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Monday, December 14, 2015

TandemPlus Winter Festival

Tuesday, December 15, 2015
4:00-7:00 p.m.
Nolte 140

Our final event will take place on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, when Tandem and the Minnesota English Language Program (MELP) will host an International Winter Festival in Nolte 140 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. In this dessert potluck, participants are encouraged to bring cultural desserts centered around the winter festival theme! If you can’t bring a dessert, don’t worry; we will have plenty to share.

Monday, December 7, 2015

PACE End of Semester Event and Swap Shop - December 14, 2015

Come celebrate the end of the semester at a two-part event on Monday, December 14! All are welcome, and we hope you can attend one or both portions.

Practices of Developing Intercultural Competence through Online Exchange Programs
10:00-11:30 a.m.
Nicholson 135

Pablo Viedma (Spanish), Carlotta Dradi (Italian), and Sean Killackey (French) will share how they are using online exchange programs in their classes to develop students’ intercultural competence.

Pizza and Success Stories
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Nicholson 135

You are invited to an informal gathering for language instructors. Stop by to share stories from the Fall 2015 semester and enjoy Mesa pizza!

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

Monday, November 30, 2015

TandemPlus Winter Festival & Fall Events

With the TandemPlus Fall session coming to an end, it is time to wrap up the semester with one final event and recap our recent events.

TandemPlus Winter Festival
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
4:00-7:00 p.m.
Nolte 140

Our final event will take place on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, when Tandem and the Minnesota English Language Program (MELP) will host an International Winter Festival in Nolte 140 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. In this dessert potluck, participants are encouraged to bring cultural desserts centered around the winter festival theme! If you can’t bring a dessert, don’t worry; we will have plenty to share.

Looking back, on Thursday, November 19, TandemPlus participated in MISA’s International Bazaar in the Coffman Great Hall. This annual event featured over 30 cultural student groups. The room transformed into a lively, colorful display of culture where students could visit booths and learn more about the rich history and background of each group by viewing unique artifacts presented from various cultures. The Tandem table was staffed by our student officers who gave out carabiners and chocolates. Those who visited our table played a word game in which participants drew an English word out of a hat and had to say the word in another language. The game proved to be very challenging and popular among participants. There were around 700 students in attendance who cycled through the bazaar throughout the night.

The next day, Friday, November 20, TandemPlus hosted our ever-popular Punch Pizza party. Around 50 participants came to enjoy pizza and meet fellow language learners. New partnerships were formed and old friends and partners were also reunited throughout the evening.

Visit our Facebook page to see photos from all of our Fall events!

Monday, November 16, 2015

PACE Swap Shop - Incorporating Critical Thinking Activities in Your Language Class

Monday, November 16, 2015
3:30-4:30 p.m.
Jones 35

In this follow-up to the October 30, 2015 Using Images to Promote Critical Thinking workshop, participants will engage in a conversation about how to incorporate critical thinking through culture in their classroom. Participants are encouraged to bring ideas of how they could implement this in their classroom, as well as the challenges and questions they may encounter in doing so. Warm cookies from Insomnia Cookies and coffee will be served.

Monday, November 9, 2015

TandemPlus Upcoming and Past Events

Cultural Bazaar
Thursday, November 19, 2015
3:00-7:00 p.m.
Coffman Memorial Union, Great Hall

Punch Pizza Party
Friday, November 20, 2015
4:00-7:00 p.m.
Punch Pizza, Washington Ave.

Although Tandem registration will be closing soon, there are still several events taking place before the end of the semester. On Thursday, November 19 Tandem will be tabling at MISA’s annual Cultural Bazaar. Be sure to visit their booth in the Great Hall to say hi and learn more about the group!

Additionally, the famous TandemPlus Punch Pizza party with be held on Friday, November 20 at Punch Pizza on Washington Ave. Come to enjoy great food and great company!

Tandem hopes that you will join them for one or both of these exciting events. Thanks also to those who attended some of the recent Tandem events:
  • On October 23, 2015, Tandem hosted its annual Fall semester kickoff. The event took place in Nolte 140 with roughly 60 participants in attendance. Tandem members gave a short presentation about how Tandem operates, and the attendees were given time to meet and mingle with their fellow language learners. 
  • The International Halloween celebration, a collaboration with MELP, MISA, IBP, PERSISMA and SGSA, took place on October 30, 2015 in the Middlebrook Hall Terrace room with about 180 attendees. Tandem’s student group members manned the Paint a Pumpkin station.

PACE Swap Shop - Incorporating Critical Thinking Activities in Your Language Class

Monday, November 16, 2015
3:30-4:30 p.m.
Jones 35

In this follow-up to the October 30, 2015 Using Images to Promote Critical Thinking workshop, participants will discuss and share ideas about how they can incorporate critical thinking activities using culturally authentic visual images in their language classes. Snacks will be served.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Getting to Know the Multimedia Lab and Development Studio Staff, Fall 2015

Who are the students working in the Multimedia Lab and the Development Studio this semester? Here are some short bios of new and returning staff!

 

Multimedia Lab

Bryce Heller
My name is Bryce, and I am from St. Louis Park Minnesota. I am a sophomore in Civil Engineering. This is my second semester working as a lab attendant. I enjoy working with computers, playing games, and programming.






Dathan Cook
Hello. My name is Dathan Cook. I'm from Eagan, Minnesota and currently commute from there everyday. I'm a junior in the process of changing my major from Computer Science to Ecology, Environment, and Behavior with two minors in both Environment Policy and Conservation Biology. I hope to become a field ecologist working primary with larger cats, but all animals are fascinating to me and getting the chance to work with them everyday is the ultimate goal. Aside from animals I'm also interested in a large variety of things ranging from MMA to HGTV—it's a guilty pleasure—and I've been more open to trying and experiencing new things. This will be my third year working as a lab attendant.


David Hagberg
I'm David Hagberg—you can call me either Dave or David. I'm a Sociology senior who is graduating this fall, unless I decide to take on another degree.  I started working for the lab during the summer term. I'm a massive soccer fan—so much so that I even went to live in Madrid for a semester under the guise of study abroad just to watch a lot of Real Madrid, my favorite team, games. (I know there are a few Barça fans around, but I think if even the Spanish national team can get along we should be able to as well.) I also really like cooking and watch food network in most of my free time. 


Hodan Jama
Hello, my name is Hodan Jama, and I am senior here at the U studying Nutrition. This is my second year in the Multimedia Lab as a lab attendant. I have lived in three different countries, and I currently reside in Burnsville, MN. I love watching true crime shows that usually come on Investigation Discovery. I have two brothers, and I plan to work as a Nutrition Consultant in the near future.



Ibsitue Kadir
Hey everyone! My name is Ibsitue Kadir, and I am working in both the main office as well as the lab a few days a week. I am currently a senior hoping to graduate this spring. I am studying family social science, and I hope to be an elementary school teacher. I was born in Las Vegas, but my family currently lives in Saint Paul. I love to volunteer, especially when it's with children. This is my first semester here in the Language Center.


Development Studio

Emma Hage
Hallå! My name is Emma, and I'm a sophomore studying linguistics. This is my second year working at the Language Center; I also work as a writing consultant in Nicholson and keep busy as an editor for the U of M's literary magazine, Ivory Tower. My perfect day involves a curling up with my four cats and a good piece of nonfiction. I also love learning languages and eating French toast.

CIC CourseShare: An Opportunity for Exchange

The University of Minnesota is once again collaborating with several other universities to provide culture and less commonly-taught language (LCTL) courses through teleconferencing and other digital means, a project funded by the Committee on Institutional Collaboration (CIC) CourseShare program.

In the past, UMN has only received courses from other institutions. However, this fall it is hosting a Beginning Ojibwe course and “Language and Society of Two Koreas.”

“It’s pretty exciting,” says the Language Center’s CourseShare Coordinator Pablo Viedma, “because we’ve kind of been ‘mean’ participants in CourseShare. We’ve received and haven’t offered [courses]. But now, we’re hoping to share more.”

Among the language and culture courses offered by other institutions are: Persian, Vietnamese, and Yoruba (at the beginning levels); Advanced Turkish; “Islam in Africa;” “Theories and Methods of Learning a Less Commonly-Taught Language;” and “Intro to Korean History.” Students enrolled in these courses meet in Jones Hall, where they interact with their class—taking place several hundred miles away—via videoconferencing.

With a total of nine classes being received through the program this semester, Viedma says the university is at its limit.

“We talk about offering more courses. Even if we wanted [to], we don’t have the room, and this is kind of stretching us to capacity.”

These courses, though small in their numbers, provide opportunity for students to study a less-commonly-taught language or culture that is interesting or of value to them.

“Most students don’t take [the classes] for filling the CLA requirements,” says Viedma. “They take it just for fun or because they want to travel.”

Jack Kreiser, a former CIC CourseShare student, studied the Indonesian language for several semesters before recently accepting a scholarship to study for a year at STIE Malangkucecwara, a university in Malang, Indonesia. Following a summer-long intensive language course in 2014, Jack connected with the CLA Language Center in order to make the language available for study at UMN through CIC CourseShare.

“I’d like to see more Americans studying critical languages to help build relationships with other parts of the world,” he says, “so I figure I should probably study one myself.”

According to the Modern Language Association, less than 300 students in the United States study Indonesian at the university-level each year. In an effort to promote education of its culture and foster relationships with other countries, the Indonesian government offers generous scholarships for international students who are interested in the culture to study in Indonesia. After learning he was a recipient of this grant, Jack is taking a short leave-of-absence from UMN to study at STIE.

Jack enjoys using Indonesian in his everyday life.

“All of my classes are taught in Indonesian. I talk to my classmates in Indonesian. I text with my Indonesian friends in Indonesian. I have to use Indonesian when I buy my meals or whenever I go to the store,” he says. “I still run into trouble once in a while when I don’t know what other people are saying, but I can usually understand after requesting for further explanation and asking a question or two.”

These interactions are of great benefit to Jack, who hopes to achieve fluency in Indonesian.

“Last year I really wanted to be able to communicate more freely in Indonesian, moving beyond simple dialogues from my textbook,” he says. “While practicing these dialogues helps build the fundamentals of understanding language and culture, it can only prepare you for so many situations. [...] Being able to properly communicate in a new setting by constructing new sentences and interacting with people in a non-scripted manner is essential in anybody’s language learning process.”

Without CourseShare, Jack says, he would have likely forgotten or not used the Indonesian language after his intensive summer program, so he is glad to have been able to access the course through the Language Center and CIC. Jack is especially grateful for this opportunity to experience life in Indonesia.

“The country is truly fascinating in so many ways and is like a cultural goldmine. [It] consists of thousands of islands with hundreds of different ethnic groups, each with their own unique arts, history, traditions, and local languages with Indonesian serving as the lingua franca for inter-ethnic communication.
“I find it sad that we live in a society that knows so little about Indonesia and many other countries that make up much of the world and its people—especially countries that get ignored simply because they are less developed. I’d like to use my experience to help raise awareness about other parts of the world that most Americans don’t hear much about.”

If you are interested in CourseShare and would like more information, please contact CourseShare Coordinator Pablo Viedma at viedma@umn.edu, or visit the Language Center’s CIC CourseShare webpage.

Monday, October 26, 2015

TandemPlus: Meet the Officers & Halloween Party this Friday

TandemPlus is now an official student group! This means that TandemPlus is recognized and listed among the University of Minnesota Student Union and Activities (SUA)’s many Student Groups. We have five elected student officers who will help with all facets of Tandem, including event planning, budgeting, and outreach across campus and beyond. Visit the Language Center blog to read some introductions and learn more about these student officers.

You can also meet them in person at their upcoming Halloween party, co-sponsored by MELP, MISA, IBP, and SGSA, on Friday, October 30, 6:00–9:00 p.m. in the Middlebrook Hall Terrace Room.

Enjoy a wide variety of haunting halloween games including face painting, mini pumpkin painting, 'Name the Monster', Halloween Trivia and much, much more! Halloween snacks and desserts will also be served, so come prepared to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Meet the TandemPlus Student Officers

TandemPlus is now an official student group! This means that TandemPlus is recognized and listed among the University of Minnesota Student Union and Activities (SUA)’s many Student Groups. We have elected five student officers who will help with all facets of Tandem, including event planning, budgeting, and outreach across campus and beyond. Here are some introductions to learn more about these student officers.

Lucas Van, President:
Lucas was born in Minnesota, the son of Vietnamese immigrants who fled from Vietnam in the 60s. He is the eldest of five brothers and sisters. Lucas spent most of his childhood and youth in Brooklyn Park, which is a suburb of Minneapolis. In 2008, he graduated from Champlin Park High School with high honors and soon matriculated at the University of St. Thomas. He spent three years at St. Thomas studying Mandarin Chinese. He was involved with an international student organization, Globally Minded Students Organization and was also an Air Force cadet. In 2011, he decided to make a major change in his life and joined the Minnesota National Guard. For nearly two years he trained at Fort Jackson and Fort Leonard Wood. In October 2012, he returned to Minnesota and soon transferred to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, where he decided to major in Asian Languages and Literature at the College of Liberal Arts, and also joined the local Army ROTC battalion as a cadet.  In Spring 2014 he was accepted as a member of the first cohort of students to participate in the new approved Chinese Flagship Program, which is a national initiative of the National Security program within in the Department of Defense that leads the nation in designing, supporting, and implementing advanced language education. This choice has delayed his graduation which was originally planned for 2015 to 2017; however, Lucas stands fast with this choice, and he believes that further education will better prepare him for future service in the Army and ultimately to better serve his country. He hopes and plans to one day serve as a Foreign Service Officer in the US Department of State.


Lucas signed up to as an officer of TandemPlus because he believes in the importance of understanding languages of the different peoples of this world. He hopes that he can make a TandemPlus a organization where everyone can feels welcome to share their culture, learn about others' cultures, and promote and facilitate language learning.


Beatriz Fusco, Vice President:
Beatriz is a graduate student studying linguistics. A native speaker of Portuguese, she also speaks English and Spanish, and is learning Arabic. Being a part of TandemPlus is important to her because she is interested in learning more about different cultures and wants to practice her language skills.


Ashley Lynch, Events Coordinator:
Ashley is a senior pursuing a major in global studies and minors in anthropology, history, and mass communication. She currently speaks English and French and is learning Italian, Arabic, and Hindi. Ashley is a part of TandemPlus to practice her speaking abilities—and to learn some slang!


Yu Yan, Secretary:
Yu is a senior studying psychology. A native speaker of Chinese, she is part of TandemPlus to make more friends and to learn about different cultures.


SoEun Shin, Treasurer:
SoEun is a junior studying journalism. As an international student from South Korea and a native speaker of Korean, SoEun hopes to get more practice with her English-speaking during her time in TandemPlus.


You will be seeing these board members throughout the year at our events, so be sure to say hi and ask them any questions! You can officially meet them at our upcoming Halloween party in the Middlebrook Terrace Room on October 30, 6:00–9:00 p.m. This event is co-sponsored by MELP, MISA, IBP and SGSA.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the TandemPlus staff at tandem@umn.edu, or stop by our office in Jones Hall 135A.

VideoBlocks: Free Digital Content for Instructors and Students

The University of Minnesota has partnered with VideoBlocks for Education to provide a full suite of audio, video and graphic content at no charge to students, faculty and staff during a two-month trial. With more than $10 million of quality, copyright-free digital content available, the VideoBlocks library offers a wealth of options for presentations, websites and media projects.

Three Positions Open at the Language Center

The Language Center currently has a P&A, a staff and a student position open. Please forward the following information to anyone who may be interested:
  • 9745S2 - Education Program Spec 2 to serve as the Professional Development & Classroom Support Specialist. This person will be responsible for administering a professional development program for graduate Teaching Assistants and P&A Instructors, and supervising and scheduling the classroom support team. The position is posted on the University of Minnesota Employment Site, Job ID Number 305237. This posting will be online through Friday, October 30, 2015.
  • 1826 - Prin Ofc & Admin Specialist to serve as the Office and Communications Specialist. This person will be responsible for documenting professional development activity and other communications-related work, as well as providing support to the Main Office. The position is posted on the University of Minnesota Employment Site, Job ID Number 305523. 
  • 2226 - Student Tech Support Services to serve as a student Classroom Support Assistant. This person will work as part of a team to assist language instructors and students in the use of classroom space. Please note that this position requires work study for academic year 2015-2016 and daytime availability. The position is posted on the University of Minnesota Employment Site, Job ID Number 305526.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Getting to Know the Main Office Staff, Fall 2015

Who are the students working in the Main Office at Jones this fall? Here are some short bios of new and returning staff!

Chris Michaels
Hello! My name is Chris Michaels, and I am from Monticello, MN. I’m a senior majoring in journalism, and I have been studying Japanese for about four years now.  Most of my free time is spent watching or playing sports and hanging out with friends. 





Hunter Slack
Hi, my name is Hunter Slack. I’m from Vadnais Heights, MN and currently residing in St. Paul. This will be my fourth year at both the U of M and the Language Center. I am a senior majoring in marketing and minoring in design with goals of working in branding or advertising. Outside of school and work I play in a pop-punk band and hang out with my cat Jimmy. I am also a huge hockey fan. Go Wild!



Ibsitue Kadir
Hey everyone! My name is Ibsitue Kadir, and I am working in both the main office as well as the lab a few days a week. I am currently a senior hoping to graduate this spring. I am studying family social science, and I hope to be an elementary school teacher. I was born in Las Vegas, but my family currently lives in Saint Paul. I love to volunteer, especially when it's with children. This is my first semester here in the Language Center.


Maya Christensen
Hi! My name is Maya and I’m from Minneapolis. I’m currently a Junior at the U and have worked at the Language Center all three years. I’m studying Urban Studies, Youth Studies, and Sustainability and hope to work in some sort of nonprofit or community organization in the future. I speak Spanish and hope to add a Spanish minor to my repertoire as well! I love playing board games, drinking tea (and coffee), and anything outdoors and adventure-y!


Nick Ott
Guten Tag! My name is Nick Ott, and this is my third year here at the Language Center. I’m a junior majoring in Marketing and German Studies with a minor Spanish Studies. I’m also a part of the DirecTrack to Teaching program and hope to become a foreign language teacher. I’m studying abroad in Cologne, Germany this spring/summer semester and plan to travel all over Europe while I’m there! In my free time, I like to run, swim, binge watch Netflix, and eat large sandwiches.


Rachael Falade
Hi! My name is Rachael and I am majoring in Biology, Society, and the Environment (BSE) with minors in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature (CSCL) and Public Health. I am Nigerian, specifically Yoruba. I do speak the language fluently and am very proud of my culture. I am on the board of Black Motivated Women (BMW) for Marketing and Advertising, and I also work with the University YMCA as a site leader at Sheridan Elementary school. I love spending my free time doing artistic things from music to painting. I gravitate towards relaxing things and love nature and animals. Also, I love to eat, cook, and watch food being cooked.


Raisa Elhadi
Hi! My name is Raisa and I’m majoring in Global Studies with a focus in Human Rights & Justice in the Middle East. I am half Lebanese, so French, Arabic, and Wolof (a Senegalese language) were all spoken in my house growing up. I have studied French for about 7 years, and am currently studying intermediate Arabic. In my free time I like to adventure around the Twin Cities, attend shows, and go to concerts at Orchestra Hall.  


Shoua Thao
Nyob zoo! Hi, my name is Shoua Thao and I am a senior this year at the University of Minnesota pursuing a Bachelors of Individualized Studies in Mass Communication, Political Science, and Design minor.  As you might have guessed, I am a native Hmong-speaker, and I learned two years of Korean during my first two years here at the UMN.  In my free time, I love to play flag football and volleyball and hang out with friends.

Monday, October 19, 2015

PACE Project Featured in CLA Research Video

Carol Klee, Spanish and Portuguese Studies faculty member, represented the PACE Project in a short CLA video highlighting the many research projects and creative activities of the past year.

The University of Minnesota is one of fewer than 100 universities in the country designated as "R-1," with a mission that includes both the importance of teaching and the priority of creating new knowledge. As the only liberal arts college in Minnesota with a research-intensive mission and with faculty who are widely recognized leaders in their fields, CLA is a unique place for scholars and students who are driven to discover.

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

PACE Workshop: Using Images as a Cultural Product and for Critical Analysis - Registration Deadline Friday

Friday, October 30, 2015
1:30-4:30 p.m.
Recreation and Wellness Center, Beacon Room
Register online by October 23, 2015

Presented by Gwen Barnes-Karol & Maggie Broner, St. Olaf College.

This hands-on workshop will include an overview of theoretical considerations that can guide foreign language instructors in curricular planning, as well as a selection of activities using images as a point of departure towards greater student understanding of the target culture. The presenters will share materials they have created and used successfully with their own students.

Instructors attending are encouraged to come with a future unit in mind and bring a current textbook.

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Getting the Know the Classroom Support Staff, Fall 2015

Who are the students working in Classroom Support this fall? Here are some short bios of new and returning staff!


Alli Shaw
Hello! My name is Alli and this is my 4th year here at the Language Center. I am a senior majoring in Psychology and will go on to master in Occupational Therapy. I studied Spanish for several years and am currently in my final semester of learning American Sign Language. I was abroad in Argentina for a semester but I am excited to be back working CS. In my free time I enjoy playing soccer, piano, going camping, and anything that includes the outdoors!  


Anna Sisombat  
Sabaidee! My name is Anna, and I’m from Marshall, MN. This is my fourth year of college but second year here at the U and at the Language Center. I’m currently a French major, and I had the opportunity to travel to France for three and a half weeks with my previous college. I speak English, Laotian, and French. In my free time, I play video games, disc golf, eat delicious food, and take road trips to visit family members! À bientôt! 



Chris Michaels
Hello! My name is Chris Michaels, and I am from Monticello, MN. I’m a senior majoring in journalism, and I have been studying Japanese for about four years now.  Most of my free time is spent watching or playing sports and hanging out with friends.

  





Keerthana Shankar
Hello, there! My name is Keerthana Shankar and I am in my fifth year majoring in Asian Language and Literature with a focus in Korean. I was born in Saudi Arabia to two Indian parents, so I am technically still considered Indian. My native tongue is called Tamil, a South Indian language. In my free time, I am usually drawing or watching youtubers play video/PC games. I am on the board of the Minnesota International Student Association (MISA) and am really passionate about benefitting the international student population. I would love to see you at our events!


Lauren Otto
Hello! My name is Lauren, and I am a sophomore here at the U studying English and Journalism. This is my second year in Classroom Support at the Language Center. I am interested in travel writing, blogging, international news, and nonprofit work. I enjoy reading, writing, adventures, food, and being outside.





Maxine Kobinski
Hello! My name is Maxine and I am currently finishing out my last semester here at the university. I have worked in the Language Center in some way, shape, or form for about three years now. I am a German and Linguistics double major with a TESL minor, and I hope to go to grad school in the future to take courses in becoming a speech-language pathologist (AKA speech therapist). I like kayaking, reading, and going on travel adventures!



Mohamed Abulyusr
Hey, my name is Mohamed and I’m a junior studying Economics, Mathematics, and Business Management. I’m from Orange County, California. I speak Arabic fluently. I can also keep a decent conversation in both French and German. I do a lot of things in my free time such as: swimming, playing soccer, watching TV shows, video games, and going out with friends. I love working here, and I think that everybody is awesome!


Shoua Thao
Nyob zoo! Hi, my name is Shoua Thao and I am a senior this year at the University of Minnesota pursuing a Bachelors of Individualized Studies in Mass Communication, Political Science, and Design minor.  As you might have guessed, I am a native Hmong-speaker, and I learned two years of Korean during my first two years here at the UMN.  In my free time, I love to play flag football and volleyball and hang out with friends. 

 
  
Taylor Miller
안녕하세요! My name is Taylor and I’m a Minnesotan, born and raised. I’m a junior at the U majoring in Youth Studies with a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). I’m hoping to teach in South Korea one day, and I’m learning Korean to prepare for that. I also know a little Spanish and went to Costa Rica with my high school class in 2011. In my free time I enjoy watching movies, drinking bubble tea, and playing board games.


Monday, October 12, 2015

LC Position Open: Professional Development & Classroom Support Specialist

The Language Center is now hiring a 9745S2 - Education Program Spec 2 to serve as the Professional Development & Classroom Support Specialist. This person will be responsible for administering a professional development program for graduate Teaching Assistants and P&A Instructors, and supervising and scheduling the classroom support team.

The position is posted on the University of Minnesota Employment Site, Job ID Number 305237.

Please forward this information to anyone who may be interested in this opportunity.

New PD Opportunity: Call-In Talk Show on Thursdays

Thursdays, beginning October 15, 2015
2:00-3:00 p.m.
Jones 117

Are you interested in a different form of professional development? Come to the Language Center for a call-in talk show about language education with Dr. Bill Van Patten from Michigan State University beginning this Thursday.

Do you ever listen to talk shows? Have you ever called into one? If not, you will want to read on and learn about an exciting and fun new show called “Tea with BVP.” Sponsored by the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA) at Michigan State University, this is *the* call-in talk show for all those interested in second language acquisition and language teaching.

Bill VanPatten and his co-hosts, Angelika Kraemer and Walter Hopkins, field questions live on the air about language, language acquisition, language teaching, and any other topics callers and emailers bring to them. With Bill’s comedic background, it’s a funny and engaging way to look at issues that are relevant in our field.

Each week Tea with BVP will post different but often related topics to entice the listener to call in. On occasion, the show includes prominent guests who bring their own personalities and takes on the issues under consideration. To tune in, and to find out how you can call in from your own office, ask questions, and/or suggest topics, sign up at https://billvanpatten.wordpress.com/. You can also contact Tea with BVP on Twitter at @teawithbvp.

The Tea with BVP team adds, “we want as much audience participation as possible so don’t be shy. Check us out and call in! We are waiting to hear from you!”

The shows will be broadcast from Jones 117. Because the Language Center has a coffee pot and not a tea pot, coffee will be served in place of tea.

Dr. VanPatten is internationally known for his work in second language acquisition and second language instruction, with special emphases on input processing, processing and parsing more generally, the interface between input processing and acquisition, morpho-syntactic relationships, and instructed SLA. He has published six books, seven edited volumes, six language textbooks, and 100 articles and book chapters. Two of his articles are listed in the top ten citations for articles in Studies in Second Language Acquisition and he has received local and national awards.

Spanish Certificate: New Video for Students

The Language Center and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese have produced a new orientation video for students interesting in pursuing the Certificate of Advanced Level Proficiency in Spanish.

Eligible students interested in completing the certificate during Fall 2015 may complete the Self Assessment and submit a Critical Reflection Essay by October 16, 2015.

Please contact Spanish and Portuguese Advising at spadvise@umn.edu with questions about the certificate not answered by the video or FAQ.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

PACE Workshop: Using Images as a Cultural Product and for Critical Analysis

October 30, 2015
1:30-4:30 p.m.
Recreation and Wellness Center, Beacon Room
Register online by October 23, 2015

Presented by Gwen Barnes-Karol & Maggie Broner, St. Olaf College.

This hands-on workshop will include an overview of theoretical considerations that can guide foreign language instructors in curricular planning, as well as a selection of activities using images as a point of departure towards greater student understanding of the target culture. The presenters will share materials they have created and used successfully with their own students.

Instructors attending are encouraged to come with a future unit in mind and bring a current textbook.

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

PACE Workshop: Using Images as a Cultural Product and for Critical Analysis

October 30, 2015
1:30-4:30 p.m.
Location TBD
Register online by October 23, 2015

Presented by Gwen Barnes-Karol & Maggie Broner, St. Olaf College.

This workshop will include an overview of theoretical considerations that can guide foreign language instructors in curricular planning, as well as a selection of activities using images as a point of departure towards greater student understanding of the target culture. The presenters will share materials they have created and used successfully with their own students.

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

Kate Clements to Plan PACE Professional Development Events

TandemPlus and Multimedia Lab Coordinator, Kate Clements, has assumed responsibility for the planning and implementation of PACE Professional Development events while the position held by Caroline Vang is open. Please welcome Kate to her new role. You can reach her at cleme050@umn.edu if you have any questions or ideas about upcoming events.

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

Monday, September 21, 2015

Language Center Staff Changes

Professional Development and Classroom Support Specialist, Caroline Vang is leaving her position at the Language Center. Her last day will be Friday, September 25, 2015. Caroline has accepted a position at Minneapolis Public School’s District Office as a Training Specialist. She will work with instructors of all subjects and staff employees who work for Minneapolis Public Schools, developing and organizing workshops and conferences.

Caroline started at the Language Center as a graduate student in 2013, and moved to the continuing Professional Development and Classroom Support Specialist position less than a year later. She was instrumental to the success of the first year of the PACE Project. She was the primary coordinator of all of the professional development events associated with the grant. In fact, she will be facilitating a PACE workshop on her very last day! She also initiated a summer reading group called Pedagogical Innovations Reading Group (PIRG) to provide a free summer professional development opportunity for all language instructors.

Caroline will be remembered as an excellent recruiter of undergraduate staff and an advocate for students. We will also miss her friendly, empathetic and positive personality.

Caroline says that she will miss being at the cozy Language Center, as well as the staff and instructional team at the Language Center who supported her from the very beginning!

We are pleased to announce that Jonathan Prestrud has agreed to serve as an interim Classroom Support Coordinator while Caroline’s position is unfilled. Jonathan has experience working in many roles at the Language Center; he served as the TandemPlus Assistant, Classroom Support Staff, Multimedia Lab Attendant, and as a Test Proctor. He is excited to be back to step in, help out, and be part of the team again.

TandemPlus Kickoff Event and Fall Registration

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
4:00-6:00 p.m.
Nolte 140

The TandemPlus Orientation is our first event of the semester, and it is open to all TandemPlus registrants as well as interested students and community members. At the event, participants will be able to meet other Tandem folk (including officers and participants), play language-based board games, learn about TandemPlus, and enjoy free food and refreshments. It’s a great way to start the semester!

Remember, fall registration for TandemPlus is currently open. Anyone who wants a second-language partner can register at tandem.umn.edu. Interested parties should register early so they can get a partner soon and start conversing.

Monday, September 14, 2015

PACE Project Workshop: Registration Deadline

Friday, September 25, 2015
9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Nicholson 35
Register Online by Friday, September 18, 2015

Presented by Erwin Tschirner, Professor at the Herder-Institut in Germany & ACTFL test developer. Dr. Tschirner is co-author of the beginning German textbook Kontakte: A Communicative Approach, and has been involved in proficiency-based test development and implementation. He is conducting a large scale study on ACTFL listening and reading tests in a variety of languages, and in this presentation/workshop will provide suggestions for addressing listening and reading in the language curriculum and helping students improve their proficiency in these modalities.

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

PACE Project: Fall 2014 Final Report Available

Each semester, data from the PACE Project is sent to the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, DC, for analysis. For each individual student tested, the data includes the ratings on the three ACTFL tests (Speaking, Reading, and Listening), Self-Assessment responses and ratings, and information on language background and use culled from the PACE survey and PeopleSoft.

The research questions the report seeks to answer:
  1. What levels of proficiency do students demonstrate at which course levels in which languages?
  2. Do students in higher level courses demonstrate higher levels of proficiency than students in lower levels?
  3. Are there patterns in responses on surveys and proficiency scores?
  4. Are there correlations between self-assessments and actual ratings?
  5. What factors contribute to advanced proficiency in study abroad experiences (given a sufficiently robust sample)?

The final report on assessments conducted during Fall 2014 is now available.

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

TandemPlus is now a Student Group!

It’s officially official: TandemPlus is now a student group! This means that TandemPlus is recognized and listed among the University of Minnesota Student Union and Activities (SUA)’s many Student Groups. We have adopted a constitution and have elected five student officers who will help with all facets of Tandem, including event planning, budgeting, and outreach across campus and beyond. Tandem is still housed at the Language Center, and has a coordinator and assistant who are staff of the Language Center. Becoming an official student group simply means that more people will know about Tandem through SUA, and Tandem can collaborate with different groups in an increased capacity.

The 2015-2016 TandemPlus officers are:
  • Lucas Van: President
  • Beatriz Fusco Nogueira Simoes: Vice President
  • Ashley Lynch: Events Coordinator
  • Yu Yan: Secretary
  • So Eun Shin: Treasurer

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Language Center Staff Changes

The Language Center is pleased to welcome the following staff who are either working in a new role or are brand new to the department:

  • Shannon Roach is the new Graduate Assistant Coordinator. Shannon is originally from New York, and has come to the University of Minnesota to pursue the MA degree in Second Languages and Cultures with a specialization in English as a Second Language for Higher Education. Her academic background includes BA degrees in Music, and French. In her spare time, she enjoys playing piano, rock climbing, running, and yoga. 
  • Anna Olivero-Agney has a new role as the Language Assessment Specialist. She works with all language programs to facilitate the process of language assessment, including traditional, alternative and self-assessment. She is now the best first contact for instructors interested in developing a new assessment or refining an existing assessment.
  • Andie Wang, a CEHD PhD. candidate who has worked on several test development projects at the Language Center, will serve this year as an Intercultural Competence Specialist. She will advise and collaborate with language instructors to articulate the role that intercultural competence plays in language classes, and help instructors and staff integrate areas of cultural competence into existing assessment projects.
We also wish bon voyage to Rick Treece, who is leaving the Language Center after eighteen years as the liaison to French and Italian. The multi-talented Rick was the most fun, interesting and warm-hearted colleague imaginable. Rick always put students first. He attended almost every TandemPlus event and worked one-on-one with any student who requested his help. Rick would also collaborate on any project. If you asked Rick for his advice, he would always come up with a creative solution. Rick leaves us with many memories, and also his collection of cow-themed memorabilia.

PACE Project: Teaching Listening and Reading Workshop

Friday, September 25, 2015
9:00-11:00 a.m.
Location TBA
Register Online by Friday, September 18, 2015

Presented by Erwin Tschirner, Professor at the Herder-Institut in Germany & ACTFL test developer. Dr. Tschirner is co-author of the beginning German textbook Kontakte: A Communicative Approach, and has been involved in proficiency-based test development and implementation. He is conducting a large scale study on ACTFL listening and reading tests in a variety of languages, and in this presentation/workshop will provide suggestions for addressing listening and reading in the language curriculum and helping students improve their proficiency in these modalities.

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