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Monday, August 31, 2015

New CIC Courseshare Courses: Islam and Africa & Turkish

Please let your students know about two new courses that are open for Registration for Fall 2015:

Islam in Africa: Students may register from the following three course numbers: AFRO 3920-001, GLOS 3900-002 and RELS 3070-001. This course is offered from the University of Michigan and is open to UMN students as well as students from the University of Iowa.

It is well known that Islam is the majority religion in Africa north of the Sahara; this part of Africa is, in the West, often detached from Africa and assimilated to ‘the Middle East’ or ‘the Arab World.’ It is much less well known that today Islam may be the most widely professed faith south of the desert, in what westerners have often called ‘Black Africa’, as well. Roughly 1/6th of the world’s Muslim population can be found in sub Saharan Africa. How did this come to be? How has the adoption of Islam by Africans shaped their history? And, conversely, how have Africans shaped Islam? One goal of this course is to begin to provide answers to these questions. We will examine African Islamic history beginning with the earliest Muslim migrants from Arabia to Ethiopia in the early 7th century CE until the dawn of the 21st century.
Students may contact Nabil Matar at matar010@umn.edu with questions.

TURK 1001 Beginning Turkish 1: This course is offered from UW-Madison, which has one of the oldest Turkish language programs in the country.

Students may contact Pablo Viedma at viedma@umn.edu with questions.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Language Center Check Out System

The Language Center has moved to a centralized system for checking out media and equipment called WebCheckout. We hope that the transition to this new system will be seamless for language instructors and students.

A couple of changes you may see include:
  • When you come to check items out, Language Center staff will ask you for your email address, as this is the fastest way to find instructors and students in the system.
  • If you reserve media and equipment in advance, the confirmation emails you receive will look different, and they will include no personalization.
  • You may receive automatic, non-personalized emails about upcoming reservations, checkouts or when items are overdue. If you have questions about any of these emails, please forward them to elsie@umn.edu.

We ask for your patience with the main office staff as they become acclimated to this new system.

The system for reserving rooms is unchanged.

PACE Project: Major Workshops and Events Fall 2015

The PACE PD Peer and PACE Admin Teams are pleased to announce three major workshops for Fall 2015. In addition, smaller events may be scheduled once the semester is in session. We hope that you will be able to attend these events!

Advanced Oral Proficiency & Communities of Practice

Thursday, September 3, 2015
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Northrop, Founders Room
Register Online by Tuesday, August 24, 2015

A two-part workshop presented by Judith Liskin-Gasparro & Kris Gorman. Please note that registration is required and ends this Tuesday and the event is almost at capacity.

Teaching Listening and Reading

Friday, September 25, 2015
9:00-11:00 am.
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.

Using Images as a Cultural Product and for Critical Analysis

Friday, October 30, 2015
1:30-4:30 p.m.
Location TBA
Register Online by Friday, 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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

PACE Project Workshop: Advanced Oral Proficiency & Communities of Practice

Thursday, September 3, 2015
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Northrop, Founders Room
Register Online by Tuesday, August 24, 2015

All CLA language instructors are invited to a two-part Professional Development event during the Thursday of Welcome Week. This event is co-sponsored by the PACE Project and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Oral Proficiency at the Advanced-Level: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m
Judith Liskin-Gasparro, recently retired from the University of Iowa, will lead a workshop on targeting oral proficiency at the advanced level, especially in content courses. Her examples will be in Spanish, but the content will be beneficial to instructors of all languages. This workshop is especially recommended for instructors who currently teach upper-division courses or are interested in doing so in the future.

Lunch: 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.
This will be an opportunity for graduate students, P&A instructors, and faculty to mingle and talk about the workshop and the PACE Project.

Communities of Practice: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Kris Gorman from the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) will guide us through the formation of Communities of Practice among language instructors. The goal of this workshop is to provide a space where instructors can brainstorm areas for investigation and inquiry regarding the practice of language teaching, and to create “Communities of Practice” around specific themes. The groups will set expectations and schedules for pursuing their common interest throughout the year.

The deadline to register online is Tuesday, August 24. we hope that you can come! If you have any questions regarding the workshop, you can contact Caroline Vang at cevang@umn.edu.

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

Updated Pedagogical Innovations Reading Group (PIRG) article

The main article to be discussed during the next Pedagogical Innovations Reading Group (PIRG) meeting this Thursday, August 13 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. has been changed. The new article is Maite Correa’s article about flipped classes. To learn more about what we do at our PIRG meetings, please contact Caroline Vang at cevang@umn.edu.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Language Center Staff News

Rachel Sherman Johnson has left her position as the graduate Language Center Assistant Coordinator to accept an internship in the Center for International and Cultural Education at Gustavus Adolphus College, her undergraduate alma mater. This new position aligns well with her academic research interests and professional goals. She remains enrolled in her PhD program in Comparative and International Development Education here at the University of Minnesota, and plans to defend her dissertation, “Creative Minds Abroad: How Students in Design Majors Make Meaning of Their International Education Experiences,” in Spring 2016.

Rachel made invaluable contributions to the Language Center during her two years in the position. In addition to serving as the supervisor of the main office staff and operations, she brought her academic experiences and communication skills to many projects across the department, including data analysis for the PACE Project, brainstorming ideas for Languages Across the Curriculum integration, and forging connections with language units outside of CLA. We will miss her warm and compassionate personality, her passion for language education and student service, and her ability to collaborate thoughtfully on any project.

The search for a new graduate Assistant Coordinator is in progress.

Pedagogical Innovations Reading Group (PIRG): a forum for language instructors

Thursday, August 13, 2015
12:00-1:00 p.m.
Jones 35

The next Pedagogical Innovations Reading Group (PIRG) meeting will be Thursday, August 13 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Jones 35. A detailed description of this reading group is available in a previous posting about our first meeting, held at the beginning of June. Next week’s PIRG discussion will be on Shelly McCallum, et al.’s article about flipped classes. To learn more about what we do at our PIRG meetings, please contact Caroline Vang at cevang@umn.edu.