoring a food drive November 17-21, 2014 at various locations across campus, including Jones 110. Please bring non-perishable items this week, such as canned or boxed items.

CIC Courseshare: New Class on Sámi Culture for Spring 2015

SCAN 3670 / 5670: Sámi Culture, Yesterday and Today

The northern tracts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula seem for many a singularly remote locale--Europe's area of sparsest population, an Arctic region where snow can remain on the ground for nine months out of the year and where the annual daylight regimen swings from a summer of perpetual night to a long, dark winter during which the sun never rises above the horizon. Yet to its indigenous inhabitants--the Sámi (Lapps)--this land is rich and bountiful, an age-old ally that deserves to be reverenced and safeguarded. Here Sámi people have lived from time immemorial, sustaining themselves on various combinations of hunting, fishing, reindeer husbandry, farming, and trade.

In this course, we explore the culture of the Sámi people, both on Sámi terms--through examination of Sámi language, oral tradition, material culture, religion, literature, film, digital media, and other cultural products--and on terms imposed from the outside. We will examine how neighboring peoples defined and disenfranchised Sámi over time, depicting them as magicians, primitives, racial inferiors, and trouble-makers in a manner that allowed authorities to discredit and disregard Sámi views. We will look at the legacy of this process of colonization as it continues today and how Sámi have worked to preserve their culture and bring it into the future. We will compare the Sámi situation to that of indigenous peoples elsewhere in the world, particularly those of North America. We will look at the international "Fourth World" or indigenous peoples' movement that has resulted in legislation like the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ongoing battles throughout the world to secure self-determination, cultural preservation, and resource rights for some of the world's smallest and most endangered populations. Through it all we will see a culture of remarkable vitality and resilience, one that offers deep wisdom and pragmatic insights for a world contemplating the notion of sustainability.

This course is taught in English and there are no prerequisites. It is offered through CIC Courseshare and taught by Dr. Thomas DuBois at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. For more information, please contact: Thomas DuBois or Daniel Karvonen.

Folwell Hall Revised Technology Plan

In response to feedback, the previously planned technology upgrade in Folwell Hall was revised to better fit the needs of faculty, staff, and students. Rather than a full upgrade, classrooms in Folwell will undergo a scaled back "refresh" that includes the following:

  • Replacing video projectors with higher lumen machines
  • Replacing DVD players with newer DVD models
  • Removing all VHS players

Since this is a refresh and not a complete upgrade, no cameras will be added during this cycle. The Office of Classroom Management will oversee the project that begins during winter break and continues throughout the spring semester.

Yes, You Can!: Self-Assessment in the Hybrid Romance Language Classroom

Thursday, December 4, 2014
12:20-1:10 p.m.
University International Center 101


In this CARLA presentation, Sara Mack and Gabriela Sweet will detail the process, benefits, and challenges of creating a standardized self-assessment protocol for language learning.

The Basic Outcomes Student Self-Assessment (BOSSA) protocol was introduced in Fall 2014 in Intermediate Spanish classes at the University of Minnesota, and is currently in use by students of French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. They will explain how the protocol was created and present qualitative and quantitative data exploring its efficacy. They will also discuss best practices and the challenges of creating a self-assessment protocol to support instructors and learners across multiple sections and languages.

Presenters:
Sara Mack (Ph.D. 2009, University of Minnesota) is Lecturer and Coordinator of Spanish 1004 (second semester Intermediate Spanish) at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Her current research investigates psychosocial aspects of second language learning, with a focus on how metacognitive self-assessment can be used to improve learning outcomes. Other research interests include mobile learning, learning and memory, and sociophonetics.

Gabriela Sweet is the Sustainability Coordinator for the Proficiency Assessment for Curricular Enhancement (PACE) Flagship project. Her test development work includes the CARLA Articulation and Assessment projects on the Graduation Proficiency Tests; Second Language Testing, Inc., working with state boards of education to develop and translate high stakes assessments at all levels of primary and secondary education; and the CLA Language Testing program. With the PACE project she works on alternative assessment, particularly self-assessment, to promote increased metacognitive awareness and student empowerment.



Monday, November 10, 2014

CLA Student Board Food Drive Next Week

The CLA Student Board is sponsoring a food drive November 17-21, 2014 at various locations across campus, including Jones 110. Please bring non-perishable items that week, such as canned or boxed items.


Monday, November 3, 2014

PACE Swap Shop: Special Halloween Edition

On October 30, 2014, the PACE Professional Development (PD) Peer Team held its inaugural Swap Shop event. Swap Shops are short, informal opportunities for language instructors from all departments to share activities learn from one another. In keeping with the Halloween season, the theme was "Bring Out Your Dead."

Sean Killackey, French, Ph.D. candidate, and Beth Kautz, German 1003 Coordinator, each brought out "one of their dead": an activity which had great potential, yet did not work out the way they had hoped in their class. Instructors from Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish brainstormed ideas that might bring new life into these activities.

Sean showed excerpts from a film dealing with stereotypes between two francophone cultures on the border between Belgium and France. His film choice focused on cultural differences and tendency to stereotype. Students watched the entire film during two class sessions and completed a homework assignment in response to the film. The activity seemed to go awry when the follow-up class discussion turned into a teacher-centered session and did not lead to engaged student conversation or insights into cultural differences. Swap Shop participants were then given a few minutes to discuss what could have been done to make this activity more meaningful and engaging for the students that would allow for deeper critical thinking and focused attention on cultural stereotypes mentioned in the film.

Beth followed with a jigsaw activity on sustainability and tourism. Students first read a text outlining criteria for determining the degree of sustainability of a project. Then they were given descriptions of four different "green" vacation packages. They were asked to describe two packages for homework, talk and compare them in groups in class, and then analyze and rate how sustainable each vacation package would be. While students were able to identify particulars of each package, they could not easily apply the criteria successfully. Students had a variety of interpretations of "sustainable," and also tended to rate the vacations more according to the degree of "fun" than of "sustainability". The Swap Shop participants made suggestions for scaffolding this activity by adding a pre-discussion of the criteria for "sustainability," modeling the task with one example, and asking for separate rating systems for "fun" or "sustainable" vacations to provide opportunities to apply learned concepts to new material.

Participants shared ideas and experiences and generated options for approaching tasks to increase both student engagement and application of critical thinking. Many thanks to those who participated in the Swap Shop and made these good ideas even better!

The next Swap Shop is scheduled for Monday, December 1, 2014. Stay tuned!

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

Introducing the PACE Professional Development (PD) Peer Team

The PACE PD Peer Team is an important part of the PACE project, because it puts language instructors in the driver's seat.

The team includes representatives of the seven PACE languages: French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish as well as members of the PACE Admin Team. This team is tasked with building and sustaining energy around a culture of continual and collaborative professional development in the various language departments. The PACE project aims to build a culture of data-informed exploratory practice among the language departments. This will be accomplished via assessment and professional development. Assessments will give instructors an independent indication of the proficiency level(s) of their students, while professional development opportunities (both large and small) will build the skills necessary to understand this data and ask questions about it.

The purpose of the PD peer team is to serve as a central conduit between the data derived from assessment and the professional inquiry into this data. The team will connect the language programs with the PACE Admin Team and colleagues across languages in order to engage in collaborative projects and pursue questions of practice.

The members for 2014-2015 are:
  • Dora Dias, Portuguese
  • Jonathan Fulk, French
  • Sean Killackey, French
  • Sugyung Kim, Korean
  • Natalia Krylova, Russian
  • Elizabeth Lake, Spanish
  • Jacqueline Listemaa, German
  • Sara Mack, Spanish
  • Helena Ruf, German
  • Dan Soneson, PACE Admin Team
  • Gabriela Sweet, PACE Admin Team
  • Elaine Tarone PACE Admin Team
  • Caroline Vang, PACE Admin Team


Instructors from all languages may contact the members of the team or email elsie@umn.edu at any time with questions and ideas. The more informed the team is of the needs and goals of language instructors, the better able it will be to design events and projects to move language education at the university forward.

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

Monday, October 27, 2014

TandemPlus Bowling: Scoring a Strike!

On Friday, October 24, 2014, TandemPlus held its second get-together of the semester -- a bowling party at Goldy's Gameroom in Coffman Union. About 50 people attended this event and discussed the different ways to say "strike" and "7-10 split" in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish, while savoring the untranslatable flavor of Goldy's tater tots and onion rings.

Join TandemPlus for our third and final event of the semester on Wednesday, December 3 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. for the ever-popular Punch Pizza Party at Punch Pizza in Stadium Village. Like all TandemPlus events, this is open to all Tandem participants, paired and unpaired.

PACE Swap Shop: Special Halloween Edition

Can we bring our good ideas back from the dead?

Language instructors: you know that feeling when the activity you plan just doesn't take off? Join fellow instructors from throughout CLA in a reflective look at lessons in need of reviving!

Special guests Sean Killackey from French and Italian and Beth Kautz from German, Scandinavian and Dutch will share from their experiences and start the conversation.

There will be open-mic time at the end if you desire to bring out your dead!

All language instructors are invited to attend.

Thursday, October 30, 2014
11:00 - 12:00 p.m.
Folwell 105

This event is sponsored by the PACE Professional Development (PD) Peer Team, which includes language instructors from French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Come get some killer ideas!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Getting to Know the Classroom Support Student Staff

The Language Center's Classroom Support staff consists of ten student workers this fall. Here are short self-introductions from the new and returning student staff.


Keerthana

Keerthana Shankar



Allo! My name is Keerthana. I am Indian by nationality but was born in Saudi Arabia, and I'm majoring in Asian Language and Literature with a focus on Korean. I speak a south Indian language called Tamil with my family. I am trying to learn Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Vietnamese, and Spanish. Although my parents are from India, we've only visited India a few times. In my free time, I love to do digital art pieces. I also participate in various martial arts. This year, I am on the board of the Minnesota International Student Association as well as the Indian Student Association, so I would love to see you at our events!



Kevin

Kevin Vrla


Bom dia! My name is Kevin and I am a Linguistic major and Portuguese studies minor senior here at the University. I greatly enjoy learning about other languages. I currently speak Spanish and Portuguese with good proficiency and am working on developing my French skills. I have not done much traveling, but I did travel to Brazil when I was in high school and plan on being in Portugal this coming spring. When I'm not satisfying my linguistic curiosity (of various languages from around the world), I spend most of my time reading, playing music, or watching movies.



Brandon

Brandon Adams


Shalom! I'm Brandon, a senior double-majoring in English and Jewish Studies here at the U. I'm back at the Language Center for my final year of school after studying in Jerusalem last spring. During my adventure I visited all over Israel, as well as Jordan and the Netherlands. I have studied Modern Hebrew for some time now, and I am still working on fluency, but my confidence has gone up after spending time where it's spoken daily! Living abroad and speaking to people from all over the world taught me more than any class ever can. I'm always considering where I want to visit next, who I will meet, and what I will learn!



Anna

Anna Sisombat


Bonjour! I'm Anna, and I'm currently a French major. I recently transferred from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN, which is my hometown. I know 3 languages: English, Laotian, and French. I grew up in a Laotian family and started studying French in high school. Two summers ago, I had the privilege of traveling to France for three weeks with my classmates. I had an amazing time there and can't wait to go back again! In my spare time, I love to play phone games or video games on the Xbox, explore the Twin Cities and try new food, or play my guitar and violin.



Jessica

Jessica Troyan


Hola! I'm Jessica, and I am a senior studying English, Spanish and Technical Communications. I will be graduating this December and hope to get a job in the publishing field. I can speak a little Portuguese, and I am fluent in Spanish. I was lucky enough to study abroad in Toledo the summer before my junior year. I have traveled to France, Spain, Italy, and Mexico, and I love being able to try new foods and experience different cultures. I enjoy reading, going for walks outside, and cooking.

Amber

Amber Davidson


Hi, everyone! My name is Amber, and I'm a sophomore majoring in History with a minor in Spanish Studies. I grew up near Detroit Lakes, a small town in northern Minnesota. This is my second semester in Classroom Support here at the Language Center. I took Spanish throughout high school, and I'm continuing my studies in Spanish here at the U. I love learning the language and about the different cultures in which it is spoken, and my future plans include traveling all across Latin America. In fact, I'm planning to study abroad in Argentina within the next year. I'm also taking American Sign Language for the first time this semester, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it! In my free time I love to read, listen to music, play my guitar, and spend time with my family.

Molly

Molly Schloesser


Hey, everyone! I'm Molly and I'm going to be graduating in May (hopefully!). I'm double-majoring in Early Childhood Education and Family Social Science. I have worked at the Language Center in Classroom Support for about two years now. I am not currently studying any languages at the U, but I took three years of Spanish in high school. I have had a few opportunities to travel outside of the country. About three years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to France and Spain with some of my classmates for about two weeks. It was a short trip and we did not get to spend much time in each of the three cities we went to (Paris, Barcelona and Madrid), but it was an experience I will never forget! I also had the privilege of traveling to South Africa during winter break my sophomore year. I lived in Cape Town for about a month and did some service learning there. Other than traveling, my hobbies include horseback riding, reading, watching movies, and looking at videos of cute puppies on YouTube.


Carissa

Carissa Polo


Ciao! I'm Carissa, and I am studying Journalism with a Spanish minor. I've been studying Spanish for about nine years now, and I decided to switch things up this year by taking courses to also learn Italian! Languages fascinate me, and I've made it a goal to be conversationally proficient in at least five languages by the time I leave college, which means I also try to keep up with French and Portuguese when I have time outside of classes. I have a love for traveling, and I'm planning on studying abroad in either France, Spain, or Australia within the next year. I'm only a sophomore, but I've already made plans to backpack through Italy during the summer after I graduate. In my free time I manage and write for my own blog, attend concerts, figure skate, watch copious amounts of Netflix, and cry over cute puppies.


Lauren

Lauren Otto


¡Hola! I'm Lauren, and right now I'm planning to major in English with a minor in Spanish, but I'm also very interested in Global Studies and Cultural Studies, so we'll see where that takes me. I love to travel and experience new places and cultures, and I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new things. I left the United States for the first time this last summer when I went on a mission trip to Honduras, which made me very excited to either study abroad or participate in service learning/ volunteering abroad. I hope to eventually set foot on every continent--hopefully even Antarctica. I obviously enjoy reading and writing in my spare time, along with listening to and playing jazz (I play trumpet), playing volleyball, and spending time with friends and family.


Alli

Alli Shaw


Hello! My name is Alli and I am a junior here at the U of M. I am a Psychology B.A. major with a minor in Statistics, and I hope to eventually obtain my masters degree in Occupational Therapy. I am currently studying American Sign Language and absolutely love it. I have also previously studied Spanish for six years and cannot wait to put it to use when I study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina during the spring semester of this school year. I love to travel and experience new things and cannot wait for my adventure! I am a huge soccer fan and love to play in my free time. I also enjoy snowboarding, playing the piano, and spending time with friends and family.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Welcome Back Caroline!

Caroline Vang has returned from her parental leave and is back in her office at at the Language Center. We are all very pleased to have Caroline back and also grateful for the support we received from Jenny Boe and Beth Dillard Paltrineri during Caroline's leave. We simply couldn't have survived the start of the academic year and the launch of the PACE program without them!

Here is a short update from Caroline:

Hello! It's great to be back at the Language Center. Thank you for all the encouragement and warm congrats for Michael, our new baby boy. He's growing really fast (weighing in at 11 pounds, maybe more). He's an alert boy and tries to interact with you through his gurgles and coos. Really cute :) So far, he's been a pretty easy baby. Thank you again for your support while I was on leave this past month!


TandemPlus Bowling Night at Goldy's Gameroom

Go bowling with TandemPlus on Friday, October 24, 2014, starting at 3:30 p.m. at Goldy's Gameroom in Coffman Memorial Union.

All current TandemPlus participants (partnered or not) are welcome to come. Bowling shoes are free, and TandemPlus will provide some appetizers and will pay for the first game.

Join us, chat with new and old friends in your first and second languages, chow on snacks, and knock down some pins!

For more information about the Bowling Night or registration, contact Tandem at tandem@umn.edu.

Monday, October 6, 2014

TandemPlus Kicks Off!

TandemPlus is off to a great start this fall. The orientation kick-off event on September 24, 2014 was quite a success. With around 60 participants, the event was lively, fun, and many languages could be heard at once, including English, Arabic, Korean, Norwegian, Spanish, and Portuguese. Participants met new friends, played games, shared stories, snacked on food, and learned more about the program.

Get ready for more Fall events! TandemPlus is hosting a bowling night at Goldy's Gameroom on October 24 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., and a pizza party at Punch in Stadium Village on December 3 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Look for more information about these events in upcoming issues of ElsieTalk, or check the TandemPlus website.

TandemPlus registration for Fall Semester closes this Friday, October 10, so anyone interested in a second-language conversation partner should register soon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Getting to Know the Main Office Student Staff

Who are the students working at the front desk in Jones Hall 110 this semester? Here are short self-introductions from the new and returning Language Center Main Office student staff.


Chloe

Chloe Gansen


I'm Chloe, and I'm currently a senior. I'm originally from Janesville, Wisconsin, which is just south of Madison. I'm studying Journalism with a minor in Public Health. I took French throughout high school and then again my sophomore and junior years at the U, finishing 1004 last spring. Outside of school, I really enjoy being active; I love to run and swim and hope to get started doing triathlons some day.


Chris

Chris Michaels


Hello, everyone. I'm Chris Michaels from Monticello, MN. My major is Journalism with a Professional Strategic Communication focus. I've been studying Japanese for a few years now, and after what feels like a million years of rescheduling my trip for various reasons, I plan to study abroad in Tokyo next fall. I am also taking my first Korean class this semester. Hobbies of mine include playing and watching sports, listening to music, and watching Japanese comedies.
Dimitra

Dimitra Andreadaki


I'm originally from Rochester, Minnesota. I'm currently double-majoring in Biology, Society, and the Environment along with Global Studies with a minor in public health. My native languages are English and Greek, but I am currently studying Spanish and have studied Latin in the past. My hobbies include playing the piano, and my favorite author is Gabriel Garcia Marquez.


Fatima

Fatima Babu


My name is Fatima, and this will be my fourth year at the Language Center. I was born in Framingham, MA but I grew up in South Minneapolis. I am currently a senior majoring in Political Science and Global Studies. I studied Spanish in high school, and I also just finished studying Arabic here at the U! I love traveling and experiencing new environments! Currently my life has been taken over by school and work, but when I do have spare time I love to spend time with my friends and family!

Hunter

Hunter Slack


I'm Hunter. I'm originally from White Bear Lake, MN and I'm a junior studying Marketing and Design. This is my third year at the Language Center. I studied Spanish through high school and got through Spanish 3015 my freshman year. Outside of work and school, I play in two bands (guitar in one, vocals in the other) and run a non-profit organization called MaintaiN, which promotes the local MN music scene to those unfamiliar with its existence.


Maya

Maya Christensen


Hi, everyone! I'm a sophomore studying Urban Studies and Youth Studies. I'm from Minneapolis, and my family lives about 10 minutes away from campus, right by Lake Harriet. I've studied Spanish since seventh grade and hope to learn more languages in my lifetime. I love being active and being outside, so biking and running are things you will see me doing often!

Nick

Nick Ott


I'm Nick Ott from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I'm a sophomore here at the U. This is my second year at the Language Center. Since high school, I have formally studied both Spanish and German but have learned German informally from my mother since I was young. I have always loved learning foreign languages, although my favorite by far is the German language. That's why I have recently decided to major in it, along with Marketing. Outside of work, I am involved in the University YMCA and am training to compete in my first triathlon!


Rachael

Rachael Falade


I grew up in Woodbury, Minnesota. I am a sophomore hoping to major in Nutrition with a minor in Yoruba! Although I love English, I have also studied Spanish in high school and currently study Yoruba (a language native to Nigeria). I basically love everything, especially food!

Shoua

Shoua Thao



Hello, everyone! My name is Shoua Thao. I started working in the Language Center in spring semester of 2014. I was born in Minneapolis but currently reside in Brooklyn Center, MN. I am a junior this year studying Mass Communication, Political Science, and Design. I studied Korean my first year here at the U and followed on to take my LPE in Hmong, passing towards the end of the term. I love to be and stay active, so I play a lot of sports. One huge thing I did a lot this past summer--other than work extensively--was playing football with my team called Bellatrix. We competed in Hmong Festival Tournaments in July and August and got 2nd place for both. I also got on board as an Outreach Co-chair for the Hmong Minnesota Student Association student organization 2014-15 here at the University, so I met a lot with my fellow board members as well.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Language Center Events in October 2014



Classroom Computers Now Printing to Multimedia Lab: Policy Update

Our current printer in the Classroom Support office is no longer working well. Given the limited use it receives, rather than replacing it, we have decided to try out a new policy and set LC classroom computers to print to the Multimedia Lab in Jones 135. We recognize that retrieving the printouts during class can be a hardship for instructors and have updated our procedures. Classroom Support staff are now available to assist instructors with the collection of printouts from Jones 135. Instructors should communicate with the staff in Jones 5 in person or by intercom. The Classroom Support staff will collect the printouts in Jones 135 and bring them to the classroom directly.

Instructors wishing to avoid this step may consider other digital tools for sharing handouts and collecting student work, such as the course Moodle site or Google Drive.


Monday, September 22, 2014

RSVP by Thursday, September 25, 2014 for upcoming PACE Workshop: "Using Cognitively Demanding Oral Tasks in Exploratory Practice"

Presented by Elaine Tarone
Friday, October 3, 2014, 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Commons Hotel, Pinnacle Ballroom, 615 Washington Ave SE (East Bank)
Breakfast will be provided.

This event is open to all CLA Language instructors as a PACE professional development opportunity. Please register online by Thursday, September 25 and email elsie@umn.edu with questions.

OIT: ATSS Workshops Fall 2014

Academic Technology Support Services (ATSS) will offer a series of workshops for faculty, staff, and teaching assistants at the University of Minnesota this semester. There are no prerequisites, and the workshops are offered free of charge. All levels of technical skill and experience are welcome. Registration is limited to 10 participants per workshop session, and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Topics include:
  • Multimedia Presentations: Design For Engagement
  • Tools to Create Multimedia Presentations
  • Digital Storytelling Assignments
  • YouTube Your Course

You can see course details and register at the ATSS website.

New Focus for CLA Language Outreach in 2015

The University of Minnesota's College of Liberal Arts is reshaping its language outreach programming and will not be hosting World Language Day (WLD) in 2015. We are thankful for the thousands of high school students and hundreds of teachers who attended WLD between 2004 and 2014. The WLD planning and instructional team, and the units that support the event, have valued this partnership with Minnesota high schools.

As part of the changes in our language outreach, we want to update you on three new major language-related projects and programs underway that will enhance language education at the university and in the state.

  • Chinese Flagship: The University of Minnesota is now one of twelve United States universities offering a Chinese Language Flagship Program. The Flagship grant provides resources to expand language learning opportunities and intensive experiences to undergraduate students.

  • PACE Project: The Proficiency Assessment for Curricular Enhancement (PACE) project will provide an integrated program of language assessment and continual curricular improvement for students of French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish with a goal of helping move all students to higher stages of language proficiency.

  • Spanish Certificate: The Certificate of Advanced-Level Proficiency in Spanish is a new option for students who are interested in achieving advanced-level proficiency in Spanish, and having their skills formally recognized.

With the increased focus on connecting K-12 outreach on new programs and integration into CLA Showcases, we believe we can provide more enriched and ongoing experiences. We also invite teachers of all languages to consider a group campus tour for their students.

The University of Minnesota remains committed to K-12 outreach and language promotion. Please email elsie@umn.edu if you have questions about languages at the University of Minnesota.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Instructors in Computer Classrooms: Please Help with Class Breaks

Language Center computer classrooms are scheduled to ideally provide a 15-minute class break between each class to allow staff to set up technology for the next class. Classroom Support staff have reported that this semester they have often had insufficient time to do this due to students staying after class to meet with their instructor and these conversations occurring at the instructor computer area.

Instructors: the Language Center requests your help in insuring that there is adequate time to prepare for classes. If you need a private location to meet with students after class, please reserve a small room in advance, or come to Jones 110 to request a walk-in reservation.

Upcoming PACE Workshop: "Using Cognitively Demanding Oral Tasks in Exploratory Practice"

Presented by Elaine Tarone
Friday, October 3, 2014, 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Commons Hotel, Room TBA, 615 Washington Ave SE (East Bank)
Breakfast will be provided

This event is open to all CLA Language instructors as a PACE professional development opportunity. Please register online and email elsie@umn.edu with questions.

Elaine Tarone is the Director of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) and a professor in the Second Language Studies Program at the University of Minnesota. Her research publications focus on the impact of social context on learner language and second language acquisition. She has published research on oral second-language processing by low-literacy learners, interlanguage variation, interaction in immersion classrooms, language play, and genre analysis. A member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, she is a recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.

Monday, September 8, 2014

TandemPlus Fall 2014 Registration & Kick Off

Student registration for TandemPlus is now open! With the beginning of a new school year come new opportunities for language partnerships. This semester there are some exciting developments happening with TandemPlus.

  • There are a large number of Portuguese speakers on campus this year who are seeking native English partners for exchange; Portuguese learners are needed!

  • It is now mandatory for Arabic learners to participate in Tandem -- Arabic speakers are virtually guaranteed a partner.

To register, sign up at tandem.umn.edu.

Also, Tandem will hold its Fall Semester Kick Off on Wednesday, September 24, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in Nolte 140. Everyone is invited to come learn about Tandem, play language games, enjoy refreshments, and meet other language learners.

For more information about the Kick Off or registration, contact Tandem at tandem@umn.edu.

Alert: VCR and DVD players removed from Folwell Hall classrooms in Spring 2015

The Office of Classroom Management has announced that during the 2015 spring semester, VCR and DVD players will be permanently removed from the general purpose classrooms in Folwell Hall. This is part of a multi-year plan designed to encourage the safe storage of materials online and to limit the upkeep on outdated platforms.

CLA faculty and staff that require assistance in transferring their DVDs and tapes to a digital format can contact their department's relationship manager.

The Language Center can also assist CLA language instructors request digitization through the DCL. Instructors may also reserve a portable DVD player or an external DVD drive from the Language Center to bring to the classroom.

Spanish Certificate: Student Orientation, ACTFL Exam Prep and Self-Assessment Workshops

Students interested in pursuing the Certificate of Advanced-Level Proficiency in Spanish are invited to attend one of two orientation sessions to learn more about this certificate and and ask questions.

  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. in Jones 15

  • Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. in Jones 15

The events will begin with general information about the Certificate program from Spanish Advising representatives. They will summarize the six Required Steps for the Certificate, including the ACTFL exam of advanced-level proficiency, which is the capstone of the certificate program, and discuss how the PACE program will provide an opportunity for Certificate students to take the ACTFL exam at a significantly reduced rate.

Next, Language Testing staff will help students take the self-assessment and interpret their results. Students will also have the opportunity to demo the speaking section of the ACTFL exam.

Registration for the event is not required. However, potential candidates for the Certificate are encouraged to fill out this short form to be informed of upcoming events and opportunities.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Meet the PACE Administrative Team

PACE is supported by a team of new and continuing staff and representatives from all six language programs. The primary contacts for the project are:



PACE & the Certificate of Advanced-Level Proficiency in Spanish

The PACE project will provide a very concrete benefit for students pursuing the Certificate of Advanced-Level Proficiency. From Fall 2014 through Spring 2016, students can take three of the four ACTFL tests FOR FREE! Qualifying students may register to take the Reading, Listening and Speaking test at no cost, and pay only for the Writing test. Some restrictions may apply.

Also, PACE will offer additional opportunities for some Spanish students to take the Reading, Listening and Speaking tests. If, between Fall 2014 and Spring 2016, students take some ACTFL tests outside of the standard period for Certificate students, all tests they pass will count towards the Certificate completion. Students must still complete all Required Steps to receive the Certificate.

There are two opportunities to learn about the Certificate of Advanced-Level Proficiency this semester:

Spanish Certificate: Student Orientation, ACTFL Exam Prep and Self-Assessment Workshops

  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. in Jones 15

  • Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. in Jones 15


PACE Kick Off and Orientation, Friday, September 12, 2014

All instructors, students and staff are invited to an opening reception and presentation of the PACE project to learn more about PACE and ask questions.

Friday, September 12, 2014
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Nicholson 155

Coffee and cake will be served.

First PACE Professional Development Event Held August 29, 2014

The first in an ongoing series of events supported by the PACE project was held Friday, August 29 on the topic of "What is 'Proficiency'? What is 'Acquisition'?"

Under the guidance of CARLA Director and Professor Elaine Tarone, participants considered samples of learner language to gauge language proficiency development in terms of dimensions used by second language acquisition researchers. Of particular importance was the interplay among three crucial areas of focus: Accuracy, Fluency, and Complexity. Approximately 100 language instructors representing a variety of language programs were in attendance.

The next event will be held October 3, 2014. Details will follow later this semester.

Language Center to Administer Language Flagship PACE Project

The Language Center is pleased to announce that the University of Minnesota has been awarded a federal grant from the Language Flagship. The Proficiency Assessment for Curricular Enhancement (PACE) project will provide an integrated program of language assessment and continual curricular improvement for students of French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish with a goal of helping move all students to higher stages of language proficiency.

The PACE project has three components: assessment, professional development and sustainability. A cross-section of students will be assessed at various stages of language development from first year to upper-division courses and study abroad. A systematic professional development program will provide opportunities for language program instructors to work with national and international experts in workshops and to collaborate with one another to improve curricular and extracurricular opportunities available for students. A sustainable self-assessment program will help students understand and articulate their own competence and will empower them to be responsible for their own second language learning.

PACE is funded through a federal Language Flagship grant and administered by the Language Center with the support of CARLA and the six CLA language programs. It began August 1, 2014, and will run for two years with a goal of sustaining a culture of student-centered assessment, self assessment, and curricular improvement long into the future.

Other recipients of the Language Flagship Proficiency Initiative awards are the University of Utah and Michigan State University.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Multilingual TV in the Multimedia Lab: Now with Persian

The Multimedia Lab in Jones 135 offers multilingual TV programming. Every day, lab patrons can watch a variety of live streaming channels from around the globe on the lab's big-screen television and listen through wireless headphones.

Instructors: Be sure to tell your language students about this venue for real-time, authentic language learning.

The schedule has been updated to include Persian on Monday mornings from 7:45 - 9:30 a.m. This language is now offered through CIC Courseshare in Jones 135B, which is conveniently located inside the lab.

Big News in Classroom Support, Professional Development

Congratulations to Caroline Vang and family! Michael Shou Vang was born on Labor Day! He is 6 lbs 15 oz and 19.5 inches, and mother and baby are doing great. The character for 'Shou' is also the character for 'righteous' or 'correct' in Japanese.

The Language Center pleased to announce that we have excellent temporary leadership for both the Classroom Support and Professional Development areas during Caroline's parental leave, which will run through mid-October.

Jenny Boe, the former Language Center graduate assistant in the Office, Classroom Support and more, has graciously agreed to provide supervision in the classrooms. Jenny is also a full-time ESL instructor.

Elizabeth (Beth) Dillard-Paltrineri will assist with some of the professional development planning. Beth is a CEHD grad student who works with Martha Bigelow, and she assisted with the May 21-22, 2014 workshop on backwards design.

Since both Jenny and Beth will work limited hours, we ask that questions about their areas be directed to elsie@umn.edu.

Monday, August 11, 2014

CLA-OIT Moodle Open Clinic August 27-28, 2014

Drop in for one-to-one, hands-on support on your Moodle site from the CLA OIT Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Team, along with staff from Information Technology (IT), the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the University Libraries. Please bring your syllabus and course materials if you have specific questions, or just stop by to get the conversation started.

You can request help with:
  • General Moodle site design
  • Moodle activities
  • How to teach with Moodle
  • Lynda.com
  • Course reserves
  • Gradebook
  • And more!

Clinic Locations
Wednesday, August 27, 1:30 - 4:00 p.m., STSS 114
Thursday, August 28, 1:30 - 4:00 p.m., Coffman Union 324, 325, 326

Registration is not required, but you can submit a reminder form if you would like to receive an email reminder on Monday, August 25.

If you are not able to attend, but require technical help with a Moodle site, central IT now has a Moodle Request Help form.

August Teaching Enrichment Series Hosted by CTL - August 27-28, 2014

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will host the August Teaching Enrichment Series (ATES) on Wednesday, August 27, and Thursday, August 28, 2014. Concurrent workshops will be held each day from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and there are many topics of interest to language instructors, including course design, Moodle, the flipped classroom, and assessment.

Please see the full schedule and register online.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Welcome Week Workshop: Registration Deadline This Friday

"What is 'Proficiency'? What is 'Acquisition'?"
August 29, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: TBD
Presented by Elaine Tarone


All CLA language instructors are invited to a workshop on the topic of interpersonal communication within second language acquisition. Participants will consider samples of learner language and gauge linguistic development in terms of dimensions used by second language acquisition researchers. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Please register online by this Friday, August 8, 2014.

Elaine Tarone is the Director of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) and a Professor in the Second Language Studies Program at the University of Minnesota. Her research publications focus on the impact of social context on learner language and second language acquisition. She has published research on oral second-language processing by low-literacy learners, interlanguage variation, interaction in immersion classrooms, language play, and genre analysis. A member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, she is a recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.


TandemPlus Punch Pizza Event

The party at Punch Pizza in Stadium Village on July 22, 2014 was a great success. Thank you to everyone who showed up and dug in on the food and conversation. More than 35 people came to partake and share in their first and second languages. Eight languages could be heard spoken at any given time: Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, German, English, Korean, Arabic and Chinese. The gathering made for a wonderful mix of people and cultures! Below are a few insights from Tandem participants who made it to the event.

"I really enjoyed that it was a group event. We got to meet more people than just our partner."
"Here I can meet a lot of people, and since my partner is not yet in the U.S. I can enjoy spending time with them."

Tandem would also like to thank Punch Pizza for once again hosting our large group and providing delicious wood-fired pizzas, salads, and drinks. Stay posted for upcoming Tandem events!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Welcome Week Workshop: "What is 'Proficiency'? What is 'Acquisition'?"

August 29, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: TBD
Presented by Elaine Tarone


All CLA language instructors are invited to a workshop on the topic of interpersonal communication within second language acquisition. Participants will consider samples of learner language and gauge linguistic development in terms of dimensions used by second language acquisition researchers. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Please register online by August 8, 2014.

Elaine Tarone is the Director of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) and a Professor in the Second Language Studies Program at the University of Minnesota. Her research publications focus on the impact of social context on learner language and second language acquisition. She has published research on oral second-language processing by low-literacy learners, interlanguage variation, interaction in immersion classrooms, language play, and genre analysis. A member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, she is a recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Backward Design Workshop: Please Register by this Friday

The Language Center is pleased to announce an upcoming curriculum development opportunity for CLA language instructors. By popular demand, Professor Martha Bigelow will lead a follow up to the May 21-22 "Yes They Can" workshop which focused on backwards design. This July workshop is an opportunity for instructors to receive feedback on their curricular ideas and activities and to collaborate with instructors from other language programs. Although it is intended as a continuation of the previous workshop, all CLA language instructors instructors are invited to attend. A light lunch will be provided.

Monday, July 28, 2014
12:00 - 4:00 p.m
Location: Folwell 10


Space is limited and registration is required. Please register online by Friday, July 18.

Martha Bigelow is an Associate Professor with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Interim Director of the Educator Development and Research Center. She has worked with several universities around the globe, including Vietnam, Malaysia, and Costa Rica, to apply the theory of "backward design" to help instructors create new curricula and materials for their language programs.





The Heat is On: Cool Off, Get Up and Chow Down with TandemPlus

TandemPlus is off to a great start this summer with 133 participants; we have record number of Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and English partners! Registration will close Friday, July 18, so register ASAP if you haven't already done so.

TandemPlus will be hosting its first event on Tuesday, July 22 from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. at Punch Pizza in Stadium Village near the University campus. All current summer TandemPlus participants are invited to come and enjoy pizza and soft drinks for an opportunity to talk in your first and second languages. TandemPlus will cover the first round of pizza, so come early to get it free. Participants should email tandem@umn.edu to let us know you will be there.

See the menu at Punch Pizza!


Monday, July 7, 2014

Language Center Summer 2014 Staff Team

We have both new and returning student staff in the Language Center this summer. You may see the following individuals working in one or more of our teams:


Salma

Salma Bile: Multimedia Lab and Office


My name is Salma Bile and I am from San Diego, California. I currently live in Apple Valley, Minnesota and I am a sophomore here at the University of Minnesota. I am in the College of Biological Sciences, majoring in Biology and minoring in Arabic as well as Public Health. I am fluent in both English and Somali. I have studied Arabic for a little over two years now after I studied abroad in Jordan in 2011.


Rachael

Rachael Falade: Office


My name is Rachael Falade, and I was raised in Woodbury, Minnesota. I love to hangout with my friends, and spend valuable time with my family. My dog is one of my favorite buddies. Besides English, I have a background in Spanish, and I am fluent in Yoruba, a language originating in Nigeria. I have visited Nigeria and hope to visit again. I am a student in the College of Liberal Arts and am taking many science classes for Pre Med. My favorite classes so far has been CSCL or PSTL classes, I have a passion for writing and reading. I just love and do it all!



Alex

Alex Fox: Multimedia Lab and Office


My name is Alex Fox. I am a English Major here at the University with a Poli Sci minor.I speak English and have met my Spanish language requirement for graduation; I have a little experience with the language from my time in New York and California. Otherwise, I enjoy playing the drums, cooking and illustrating as well as discussing current trends in global politics. While I am working at the Main Office and Lab this summer I am also finishing my BA in English as well as working as a Communications Intern at the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Headquarters in St. Paul and working in kitchens around the Cities.



Agnes

Agnes Hong: Classroom Support and Office


My name is Agnes Hong and I'm from Anchorage, Alaska. I immigrated from South Korea when I was 2-3 years old and I grew up speaking Korean at home and English at school. I also lived in Los Angeles, California for about 8 years. I'm a senior studying Archaeology at the University along with a minor in Environmental Science. I love to cook, read, and spend time doing various crafts.

Miranda Moen: Testing

Miranda

I am from Caledonia, Minnesota, which is way down in the southeast part of the state. I am heading into my Senior year at the "U" and am majoring in Architecture within the Bachelor of Design in Architecture program. I am minoring in Neuroscience with an emphasis in Psychology. I am passionate about just about everything in architecture, but my focus is on how it impacts humanity and communities, especially across cultures. My hobbies include going on nature walks and bike rides in the early fall breeze, working out, drawing and sketching, watching documentaries and TED talks, and reading just about anything interesting. I did a Study Abroad program in Japan this summer and am looking forward to using my experiences to inform my future work. In the future I hope to to learn about communities and help serve them by designing/building low-income housing. (Although I don't think the title fits well). I believe everyone deserves a better quality of life and that housing should reflect cultural as well as personal values, and it doesn't have to be displayed in its financial value.


Jonathan

Jonathan Prestrud: Classroom Support, Lab and TandemPlus


My name is Jonathan Prestrud, I transferred to the University a few years ago, and am currently something of a super senior -- eager to graduate in the coming academic year! I'm one class shy of a Linguistics B.A., am also majoring in GSD with an emphasis on German, and will be completing a History minor over the summer session. I come from New Prague, Minnesota. As for languages, I've given some study to five: German, Korean, Spanish, French, and Norwegian, and have been fortunate to do a bit of fieldwork in Azeri through the Linguistic department. I, like many others, love to travel. I agree with Tenzin Gyatso in that compassion and understanding are not luxuries, but necessities. At this time I have the pleasure of working as the assistant for the TandemPlus program, and also helping with Classroom Support at the Language Center.


Keerthana

Keerthana Shankar: Classroom Support and Lab


Ello mates, my name is Keerthana. I have worked in the LC since Fall 2012. Born in Saudi Arabia and raised in America, I've moved around a lot, but I've been in Minnesota since 6th grade. I'm a Senior this year and my major is in Asian Language and Literature with a focus in Korean. Although my major is in Korean, I know some Spanish, and my main passion lies in Japanese. My parents are Indian, so I'm also fluent in a Language called Tamil, a South Indian Language. I love the arts and animation, and I've also developed a love for martial arts in the past year. Currently, I am on the Board for the Minnesota International Student Association as well as the Indian Student Association, so please drop by our events and say hi!


Alli

Alli Shaw: Classroom Support


Hello! I am from Minneapolis, MN and am junior here at the University of Minnesota. I am majoring in psychology and planning on completing my masters for occupational therapy after I finish my undergraduate degree. I studied Spanish for six years and am going into my second year of American Sign Language, which I have fallen in love with. This will be my third year working at the Language Center and besides working at the LC, I enjoy playing soccer and being outdoors!


Hunter

Hunter Slack: Office and Moodle Assistant


I'm a sophomore this year and will be declaring my major in Marketing soon, with minors in Design and New Media Studies. While I took Spanish from high school up to last year, I realized it wasn't really for me and will not be pursuing any more language study. I'm from White Bear Lake, MN, where I've lived my whole life. When I'm not in school or at the Language Center I'm usually doing something music related. I play in two bands. When I get out of school I plan on moving out west to California, something I've wanted to do my whole life. Hopefully when I do that I will have landed a career in advertising. In addition to working at the main desk in the Language Center, I also serve as the Moodle Assistant for hybrid language courses.


New Courseshare Offerings for 2014-2015: Persian, Vietnamese, Yoruba and Indonesian

University students have four new language choices! The following new or returning languages will be offered through the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Courseshare program: Beginning Persian (Farsi), Vietnamese and Yoruba, and Intermediate Indonesian.

CIC Courseshare uses technology for instruction and communication to expand the opportunities for language study available at any one university. Students will register for and earn credit through the University of Minnesota. Here is a list of the Fall 2014 offerings:

  • Beginning Persian I (PERS 1011). Offered remotely from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Monday-Thursday, 1:20 - 2:10 p.m.

  • Beginning Vietnamese I: (VIET 1011). Offered remotely from Michigan State University. This is a completely online class.

  • Beginning Yoruba I (CLA-1200-002). Offered remotely from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Monday-Friday, 8:50 - 9:40 a.m. A permission number is required to register for this course.

  • Intermediate Indonesian I (CLA 1200-001). Offered remotely from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Monday-Thursday, 9:55 - 10:45 a.m. A permission number is required to register for this course.


For more information and permission numbers, please contact Pablo Viedma at viedma@umn.edu. Please note that some classes may already be full.


Backwards Design Workshop for Language Instructors: Monday, July 28, 2014

The Language Center is pleased to announce an upcoming professional development and curriculum development opportunity for CLA language instructors. By popular demand, Professor Martha Bigelow will lead a follow up to the May 21-22 "Yes They Can" workshop which focused on backwards design. This July workshop is an opportunity for instructors to receive feedback on their curricular ideas and activities and to collaborate with instructors from other language programs. Although it is intended as a continuation of the previous workshop, all CLA language instructors instructors are invited to attend. A light lunch will be provided.

Monday, July 28, 2014
12:00 - 4:00 p.m
Location TBA


Space is limited and registration is required. Please register online by Friday, July 18.

Martha Bigelow is an Associate Professor with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Interim Director of the Educator Development and Research Center. She has worked with several universities around the globe, including Vietnam, Malaysia, and Costa Rica, to apply the theory of "backwards design" to help instructors create new curricula and materials for their language programs.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

¡Fútbol! Come to the Language Center and watch the FIFA World Cup

During the FIFA World Cup (June 12 - July 13, 2014) we are streaming the games live at the Multimedia Lab in 135 Jones Hall for all who wish to watch. Currently the games are streaming in Spanish, and we're looking for more languages with live broadcasts.

Ggggggoooooolllllll!

Multimedia Lab Hours
Monday: 10:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 10:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 10:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Thursday: 10:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Friday: 10:00 - 2:00 p.m.

TandemPlus Summer Registration Now Open

Summer registration opened on June 16, 2014 for TandemPlus, the Language Center's free, voluntary cultural and conversation exchange program. Anyone who wants a second-language conversation partner is encouraged to join. Matching of participants will begin soon, and we'll announce our summer events soon as well.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Tandem Plus for Summer: Small but Vibrant!

Language instructors: The TandemPlus will open registration for Summer Semester on Monday, June 16, 2014. The summer program is small but incredibly diverse, so please encourage your language students to register, even if they have tried and have not been paired before.

Registration will open online at the TandemPlus registration site.

Also, we welcome Jonathan Prestrud as the summer TandemPlus assistant. Jonathan has worked in Classroom Support at the Language Center since Fall 2013 and is currently helping with TandemPlus is addition to his Classroom Support duties.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

World Languages Day Returns to Northrop

WLD 2014 poster
World Languages Day (WLD) at the University of Minnesota continued its tradition of success with the eleventh annual event, held on May 20, 2014. This year more than 1000 enthusiastic students came to campus from 23 schools from near and far. One teacher commented:

"This is a great opportunity for students to have. Many of my students are never in the cities and it is good for them to get out of their comfort zone... My rural students need this experience so much!"

Students voiced their appreciation for meeting new people at the event as well, stating that the event was "very fun and I enjoyed the campus and attending these classes with other schools."

This year's event brought some exciting new changes. The beautifully remodeled Northrop Auditorium was well received as the location for Welcoming Remarks. Having an auditorium large enough to seat all attendees at the same presentation created a sense of community for the event. One teacher commented, "I like that the entire group of participants were seated together rather than split into smaller groups." Additional spaces in Northrop were used for informational college-readiness and Admissions sessions, and a few language and culture classes. Guests at the event were very impressed by the beauty of this newly-reopened space.

This year's World Languages Day also featured an expanded emphasis on heritage and immersion language learning. The event featured a greater number of classes taught in the target language for learners studying Chinese, German, and Spanish. Additionally, some new classes were added this year that focused on students' conversational and self-assessment skills. The TandemPlus class was a highlight of many students' WLD experience, with one student of Chinese commenting, "I feel adventurous!" after participating in conversations with native speakers. The self-assessment classes were likewise well received, with comments such as "It helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses in speaking French," and "[It is] very interesting to be able to hear your own voice and to assess yourself."

Students expressed enthusiasm for all of the classes offered this year and the instructors who volunteered to teach them with comments such as "I actually want to learn Portuguese in the future because of this class", "I really enjoyed this, the instructor was super nice and now I really want to learn Japanese and go to Japan!" and "The teacher was really fun and lit up the room!"

World Languages Day 2014 was summed up best by a student who simply wrote, "It was great!! Go Gophers!!"

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

World Languages Day 2014: A Giant Thank You to All!

A giant thank you to everyone who made World Languages Day 2014 possible. This year's event featured a return to Northrop, a new itinerary and more classes and classrooms than ever before.

The event was a success because of our instructors, staff and volunteers. It is a broad group effort, and we could not pull off this event without the support of multiple colleges and units, including CLA, GPS Alliance, CCE, CEHD, Admissions, Facilities Management, Parking and Transportation and more.

Instructors and volunteers include current students, instructors and staff in all classifications, and former university employees and students who came back to support an event they remembered fondly from their time at the university.

Here Are Some of the People Who Made this Event --
You'll notice that some people wore many hats!

The Core World Languages Day Development Team --
They worked on this event all year long

Ellen Buckner, Anna Kaminski, Sara Mackenzie, Margie McGee-Newton, Diane Rackowski & Alaina Witt

Ellen and Anna recruited most of the instructors, communicated with schools and handled the many administrative details required throughout the year. The end of the event was bittersweet, because it was Anna's last day as a Language Center employee! Margie helped recruit the Welcoming Remarks leaders. Sara recruited and trained all of the Admission Guides. Diane and Alaina updated the website which provides registration for the event and the WLD video.

Our Building Captains & Other Special Support --
The people with the walkie-talkies who managed each location

Ellen Buckner, Anna Kaminski, Diane Rackowski, Jenise Rowekamp, Keerthana Shankar, Hunter Slack, Stephanie Treat, and Caroline Vang

Our Undergraduate Welcoming Remarks Leaders --
They co-lead led the remarks to 1100 high school students

Jonathan Prestrud and Nivie Roberts

Our Classroom Support Techs --
Provided essential technical support for the Welcoming Remarks and classes throughout the day

Fatima Babu, Jenny Boe, Alyssa Bonnac, Maya Christensen, Scott Eaton, Jonathan Prestrud, Diane Rackowski, Keerthana Shankar, Caroline Vang, Henry Wahl and Alaina Witt

Our World Languages Day Instructors --
Talk about Essential! These are the folks who taught the day's classes


  • Monica Barbieri: Introduction to Italian: Benvenuti!
  • Lydia Belatèche: Les Délices de France: Learn to Eat (and Speak) like the French
  • Nels Berge: Introduction to Italian: Benvenuti!
  • Jim Bierma: So You Want to Be A Millionaire: How Preparing for College Can Help!
  • Martha Bigelow: ¡Wacala!/Yuck!
  • Juliette Cherbuliez: From Atheists to Libertines: French Philosophy and the Limits of the Imagination
  • Hangtae Cho: The Korean Alphabet in 40 Minutes
  • Kate Clements: TandemPlus Chinese Language Exchange
    Assisted by Chinese Language Partners:   Junhua Chen, Yuyang Fan, Yi-Ju Lai, Sun Li, Zhaoxiang Lin, Xuewu Qin, Jin Stone, Qian Wang, Qingying Xue, and Yufei Zhao
  • Cristina Cocchi: Introduction to Italian: Benvenuti!
  • Rachael Cullick: How Many Ways Could a Roman Stick Out His Tongue?
  • Yuliya Dzhol: Basic Ojibwe
  • Mohammed Elmeski: Introduction to Arabic!
  • Satty Flaherty-Echeverria: Portuguese for Students of Spanish
  • Daniela Goldfine: ¡Bienvenidos a Argentina!
  • Abdelkader Hamouchi: Introduction to Arabic!
  • Stephanie Hernandez: Dominican Republic Culture Class
  • Maria Hofmann: Sweden: From Viking Raids to Rap Music
  • Sungok Hong: Holi: Indian Spring Festival of Colors & Come Enjoy Bhangra Dance!
  • Minori Inada: Introduction to Japanese
  • Ruben Joanem: Haiti: History of Mixed Cultures and Languages
  • Marlene Johnshoy: Using Technology to Hunt for Language Treasure
  • Bryce Johnson: The Korean Alphabet in 40 Minutes
  • Anna Kaminski: The Arab Avant-Garde: From Egyptian Surrealism to Palestinian Hip Hop
  • Daniel Karvonen: Survival Finnish
  • Beth Kautz: Green Germany
  • Keiko Kawakami: Introduction to Japanese
  • Betsy Kerr: Parlez-vous franglais? Frenglish through the Ages
  • April Knutson: Haiti: History of Mixed Cultures and Languages
  • Viviana Limon: Wacala!/Yuck!
  • Maxwell LeYang: Hmong Culture
  • Chi-ping Li: Instant Chinese
  • Qijie Li: Experiencing Chinese Language
  • Jacqueline Listemaa: Sweden: From Viking Raids to Rap Music
  • Sara MacKenzie: U of M Admissions: The Inside Scoop
  • Sidow Mohammed: Introduction to Arabic!
  • Brad Neubarth: Big D Deaf: Deaf Culture in America
  • John Nordstrom: Sweden: From Viking Raids to Rap Music
  • Anna Olivero-Agney: Introduction to Italian: Benvenuti!
  • Paul Peterson: Introduction to Icelandic<
  • Catalina Phan: U of M Admissions: The Inside Scoop
  • Luis Ramos-Garcia: United States Latino Theater: Human and Civil Rights
  • Matthias Rothe: A Song, Two Poems, Two Paintings - Messages in a Bottle from Socialist Germany
  • Ryan Seaberg: Eureka! The Greek Alphabet and (R)evolution of Writing
  • Rachel Sherman Johnson: International Game Time
    Assisted by Game Leaders:   Carlo Fernandez, Alex Fox, Nivie Roberts, Chris Michaels and Alaina Witt
  • Ginny Steinhagen: Bastelstunde! German Arts & Crafts
  • Gabriela Sweet: Self Assessment for Chinese, French, German, Spanish and Spanish Immersion Students
  • Kenichi Tazawa: The Art of Paper Folding 'Origami'
  • Rick Treece: Vive la Rèsistance! The French Resistance in World War II
  • Emilie Van Leemput: Nederland, Land Van Tolerantie (Netherlands, Country of Tolerance) & Overleven in Nederland (Survival Dutch) & Wat Maakt Nederland, Nederland? (Dutch Culture)
  • Pablo Viedma: ¡España es Diferente!
  • Eva Von Dassow: Cuneiform Tablet Demo
  • Pei-Cheng Wei: Instant Chinese
  • Maria Wentworth: Where in the World Will U Go? Study Abroad as a College Student
  • Alex Zeibot: Big D Deaf: Deaf Culture in America
  • Yongling Zhang-Gorke: Zhong Gua Hua: Learn Chinese through Popular Songs
  • Hanna Zmijewska-Emerson: The Face of Modern Norway
  • Zhen Zou: Instant Chinese
  • Eva Palma Zuniga: Chilean Culture Class

Admissions Guides --
Helping students find their classes and providing information about the university

Alyssa Anderson, Emily Ask, Katie Ask, Emily Csuy, John Jurgens, Jack Joyce-Lynch, Andrea Larson, Brian Miller, Emily Myers, Ryan Olson, Catalina Phan, Riley Webster

Our Check in and Classroom Assistants --
Helping with Check in, assisting in classes and so much more!

Fatima Babu, Ellen Buckner, Carlo Fernandez, Alex Fox, Louis Janus, Rachel Sherman Johnson, Mory Kaba, Na Hee Lee-Workman, Chris Michaels, Patrick O'Brien, Cheryl Oulicky, Joanne Peltonen, Jonathan Prestrud, Erica Qualheim, Crystal Rose, Rachel Sherman Johnson, Carol Skalko, Hunter Slack, Dan Soneson, Stephanie Treat and Sao Yang

And Thank You Participants

Finally, thank you to all the high school teachers, students, counselors and parents who took time out of their busy spring semester to come to this event. This kind of field trip is complicated to organize and execute, and we appreciate everyone's effort and good cheer on the day. We hope you enjoyed your visit to the University of Minnesota!