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Monday, November 30, 2015

Summary of Language Center December 2015 Events

Tea with BVP Weekly Call-In Talk Show - There Is No Such Thing As “Errors”

Thursday, December 3, 2015
2:00-3:00 p.m.
Jones 117

We are back from turkey break and ready to dig into one of our most controversial topics yet: when it comes to second language acquisition, there is no such thing as "errors". The idea of “errors” is something we need to dispense with, once and for all.

Can this happen? Are we ready to embrace a research-based framework to inform our understanding of (and approach to) how language acquisition occurs? If you are ready to leave the wrongly-conceived notion of "errors" behind, we'd love for you to join our conversation on Thursday. If you’re not ready, join us anyway and tell us why!

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 to the newsletter at http://www.teawithbvp.com/ (new site). You can also contact Tea with BVP on Twitter at @teawithbvp.

Because the Language Center has a coffee pot and not a tea pot, coffee will be served in place of tea.

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 23, 2015

What Happened to the Classroom Calendar?

The Language Center classrooms and small rooms are managed as Google Cal resources. LC's web development team had created pages that nicely displayed room reservations using an XML feed from Google. This feed was unexpectedly turned off on November 18 leaving our nice looking displays with no calendar content!

We know that instructors depend on a public view of reservation information, so we have put up a temporary page using Google's HTML view at the same URL. Information is certainly more difficult to view on this new page, but if you click on the down arrow at the far right side of the calendar, you will see options that allow you to turn off display of any of the classrooms. This can make the classroom reservations easier to view. We've chosen to not provide display of LC's small room reservations for now.

LC's Web Team is working on a new solution, and we hope to have a better view of our classroom and small room reservations implemented before spring semester.

Language Center Hours Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Language Center Main Office, Multimedia Lab and Computer Classrooms will close early on Wednesday, November 25 to allow student staff to travel home for the holidays. The Office and Lab will close at 4:30 p.m. and the Classrooms will close at 6:45 p.m.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Spring 2016 Reservation Requests Accepted Now

The Language Center is now entering Spring 2016 semester reservation requests. Demand for computer classrooms is high, and we recommend submitting your requests as early as possible.
  • These reservations always require a reservation form.
  • Please submit a form for each class section.
  • Each class is allowed to reserve up to 15 hours in Jones Hall classrooms.
  • Teachers of intensive courses may negotiate their needs.
  • Reservations of other equipment and media are unlimited in terms of amount and frequency (within reason).
  • Instructors must intend to use the technology they are reserving.

Tea with BVP Weekly Call-In Talk Show - Presented from ACTFL, Special Day

Saturday, November 21, 2015
Live from ACTFL
Time TBA

This week, Tea with BVP will broadcast live from ACTFL on Saturday. Because of the special day, the broadcast will not air in Jones 117, but you can still listen online from home or visit the Tea with BVP team in person at the conference.
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 to the newsletter at https://billvanpatten.wordpress.com/. You can also contact Tea with BVP on Twitter at @teawithbvp.

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

Tea with BVP Weekly Call-In Talk Show - What does explicit teaching do, if anything?

Thursday, November 12, 2015
2:00-3:00 p.m.
Jones 117

Did you think last week's topic was controversial? Well, we are going to take it a step further this week and focus on the merits of explicit teaching - the teaching of "grammar rules" in language classes whose focus is (ostensibly) the development of proficiency.

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 to our newsletter at https://billvanpatten.wordpress.com/. You can also contact Tea with BVP on Twitter at @teawithbvp.

Because the Language Center has a coffee pot and not a tea pot, coffee will be served in place of tea.

Webinar: Integrating Experiential Learning in the Language Curriculum

Thursday November 12, 2015
9:00-10:00 a.m.
Available in Jones 117

Facilitator: Ann Abbott, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Studies show that "Communities" is one of ACTFL's 5 Cs that students care most about, yet it is also the one that language program directors and instructors feel is most difficult to incorporate, so it is the most rarely implemented. This webinar will cover experiential learning in general and focus on community service learning (CSL) in particular: what it is and how to do it successfully in language courses. The program administrators who feel it is challenging are not wrong, but the effort is well worth it!

This is the final webinar in the Language Program Management Webinar Series sponsored by the Center for Language Instruction and Coordination (CLIC) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. CLIC requests that you register for webinars at http://go.illinois.edu/LPM.

Coffee will be served in Jones 117.

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.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Summary of November 2015 Language Center Events

Spring 2016 Reservation Requests

The Language Center will begin entering general Spring semester reservations on November 16, 2015. You may submit reservation requests before that date, and they will be held until November 16. To have the best possibility of receiving the rooms and equipment you need, please submit by 9:00 a.m., November 16, 2015.
  • These reservations always require a reservation form.
  • Please submit a form for each class section.
  • Each class is allowed to reserve up to 15 hours in Jones Hall classrooms.
  • Teachers of intensive courses may negotiate their needs.
  • Reservations of other equipment and media are unlimited in terms of amount and frequency (within reason).
  • Instructors must intend to use the technology they are reserving.

Tea with BVP Weekly Call-In Talk Show - Should We Get Rid of Grades for Language Learning?

Thursday, November 5, 2015
2:00-3:00 p.m.
Jones 117

Should We Get Rid of Grades for Language Learning?

Have you ever wondered about the purpose of using grades for language learning? Virtually every language course will culminate in a letter or number that is supposed to reflect a student's achievement or performance in the course. But are grades really conducive to acquisition? Do they belong in a proficiency-oriented program? What do you think that grades reflect?

On our next show, Bill will challenge your thinking on this topic, so join the conversation with your questions, comments, observations, and thoughts on the matter!

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 to our newsletter at https://billvanpatten.wordpress.com/. You can also contact Tea with BVP on Twitter at @teawithbvp.

Because the Language Center has a coffee pot and not a tea pot, coffee will be served in place of tea.