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Monday, March 31, 2014

Encore Session of VoiceThread Workshop: Part 2

By popular demand, the Language Center will offer another opportunity to attend the VoiceThread Workshop: Part 2 on Friday, April 4, 2014. The session will be held from 10:10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Jones 15.

The previous session of VoiceThread Part 2 went very smoothly, and the instructors who attended were able to create VoiceThread "Groups" and then a sample activity using the "Group" feature. One instructor was thrilled to be able to have her lessons and exercises made available online with VoiceThread. Another instructor commented how easy it was to incorporate a VoiceThread lesson into Moodle.

If you are interested in attending, please register in advance: http://z.umn.edu/vt3. Email Caroline Vang at cevang@umn.edu with questions about this workshop.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Improvements Made to Moodle Gradebook

Thanks to improvements OIT made to Moodle, instructors now have the capability of editing student's grades by student or by grade item!

Edit by Student: This function allows instructors to easily grade all activities for one student in the Gradebook and to edit the student's grades on individual grade items, fill all or only empty grades with a selected point value, as well as exclude grades from inclusion in the final Course Total.

Edit by Item: This function makes it easier for instructors to grade all of their students for one activity in the Gradebook. It also allows instructors to edit individual grades, fill all or only empty grades with a selected point value, as well as exclude grades from inclusion in the final Course Total.

Contact the OES Team at oesteam@umn.edu with questions.

March IALLT Webinar - Language Assessment at Brigham Young University

Friday, March 28, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. in Jones 117

Russell Hansen and Harold H. Hendricks, from Brigham Young University, will present a Webinar describing the evolution of placement and diagnostic language assessment into online tools. Please register for this event.

Description: Language assessment has a long history at Brigham Young University where large numbers of students require language assessment at many levels. This webinar will describe how BYU has created facilities, procedures and assessments to address these needs for both students and faculty. We will briefly describe how placement and diagnostic testing is provided online, then describe the evolution of the College of Humanities Testing Center, its function, procedures, and operation. We will also describe how large numbers of OPI and OPIc tests are administered daily and report on the migration of the Foreign Language Achievement Testing service to an online system available to the world.

Webinar: Achieving Standards Alignment and Learning Outcomes Through Digital Technologies Across the Curriculum

Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in Jones 10
Presenter: Dr. Karin Wilking from Northwest Vista College

This webinar is a good follow-up to the February 28 "Yes They Can" workshop. Everyone is invited to attend even if they did not attend the workshop. Registration is not required.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Language Center Spring Break Hours - March 17-21, 2014

The Language Center Main Office, Jones 110 will be open Monday through Friday over Spring Break 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Multimedia Lab is closed, but the Walter Library Computer Lab is open from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Language Center Main Office staff can also help students who need access to media and technology.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Multimedia Lab Staff - Spring 2014

This Spring semester, the Multimedia Lab in 135 Jones Hall has three new Lab Attendants. They are from different parts of the US and have different backgrounds, but they're all available to help you with your technology needs in the Lab!


Hodan Jama

My name is Hodan Jama and I am a Nutrition major here at the University. I am a transfer student and I have been here at the U for two years now. I enjoy shopping with my friends and watching 1980s ice dancing. I am planning to apply to Public Health program after I graduate. One of my dreams in life is to travel around world and experience different cultures and cuisines.


Alex Fox

My name is Alex Fox. I am a English Major here at the University with a Poli Sci minor. I am a senior at the U of M and transfer from a community college in Connecticut. I speak English and am currently taking Spanish 1004; I have a little experience with the language from my time in California. Otherwise I enjoy playing the drums and illustrating as well as discussing current trends in global politics.


Jamal Abdi

My name is Jamal Abdi. I'm from a small town in southern Minnesota called Owatonna. I am a sophomore majoring in both Political Science and Communications. I'm part of Pre-Law Society and the UMN debate team, and I plan on going to Law school after my undergraduate studies. I am also contemplating studying abroad next year for a semester, probably somewhere in Europe. My first language is English but I also speak Somali. In my free time I like to read and watch weird documentaries.

Meet the Lab Attendants from last semester

Read their story:  Getting to Know the Multimedia Lab Attendants

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring Copyright Workshops form the University Libraries

Learn about your rights as an author/creator; find out about options for using third-party materials, or dig into issues around classroom and instructional uses. Some workshops offer Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) continuing education credits.

Workshops include:

  • Know Your Rights: Copyright Essentials for Authors and Creators
  • Can I Use That? Dealing with Copyright in Everyday Life
  • Copyright in the Classroom (and Online)

You can view the full schedule and register at https://www.lib.umn.edu/copyright/about#workshops

Game Night at the Language Center: Please Suggest Games by Friday

The Language Center plans to host a regular game night where students can gather, use the target language, and enjoy playing board, card, or video games with friends new and old. We hope to schedule our first event after Spring Break.

We are still seeking suggestions from students and instructors as to which games they'd like to see available at these events, and also looking for volunteers to help us plan. If you have a recommendation or would like to help, please fill out this short form by Friday, March 14, 2014.

Both international games and U.S. games that can be modified to encourage speaking would be appropriate. Please note that games must not be rated "M for Mature," and should not be violent.

Interested in learning more? Read this IALLT article about selecting video games for use in language learning.

Important Events for Language Students This Week

Webinar: Achieving Standards Alignment and Learning Outcomes Through Digital Technologies Across the Curriculum

Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in Jones 10

Presenter: Dr. Karin Wilking from Northwest Vista College

This webinar is a good follow-up to the February 28 "Yes They Can" workshop. Everyone is invited to attend even if they did not attend the workshop. Registration is not required.

VoiceThread Workshop: Part 2

Friday, March 14, 2014, 1:25 - 2:45 p.m. in Jones 10

This VoiceThread workshop is a follow-up to the previous workshop held earlier in February. We will focus more on how to use VoiceThread as a collaborative tool, exploring how to create "groups" within VoiceThread and example lessons where students can upload pictures along with their comments. Come and see what more we can do with VoiceThread! Please register by Wednesday, March 12 to secure your spot.

Monday, March 3, 2014

ACTFL Webinar Series: Guiding Language Performance through Advanced into Superior

The Language Center and CARLA co-sponsored ACTFL Winter 2014 Webinar Series: Guiding Language Performance to the Next Level concludes this Thursday at 12:20-1:20 p.m. in Jones 117. You may bring a bagged lunch.

March 6, 2014: Guiding Language Performance through Advanced into Superior

What are the key characteristics of Superior level proficiency? What should I be working on with my language learners to help them move out of the Advanced level and into the Superior level? Understand how the interpretive and presentational modes provide invaluable opportunities to develop advanced skills and learn specific strategies for developing, practicing, and assessing communication to guide learners into the Superior range of performance.

Presenter: Fernando Rubio

Summary of March Language Center Events

CLA Student Board Language Meet, Greet and Eat March 12

The CLA Student Board is hosting a Meet, Greet, and Eat event on Wednesday March 12, 2014, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. in STSS 330. This event will connect second language students with alumni who have a degree or a minor in a language program. This will give our students some ideas about how to put their language skills to good use once they graduate. Students will have the opportunity to talk to alumni either one on one or in small groups so the questions and information can be directed towards personal interests. Treats are provided by Afro Deli.

Integrating Video into Language Courses: Know your options!

The word is out about the wonderful service offered by the Digital Content Library (DCL) and more instructors are using Media Drawers, which makes the service even better! However, did you know about these two other resources available to help you incorporate digital media into your classes?

Take a moment to read about these unique resources that can be underutilized by our language programs.

Spanish Advanced-Level Certificate: Second Orientation and Workshop

Students interested in pursuing the Spanish Certificate of Advanced-Level Proficiency are invited to attend an orientation session on Friday, March 14, 3:00-4:30 p.m. in Jones 15 to learn more about this Certificate and and ask questions.

This is the final Certificate event of Spring 2014. Graduating seniors interested in completing the certificate this academic year are strongly encouraged to attend.

The event 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 program.

Next, Language Testing staff will help students take the Self-Assessment and interpret their results. Attendees should be aware that, rather than being a practice session for the ACTFL exam, the Self-Assessment is an opportunity for students to actively reflect on their ability to use Spanish. This can help them determine if they are ready to succeed on all the four sections of the ACTFL exam. It is also one of the six Required Steps necessary to complete the Certificate, and is essential for writing a successful Critical Reflection Essay.

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.