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Monday, December 19, 2016

Sign Up for the BOSSA App for Spring 2017

After much piloting, the new easy-to-use BOSSA App is ready for instructors and their students to use in Spring 2017!

We have been working closely with section coordinators and instructors to schedule BOSSA sessions. However, individual instructors from multi-section courses may request BOSSA App delivery format.

The BOSSA App takes care of students’ recording for you. Then, the session continues as usual, with students listening to their recordings, reflecting, and discussing in pairs and in group. You will see how practice and training fit together in the new BOSSA App, preparing students to be ready for the final, all-important piece: the self-assessment questionnaire.

Interested in using this delivery option with an existing BOSSA reservation? Please email bossa@umn.edu.

Language Center Survey - Win a $20 Giftcard!

The Professional Development Peer Team and Language Center invite you to provide us with your feedback on our Fall 2016 events and to help us plan for Spring 2017 through an online survey.

The deadline to complete the survey is Wednesday, January 11, 2017. You may provide an email address to be entered into a drawing for a $20 Target Giftcard. All responses are anonymous, and responses are not linked to emails provided. The winner will be announced on ElsieTalk on Monday, January 23.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Language Center Computer Classrooms: Planning for Spring 2017

Language instructors, are you planning your courses for Spring semester? The Language Center Classroom Support Team would like to provide you with the best possible experience when using Language Center classrooms.

Please let us know if you are planning an activity that you'll be doing for the first time (or haven't done in a long while) so we can ensure that the software or web plugin that's needed is available. If you're unfamiliar with the DiLL or some other software, contact us and we can give you training and time to practice before your class meets.

Please contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, our Classroom Support Coordinator, at carri093@umn.edu to learn more.

PACE Open Conversation: Understanding course evaluations as public documents

Thursday, December 15, 2016
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Jones 35

After several years of requests from the Minnesota Student Organization, the University of Minnesota agreed in 2014 to release data from student course evaluations to the public. These include the more general student responses to courses regarding understanding of content, successful use of educational technology, clear grading standards, stimulation of interest, and recommendation of the course to others. The Minnesota Daily summarized the results on November 16, 2016.

In light of this information, the PACE Project will hold an open conversation to reflect on how best to interpret and utilize student course evaluations. Faculty, supervisors, and course instructors from all language departments are invited to share their reactions to the release of this data, and also to consider ways in which we can use student evaluations as a tool to aid in the tasks of course design and professional development.

Moderator:
Anita Gonzalez, Center for Educational Innovation

Facilitators:

Angela Bowlus, Assistant Director of Advising, CLA Undergraduate Education 
Helena Ruf, Director of Language Instruction, Department of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch
Mandy Menke, Director of Language Instruction, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Frances Matos-Schultz, Coordinator of Spanish 1022, Department of Spanish and Portuguese


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

PACE Open Hours: Experience the BOSSA App

Thursday, December 15, 2016
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Jones 35

As you gear up for the Spring semester, the PACE Project team invites you to experience the new BOSSA app (formerly known as the one-touch delivery system). The App allows for integrated, timed recordings, which significantly reduces the burden on instructors. A few instructors kindly piloted the app this semester and report that the ease of delivery allows them more time to focus on pair and group discussions.

Using the app, BOSSA delivery is easy ... all you do is direct your students to wait or go ahead a couple of times, and the rest of it– recording and all!– is done for you. Now that we've worked out a few bugs in the program, it's time to invite everyone to try it out.

Join us and experience it first-hand! If you like it, you can sign up for this easy new delivery format for your Spring sessions!

Take some time from your busy schedule and come and explore the new BOSSA app. Coffee will be served.

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

TandemPlus Finals Study Jam

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
5:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Armory 202

The end of fall semester is nearly here, with finals week just around the corner. To ease the tension and provide a lively space to cram for projects and exams, TandemPlus is putting on an end-of-semester study jam for all participants. Bring yourself and your partner, along with all of your study materials and together we'll put our noses to the grindstone to prepare for finals! Coffee, tea, pizza, cookies, and doughnuts will be served as refreshments to keep you going throughout the evening.

Monday, November 21, 2016

PACE Panel Presentation and Discussion of the Curricular Initiative

Friday, December 2, 2016
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Folwell Hall 108
Register online (required, register by November 30)

Analysis of proficiency test result data gathered in the first two years of the PACE Project has shed light on some areas in which students lag behind expected proficiency levels set forth by the language programs. Taking into account linguistic variations, methodological approaches, programmatic needs, and areas of weaknesses, the Arabic, French, Korean and Spanish programs have engaged in the process of making curricular revisions that focus on a particular aspect of the language curriculum in a key course sequence. Language instructors and coordinators were also involved in the development and integration of activities that aimed to strengthen specific language modalities. The changes made to the curriculum will be implemented during the 2016-17 academic year.

This panel presentation will showcase the work that six language instructors have undertaken to address specific areas of the curriculum and/or specific modalities that have shown low performance among students. The presenters will facilitate discussions on the implications for curricular changes, as well as plans for implementation and assessment.

Presenters and participating languages and courses:
  • Lydia Belatèche and Déborah Lee-Ferrand, Department of French and Italian Studies, French 3015-3016, will discuss the development of new listening activities for French 3015 and 3016 that were produced in conjunction with proficiency-based learning goals for the third-year French curriculum. The activities allow students to fine-tune their listening proficiency, intercultural competence, and vocabulary building. Backward design was used to set goals for the testing of listening skills. The presenters will share sample listening activities, which have been paired with both literary and non-literary texts. 
  • Angela Carlson Lombardi and Stephanie Hernandez, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Spanish 1003, will speak about their work establishing proficiency-based learning goals for third-semester Spanish and revising the curriculum to systematically integrate listening activities to help students develop greater listening proficiency. They will show some of the authentic listening activities and assessments they created with the goals of creating a more seamless connection between content worked with in and out of class and enhancing the real-world applications of course content. 
  • Sara Mack, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Spanish 1004, will discuss plans for increasing listening proficiency in the final course of the CLA Language Requirement sequence for learners of Spanish. The curriculum innovations include stronger support for at-home practice, integration of social listening tools, a semester-long trajectory for developing listening skills tied to course goals, and greater integration of listening with content in class assessments.
  • Katrien Vanpee, Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, Arabic 5101-5102, has revised the curriculum for the Advanced Arabic course sequence (fifth and sixth semester) toward greater differentiation to allow for increased attention to each student’s individual strengths and working points. She will focus her discussion on the integration of reflective learning journals in the advanced Arabic classroom. This project builds on previous experiences with coaching in the use of learning strategies, self-assessment and journaling projects.

This presentation is cosponsored by CARLA and is open to all language instructors. A light lunch is provided. Please help us determine food orders and register by Wednesday, November 30.


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

TandemPlus Korean Thanksgiving Event

Monday, November 21, 2016
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Coffman 232, MISA Room
Registration is not required

TandemPlus, the Korean Student Association, and the Korean language program cordially invite you to join in on a melding between two great celebrations: the North American Thanksgiving, and the Korean Chuseok (Korean: 추석) Harvest Celebration, on Monday, November 21, 2016. Start your holiday's off strong -- with traditional food from each culture's celebration and a gathering of language learners, there isn't a better time than now to give gratitude to one another and share in the bounty of the year!

In keeping with the Tandem tradition, this event is free, and all Tandem participants, language learners, and those interested in culture, food, and sharing thanks are welcome to join. Those who are in the program already are encouraged to bring their partners. All present will get an opportunity to play trivia and other games to learn more about the traditions and cultures, and receive a taste of why these traditions have continued year after year for centuries.


Questions about the event or the programs involved? Contact the TandemPlus staff at tandem@umn.edu or stop by our office in Jones Hall 135A!

Monday, November 14, 2016

PACE Panel Presentation and Discussion of the Curricular Initiative

Friday, December 2, 2016
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Folwell Hall 108
Register online (required)

Analysis of proficiency test result data gathered in the first two years of the PACE Project has shed light on some areas in which students lag behind expected proficiency levels set forth by the language programs. Taking into account linguistic variations, methodological approaches, programmatic needs, and areas of weaknesses, the Arabic, French, Korean and Spanish programs have engaged in the process of making curricular revisions that focus on a particular aspect of the language curriculum in a key course sequence. Language instructors and coordinators were also involved in the development and integration of activities that aimed to strengthen specific language modalities. The changes made to the curriculum will be implemented during the 2016-17 academic year.

This panel presentation will showcase the work that six language instructors have undertaken to address specific areas of the curriculum and specific modalities that have shown low performance among students. The presenters will facilitate discussions on the implications for curricular changes, as well as plans for implementation and assessment.

Presenters and participating languages and courses:
  • Lydia Belatèche and Deb Lee-Ferrand, Department of French and Italian Studies, French 3015-3016.
  • Angela Carlson Lombardi and Stephanie Hernandez, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Spanish 1003.
  • Sara Mack, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Spanish 1004.
  • Katrien Vanpee, Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, Arabic 5101-5102.
This presentation is cosponsored by CARLA and is open to all language instructors. A light lunch is provided. Please register in advance to help us determine food orders.

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

Record Number of Class-to-Class Tandem Partnerships

During Fall 2016, over 600 University of Minnesota students are conversing in a second language via Skype with students around the world through the TandemPlus program!

Students and teachers in French 1003, 1004, and 3014 are talking with students at universities in Lyon and Nantes, just as they have for many years. Similarly, German 1003 and Spanish 1003 students are partnering again with Leuphana Universität in Lüneburg and Universidad de Sevilla in Spain. Most of these instructors, both here and abroad, have worked with each other for several years and have developed conversation topics and tasks that are well integrated into the course curriculum. For example, during a chapter focusing on the topic of travel, students prepare for a conversation by brainstorming what they can tell their partner about their own travel experiences as well as what questions they want to ask about the partner’s travel practices, preferences and experiences. Students set a time and date to talk with their partner via skype or Google Hangout. Later, students share what they have learned and reflect on the cultural similarities and differences they have noticed. This might take the form of a journal entry, a formal essay, or a class discussion.

Interest among university instructors of Spanish has grown this semester and we have increased our number of partner institutions in Spanish-speaking countries. In addition to the university in Spain, we are now working with two universities in Mexico, Universidad Tecnólogica El Retoño and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Completely new to the class-to-class tandem program this semester are 100 students in Spanish 3015 as well as their partners at Progressive English Services in the Dominican Republic. If you would like to learn more about TandemPlus class-to-class exchanges, please contact Beth Kautz at kautz001@umn.edu in the CLA Language Center.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Spanish and Portuguese Language Podcast

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies' new Spanish- and Portuguese-language podcast, Voc/zes: el podcast de la Universidad de Minnesota, now has seven episodes. The podcast episodes feature interviews (in Spanish and Portuguese) with current and former U of M students, faculty, staff and guest speakers who visit the University. In addition, the podcast features interviews with members of the Twin Cities’ Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking communities, including musicians, athletes, artists and community leaders.

The Podcast is hosted on Soundcloud and is available to Soundcloud users (it’s easy to download the app to your cell phone) at the following link: https://soundcloud.com/user-749661530

The podcast was recently reviewed in Borderlands, a blog that reviews Spanish books, podcasts, youtube videos and more.

CLAC Materials Clearinghouse

Language Center Director Dan Soneson and CHED graduate student Caleb Zilmer unveiled the CLAC Materials Clearinghouse at the conference of the Consortium for Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) at Drake University on October 21, 2016. The Clearinghouse, hosted on the CARLA website, is a curated collection of materials used in CLAC programs around the country: carla.umn.edu/CLAC/Clearinghouse.html

The development of the CLAC Clearinghouse is a response to the growing number of calls for access to current CLAC-oriented syllabus materials. With support from CARLA's Language Resource Center grant, Dan Soneson has been working to establish and maintain an online collection of materials used in successful CLAC programs throughout the country. Through discussions at the CLAC conference in 2015 and an online survey of CLAC members, the scope of the initial project was broadened to include other supporting materials, such as training materials for instructors, specific activities for students, descriptions of CLAC programs and implemented models. In addition, to encourage a living presence, the newly established Clearinghouse provides a means of ongoing conversation, currently in a general online discussion forum.

LANG Courseshare: Options for Spring 2017

Looking to expand your options for language and culture courses this spring? LANG Courseshare has the following classes for registration. Courseshare uses technology to send and receive less commonly taught language and culture courses with partner institutions in the Big Ten.
  • LANG 3502 Introduction to Korean History
  • LANG 1171 Beginning Aramaic I (for beginners)
  • LANG 2012 Accelerated Catalan II (first half of semester)
  • LANG 3011 Catalan Culture and Society: Art, Music, and Cinema (second half of semester)
  • LANG 2022 Intermediate Czech II
  • LANG 1062 Beginning Persian II 
  • LANG 1072 Beginning Polish II 
  • LANG 5112 Advanced Turkish and Azeri IV
  • LANG 1122 Beginning Vietnamese II (taught exclusively online)
Space in most of these courses is limited, so please register early. A few additional language courses may be added throughout November. Please email elsie@umn.edu with questions.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Visiting Scholars Presentations and Workshop: International Skype Communication and Web-Based Approaches

The University of Minnesota's Institute of Linguistics has partnered CARLA, the Language Center PACE Project and MELP to offer two short research talks and a hands-on workshop (light lunch provided) by visiting scholars Dr. Stefan Diemer and Dr. Marie-Louise Brunner from Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany. The presenters are co-founders of Teaching Solutions Brunner & Diemer partnership corporation, consulting with companies, educators, and government institutions on intercultural and educational issues, and offering a broad range of educational opportunities focused on intercultural and multilingual teaching methods and web-based learning.

Research Talks: Intercultural Skype Communication - Two Views from the Field

Thursday, November 10, 2016
12:20-1:10 p.m.
University International Center 101

Paralanguage and Gesture in a Corpus of Skype Conversations: 
“... Okay so good luck with that ((laughing))?”

This presentation illustrates the affordances of rich data, using examples from CASE, the Corpus of Academic Spoken English (Diemer et al., forthcoming) for paralinguistic (e.g. laughter) and non-verbal discourse features (e.g. gestures) and ways in which they add important information to the meaning-making process of conversations. CASE consists of Skype conversations between speakers of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) from eight European countries and allows research on a wide range of linguistic features of informal spoken computer mediated discourse. The interaction between verbal discourse and paralinguistic/non-verbal elements in CASE allows a differentiated view that has not yet been explored in other corpora. Two case studies (on laughter and gestures) are used to illustrate the benefits of including paralinguistic and non-verbal elements in the transcription of multimodal corpora. Though largely unexplored as part of spoken corpora, these elements are often indispensable for understanding the complexities involved in the negotiation of meaning. Laughter is an essential factor in rapport management, particularly in first contact encounters between previously unacquainted people, where it serves to reframe situations as non-serious, playful, or unproblematic, putting the partners at ease with each other. Gestures and other multimodal elements in CASE are an important element of meaning construction. As Kress (2011: 46) has stated, “[m]ultimodality, first and foremost, refuses the idea of the ‘priority’ of the linguistic modes; it regards them as partial means of making meaning.” Non-verbal elements thus further enhance our understanding of meaning creation in discourse. Both paralanguage and gesture are thus an important and indeed essential element of meaning construction, further enhancing our understanding of meaning creation in discourse.

Identity Negotiation Strategies in Intercultural Skype Communication:
“You know every region has its like ... stuff you know”


The presentation analyzes how identities are negotiated in English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) communication. The study is based on CASE, the Corpus of Academic Spoken English (forthcoming), in which participants from different European countries discuss academic and cultural topics in an informal online setting via Skype. I analyze identity negotiation processes in CASE; in particular, the presentation focuses on three key strategies that participants use in their conversations. I first examine how the discussion of culturally connoted and stereotypical terms is used to negotiate identities, for example by talking about cultural traditions, such as typical food, festivities, etc. Then, language choice is analyzed as a means of identity creation (cf. Auer 2005). In the data, code-switching is used to enhance cultural connotations (cf. also Vettorel 2014), e.g. as a means of emphasizing cultural identity and group membership (cf. Ochs 1993, Auer 2005, Cogo 2009), not only as part of a regional or national community but also as multilingual speakers. Finally, the data suggests that American stereotypes and perceived characteristics function as a convenient facilitator for the negotiation and construction of common transcultural or European identities in CASE. This is in line with research stating that European identities often constitute themselves only through imagined and observed differences from ‘America’ as the ‘Other,’ rather than perceived common features (cf. Neumann 1998, Morley and Robins 2002). To sum up, the paper examines various strategies used in multi-faceted identity negotiation processes in international ELF Skype communication.


Workshop: Web-Based Approaches for the Modern Foreign Language Classroom

Friday, November 11, 2016
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Bruininks Hall 131B
Register Online (required)

This hands-on workshop will familiarize participants with the use of web-based resources in the language classroom, providing language teachers with extensive and applied examples they can use to prepare teaching materials, presenting ways to integrate them in their courses, and offering practical exercises on site. Participants will explore the use of Google Trends as a visualization tool for vocabulary, language variation and cultural concepts in a wide variety of languages. Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer will present the most useful online language corpora and show applications of word nets, word clouds, and concordances in the area of grammar, lexis, dialect and register variation as tools for preparation and classroom activities.

Based on the Web as a Corpus approach (Hundt et al. 2007; Diemer 2009), Marie-Louise and Stefan will also introduce memes, blogs, and ads as teaching resources for the intercultural language classroom, with a particular focus on speaking skills and language variation (Brunner & Diemer 2014). Finally, they illustrate how, via the Awakening to Languages approach, similarities between various languages can be used to raise students’ language awareness and motivation, as well as to facilitate language learning.

Participants are highly encouraged to bring their own laptops in order to try out the tools presented.

This event is open to all languages and levels. A light lunch will be provided, so please register to ensure an accurate headcount. If you are not able to register, please email elsie@umn.edu or carri093@umn.edu to let us that you plan to attend.

This workshop is sponsored by the Institute of Linguistics. Cosponsored by the PACE Project and CARLA.

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

Presenters:
Stefan Diemer is professor of international communication and digital business at Trier University of Applied Sciences and associate professor of linguistics at Saarland University, Germany. He is head of the team compiling CASE, the Corpus of Academic Spoken English, a corpus of international Skype conversations. His research interests include language and the Web, English as a Lingua Franca, and the didactics of English in an online context. His corpus work and his interest in intercultural communication and special-purpose language have also led him to focus on interdisciplinary research fields such as intercomprehension, language and identity, and food discourse.

Marie-Louise Brunner is doctoral researcher and head of the intercultural communication programme at Trier University of Applied Sciences and lecturer in the department of English linguistics at Saarland University, Germany. Her Master's degree is in English, American, and Anglophone Studies (focus: English Linguistics), with a minor in Intercultural Communication. For her PhD thesis, she investigates the negotiation of intercultural communication, specifically discourse strategies in English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) Skype conversations. Her research interests are in the areas of discourse analysis, pragmatics, corpus linguistics, and intercomprehension. She is also interested in the use of online media and corpora, as well as intercultural and multilingual approaches in the foreign language classroom.

Monday, October 24, 2016

TandemPlus and MISA International Halloween Party

Friday, October 28, 2016
6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Coffman Memorial Union: Mississippi Room
Online Information (registration not required)

TandemPlus, the Minnesota International Student Association (MISA), and ISSS’ International Buddy Program (IBP) are teaming up to bring you some traditional Halloween fun at the annual International Halloween Party! Participants of TandemPlus, MISA, IBP, and all who are interested in these programs, meeting international and American students, and looking for an eventful way to celebrate the spooky season are encouraged to come.

Attendees will be introduced to many different traditions of the Halloween holiday as celebrated in America, including a little history. Enjoy numerous activities including face and pumpkin painting, pumpkin ring-toss, movie/ghost trivia, the mystery box, Halloween bowling, a photobooth with props, and more. Delight in Halloween themed refreshments, including cupcakes, cookies, and drinks.

Don’t miss out! Questions? Email tandem@umn.edu.

Monday, October 17, 2016

PACE Workshop: ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines in the Korean Language Curriculum - Focus on Speaking

Friday, November 4, 2016
1:20 - 2:15 p.m.
Bruininks Hall 131A
Online information (registration not required)

The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines provide descriptions of what language learners can do with language in the four skills in real-world situations, in a spontaneous and unrehearsed context. For years, language instructors have used these guidelines to frame curricular goals and to design lessons and individual activities that can promote language development toward achieving greater proficiency. In the case of Korean we noticed that oral proficiency was lower than expected after the third year of the curriculum. There are also some unique obstacles to teaching and learning Korean: it is an agglutinative language, it has a complex honorific system, and it is a High Context language.

In this workshop, third-year Korean instructor Bryce Johnson describes changes he made to the fifth-semester Advanced Korean curriculum (KOR 3031) to move speaking proficiency towards Intermediate-High/Advanced-Low. Bryce will explain how he uses the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines to set curricular goals, and how backward design principles are used to modify existing units and to develop lessons and activities that provide scaffolding for learners. He will also provide some examples of specific activities that invite learners to use the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines as a tool to inform their own proficiency development. Participants will discuss how the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines correlate with the level they are currently teaching and then consider how changes to activities, lessons, units, or their entire curriculum might be informed by the Guidelines.

Refreshments will be served. This workshop is cosponsored by CARLA and open to all languages and levels.

Presenter: Bryce Johnson, Department of Asian Languages and Literatures

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

CARLA and Language Center Presentation at the 2016 CLAC Conference

Consortium for Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) 2016 Conference
Friday, October 21, 2016
Drake University, Des Moines, IA
Register online

Introducing the CLAC Materials Clearinghouse
Over the past several years there has been a repeated call for access to current CLAC-oriented syllabus materials. Through discussions at the CLAC conference in 2016 and through an online survey of CLAC members, the scope of the project was broadened to include other supporting materials, such as training materials for instructors, specific activities for students, descriptions of CLAC programs and implemented models. In addition, to encourage a living presence, the Clearinghouse will provide a means of ongoing conversation, both in general as well as specifically tied to each resource in the collection. A board of volunteers screens submissions to ensure compliance with CLAC principles and appropriateness for the collection. This session will present the finished product, developed with support from CARLA. It will include a demonstration of how to navigate the site and a presentation of the process of materials submission.

Presenters: Dan Soneson and Caleb Zilmer, CLA Language Center at the University of Minnesota

Harry Potter, The Kite Runner, and Much More in Arabic

The Arabic program has donated a printed materials library to the Language Center for students. The authentic-language materials include books, magazines, comics and much more. There are options for beginning through advanced students. You can browse the materials in Elevator. Arabic students may come to Jones 110 to check out one item at a time for up to two weeks.

Monday, October 10, 2016

PACE Proficiency Data Included in Foreign Language Annals Article

Through a partnership between the PACE Project, two other institutions participating in similar Flagship-funded projects, the University of Utah and Michigan State University, as well as other national universities, Erwin Tschirner from the Universitat at Leipzig has published a publicly available article examining the reading and listening proficiency of U.S. college students. The University of Minnesota assessment data included in this article derives from the first two years of the PACE Project.

Listening and Reading Proficiency Levels of College Students
Erwin Tschirner
Universitat at Leipzig
Read Online

Abstract: This article examines listening and reading proficiency levels of U.S. college foreign language students at major milestones throughout their undergraduate career. Data were collected from more than 3,000 participants studying seven languages at 21 universities and colleges across the United States. The results show that while listening proficiency appears to develop more slowly, Advanced levels of reading proficiency appear to be attainable for college majors at graduation. The article examines the relationship between listening and reading proficiency and suggests reasons for the apparent disconnect between listening and reading, particularly for some languages and at lower proficiency levels.

Foreign Language Annals, Vol. 49, Iss. 2, pp. 201–223. © 2016. Published by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL).

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

Dissertation Defense Presentation: Lesson Study in Higher Education - Mediating Language Teacher Conceptual Development Through Shared Inquiry

Tuesday, October 11, 2016
3:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Education Sciences Building 325

Targeted research is needed to better understand the key elements and practices that can promote the learning of tertiary-level language teachers participating in inquiry-based groups, particularly teachers of the less commonly taught languages. This study examines one such inquiry group, composed of four instructors of Arabic, Japanese, and Korean.

Conceptually, this study is grounded in sociocultural theory broadly, and cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) more specifically. Methodologically, it takes an interventionist approach and uses a methodology inspired by CHAT: Developmental Work Research (Engeström, 2009). Participants first used video recordings and classroom observations to focus their attention on student learning; subsequently, transcripts of group conversations about classroom observations served to stimulate awareness of moments of teacher learning.

This study focuses on the interaction and learning of two Japanese language instructors as they participated in this inquiry group, in the context of recent radical change to the curriculum and instructional practices of the Japanese language program. In particular, it explores how elements of a diverse language instructor inquiry group serve to mediate language teacher conceptual development within the broader sociocultural context. Data were gathered as the researcher facilitated a small teacher inquiry group comprised of four college instructors of Arabic, Japanese, and Korean. Drawing from both the exploratory practice model (Allwright, 2009) and the jugyou kenkyuu "lesson study" framework (Yoshida, 1999; Lewis, 2004), an inquiry cycle was designed to engage the participants in collaborative investigation of collective problems of practice.

A combination of activity theoretical and micro-interactional analysis reveals multiple and interacting mediating means which afforded language teacher learning in this study. The findings include the following. Observing each other’s teaching serves to introduce a new – and disruptive – mediating means into the instructors’ existing, socio-culturally-historically created system. In response to this disruption, the content of the inquiry group’s conversations shows that they wrestle with contradictory ideas and evidence, and consider different perspectives to address core questions. Analysis of the conversational structure of the meetings shows that the instructors carefully negotiate face-threatening and face-saving comments in ways that allow them to discuss these contradictions in productive ways. Finally, and importantly, a shift toward freedom and openness in the Japanese Program has allowed a new and recursive relationship to develop where instructor agency, regarding issues of pedagogy, curriculum, and professional learning, mediates further opportunities for instructor agency, self-growth, and program climate shift.


Presenter: Beth Dillard, Assistant Professor of Second Language Acquisition in the College of Education at Western Washington University. Beth is a former CARLA Fellow and PACE Communications Coordinator. Her dissertation stems in part from her 2015-2016 work with the PACE Professional Development Peer Team.

Monday, October 3, 2016

New Language Center Resources for Instructors

  • The Main Office now has a wireless presenter remote available for check out. This can be used to advance presentation slides.
  • The LC film database now includes a PDF attachment field for instructional materials related to the film or instructional video. As an example, see Sugar Cane Alley, which offers 50 pages of materials created by Rick Treece that are available for download by instructors or students. Instructors can add their own materials to film records by emailing a file to elsie@umn.edu or bringing the paper documents to Jones 110.

TandemPlus Kick-Off Event and Upcoming Events

On September 20, 2016 TandemPlus hosted its fall semester Kick-Off and Orientation Event, held in the Mississippi room at Coffman Memorial Union. The event, hosted at the beginning of each semester, is an opportunity for Tandem participants to learn more about the program, ask questions, hang out, eat some good food, and search for a second language partner. Nearly 80 attendees situated themselves in many conversation circles, all together speaking English, Chinese, Arabic, Hmong, Russian, French, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Everyone had the chance to meet new people and listen to the multilingual-multicultural conversing while enjoying pizza from Mesa and being entertained by a game of Kahoot. Computers were available at the event for new participants to sign in, and for those looking for a partner to have a chance to search for one with a staff member. Many new and returning participants were paired.


TandemPlus will host monthly events this semester, beginning with:
  • Halloween Event -- October 28
  • Korean Thanksgiving -- November 17

PACE Workshop: Laying the Textbook to Rest - How we took the curriculum into our own hands

Friday, October 14, 2016
11:00 - 12:00 p.m.
Bruininks Hall 131A
Online Information (registration not required)

Learner-centered methodologies seek to engage students as active participants in learning and co-constructors of knowledge. In the beginning-level language classroom, there must be a balance between content worthy of inquiry and interpretation and attention to the development of language skills, and there must be time allowed for both in the syllabus. In this workshop, Cecily Brown and Stephanie Hernández describe curricular changes they made to beginning Spanish courses (1001-1002), starting with using the textbook as a resource and not as the defining curriculum.

Cecily and Stephanie propose a bottom-up approach to curricular changes that empowers instructors to treat the textbook as a reference. First, they propose an examination of the textbook to identify the most important language tasks and student outcomes for each chapter. Second, they propose a reframing of the textbook chapters to enable the addition of related “authentic” content. Finally, they will demonstrate some sample activities developed to provide students with opportunities for inquiry and interpretation. Participants at the workshop will have time to work individually or in groups to think and discuss ways that one lesson or unit might be modified to use the textbook more as a reference and encourage students to be more active learners. Furthermore, participants will discuss how in-class strategies may result in curricular changes.

This event is open to all languages and levels. Registration is not required. Refreshments will be served.

Presenters: Cecily Brown and Stephanie Hernandez, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies.
The PACE Project is funded by a grant from The Language Flagship.

PACE and Language Center Presentations at the 2016 MWALLT Conference

MidWest Association for Language Learning & Technology (MWALLT) 2016 Conference
Saturday, October 8, 2016
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Register online

Scaling up self assessment while managing technology overload: The one-touch BOSSA Protocol
An emerging body of research in language assessment (Dolosic et al, 2016; Ziegler, 2014) shows that self assessment is a tool that can increase learners’ active engagement and agency. At the University of Minnesota delivery of the Basic Outcomes Student Self-Assessment protocol has reached over 6,000 students in ten languages at seven instructional levels in the past two years. Through self assessment, students take charge of their learning as awareness of the language-learning process grows. The 50-minute protocol takes place in a computer classroom and utilizes multiple technologies. While instructors and students attest to the protocol’s benefit, managing the disparate technologies that link the components has become problematic, especially as we expand the protocol to additional language programs. As the protocol has developed and expanded to more language programs, instructors who conduct the session have had to focus both on the pedagogical aspects of the process as well as on managing the technology, which can result in cognitive overload. To meet this challenge, we built an application that regulates the process and timing of articulated components. The application provides a seamless presentation of tasks, automatic recording of student speech, and archival of students’ production. In this presentation, we describe the process for developing the application and the iterative process of revisions, and recount lessons learned from usability tests. Furthermore, we report on how instructors use and perceive the delivery of the protocol in the new system based on pilot implementation in nine courses in multiple languages.

Presenters: Dan Soneson, Adolfo Carrillo Cabello and Gabriela Sweet from the CLA Language Center at the University of Minnesota

Leadership Challenges of and Opportunities for Today's Language Centers
Language Centers may vary in terms of their mission, size, scope and resources but they all face a common set of existential challenges in today’s academic environment. In this day of cloud computing, smart phone apps and wireless technologies, what role does a physical space play? Should language labs evolve into all-purpose university computer labs? How do language centers retain their uniqueness while at the same time increase their relevance in the larger institutional context? Given the incorporation of multimedia elements into course textbooks, should language centers continue in their efforts to motivate and train faculty to develop their own instructional technology interventions? In light of shrinking budgets, reduced staff and ubiquitous technologies, how do language centers remain relevant while also renewing and advancing their mission? The panelists represent different institutional sizes and control, public and private; the language centers they serve vary in mission, resources and scope. In this panel presentation we will discuss the unique challenges and threats that we each face in our individual context, as well as shared approaches for addressing the most pressing issues that apply across institutional settings. We hope to highlight strategies we have found successful in dealing with various challenges, and will invite session participants to contribute to the conversation with the goal of establishing common ground that helps us all move forward. This session will be of interest to language center directors, faculty, and staff.

Presenters: Sangeetha Gopalakrishnan is the director of the Foreign Language Technology Center at Wayne State University (WSU). Carol Goss directs the Language Resource Center at Valparaiso University. Dan Soneson directs the CLA Language Center at the University of Minnesota.

Monday, September 26, 2016

PACE Project at the 2016 UMN Internationalizing the Curriculum Conference

The PACE Project has now entered its third year, and the administrative and instructional teams plan to share outcomes from the project at local, regional and national conferences throughout the year. We would love to see you at these presentations, and will keep you informed as conferences approach.

The first public presentation of the year is this week. It is conveniently located on campus and free to all U of M faculty, staff, and students.

Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus Conference: Preparing Global-Ready Students

Root Locally, Stretch Globally: Students Empowered Through Higher Language Proficiency
Friday, September 30, 2016
9:00 - 9:50 a.m.
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

University of Minnesota graduates are disempowered internationally if they must rely on English alone to address global challenges. Funding from The Language Flagship is at work on campus through two grants: Chinese Flagship and the PACE Project. These grants help bring students to higher levels of second language proficiency so they can more fully engage with their community and world. This presentation outlines how the PACE Project collaborates with seven language programs to create a culture of assessment, continuous curricular improvement, and student engagement. Formal assessment provides language programs and instructors with concrete information about student proficiency at various stages in the curriculum; professional development provides a collaborative space and tools for improving the curriculum in light of those results; and self-assessment involves students in the process as they independently identify what they can and cannot do in the language and create their own pathways toward higher levels of proficiency.

Presenters: Dan Soneson, Gabriela Sweet, and Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, CLA Language Center; and Elaine Tarone, CARLA

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

New Accessible Desk in Jones 135

The Language Center walk-in computer classroom now offers an accessible laptop desk that can be raised or lowered to accommodate wheelchairs or serve as a standing desk. The station is open to all students, but the lab staff ask that users give priority to students who need it upon request.

Spanish and Portuguese Language Podcast

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies is excited to announce its new Spanish- and Portuguese-language podcast, Voc/zes: el podcast de la Universidad de Minnesota. Their first episode premiered on September 15, 2016.

New episodes of Voc/zes will be released on Thursdays during the 2016-17 academic school year. The podcast episodes will feature interviews (in Spanish and Portuguese) with current and former U of M students, faculty, staff and guest speakers who visit the University. In addition, the podcast will feature interviews with members of the Twin Cities’ Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking communities, including musicians, athletes, artists and community leaders. Each Voc/zes podcast will feature a Current Events Calendar promoting local events of particular interest to language learners and Spanish and Portuguese speakers.

You can access the podcast via Facebook or Twitter @umnvoces. The Podcast is hosted on Soundcloud and is available to Soundcloud users at https://soundcloud.com/user-749661530. You can also use the RSS Feed to follow Voc/zes on your favorite podcast app.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Congratulations to Anna Sisombat!

Please help us congratulate Anna Sisombat for receiving the Academic All Star Award. Anna has worked at the Language Center for two years, and currently serves as the Classroom Support student team leader and the Testing Assistant. Anna will be recognized by the Multicultural Center for her Gold-status All Star on Thursday, September 22, 2016.

Anna is a double major in French and Art. She has shared her thoughts on this recognition:

I am truly honored to receive such recognition and achievement. My work ethic not only reflects the academic and employment aspects of my life, but also who I am and have become. The decision to continue my education at the U of M and accept a position at the Language Center has been the best decision I have made yet. Thank you all who have made such a positive impact on my life!

Congratulations, Anna!

CARLA Presentation: Interpersonal Speaking as a Pathway to Foreign Language Literacy Development

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
12:20-1:10 p.m.
University International Center 101

In recent years, the concept of literacy has emerged as a common goal for collegiate foreign language curricula. Whereas traditional definitions of literacy focus on students’ ability to read and write, modern definitions entail the ability to interpret and create meaning in a range of sociocultural contexts through interaction with authentic target language texts of various genres. This broader definition suggests that literacy development encompasses all language modalities—reading, writing, listening, viewing, and speaking—and that these modalities overlap as learners interact with literary-cultural content to communicate meaningfully. In this presentation, I expand this definition and use illustrative examples to help argue that interpersonal speaking is a viable pathway to foreign language literacy development and increased engagement with literary-cultural content at all levels of the undergraduate foreign language curriculum.

Presenter: Kate Paesani is the new Director of CARLA. Her research focused on literacy-based curriculum and instruction and foreign language teacher development. Before coming to CARLA she was an associate professor and director of basic French courses at Wayne State University.
Cosponsored by CARLA and the Second Language Education Program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Certificate of Advanced Proficiency in French Launches

The Department of French & Italian and the CLA Language Center are pleased to offer a new Certificate in Advanced French, similar to the Spanish Certificate.

This is a great option for students of French whose abilities extend beyond the intermediate level and who wish to have their advanced-level proficiency formally recognized. This program is open to all undergraduate University of Minnesota students, regardless of their major or college.

At the end of the program, students take the proficiency examinations of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), internationally recognized tests that are required by teacher certification boards in Minnesota and more than 20 other states. The ACTFL assessments follow the same proficiency guidelines as the US Government’s Interagency Language Roundtable (used by the US Department of State, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Justice, the US Military, etc.), so they are also great preparation for applying to one of those organizations.

The department of French and Italian urges all majors and minors to consider completing the Certificate program concurrently. Students who do not have time for a major or minor can complete the certificate as a stand-alone program as well.

Through the PACE Project, there is grant funding available to cover the cost of the Reading, Listening, and Speaking tests taken during the 2016-2017 academic year. Some restrictions apply.

Please contact frenstds@umn.edu and visit z.umn.edu/frencert for more information.

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

Monday, September 12, 2016

Get involved! Join the the Professional Development (PD) Peer Team

New to foreign language teaching? Looking for ways to get involved in professional development opportunities? Please consider joining the PD PeerTeam, a group formed of language instructors from all language programs in CLA. The group is charged with advising the Language Center on professional development opportunities. As a group, we discuss topics of interest to language instructors, share our current instructional challenges, and strive to advance the profession. Our group meets once monthly for an hour session. Please contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello at carri093@umn.edu to get connected.

TandemPlus Student Association (TPSA) Seeking Secretary

Do you enjoy the study of second languages and are interested in becoming involved with a student group on campus? The TandemPlus Student Association is in need of a student officer in the position of Secretary. To apply for this position, please send an email to tandem@umn.edu.

TandemPlus Kickoff Event and Fall Registration

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Mississippi Room, Coffman Memorial Union


Registration for TandemPlus is now open! Interested in having a second-language conversation partner? Great! TandemPlus is here to help, and your first step to finding your second language partner is visiting tandem.umn.edu to register for this free and exciting language and cultural exchange program. All languages are invited and encouraged!

To start the semester in style and provide participants with an opportunity to find a second-language partner in person, TandemPlus is hosting it’s annual Kick-Off event in the Mississippi Room at Coffman Memorial Union. At the event, participants will be able to meet other Tandem folks (including officers and participants), learn about TandemPlus, have a chance to register, and enjoy pizza from Mesa Pizza and refreshments free of charge! The event is open to everyone interested in languages.

Stay tuned -- the TandemPlus Student Association (TPSA) has themed events planned for every month of semester. Expect to see returning events, as well as new exciting ones. To be announced!


Have any questions, or just want more information about TandemPlus? Email tandem@umn.edu anytime, or visit the Language Center Website for information.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

New Administrative Specialist, Agnes Malika

Please welcome Agnes to the Language Center. This fall, she will work both in the Department of African American & African Studies and the Language Center. Agnes is an Administrative Specialist with extensive experience in curriculum, financial and human resources. She has worked at the University of Minnesota in different departments and various positions. She holds a Bachelor degree in International Relations and Master of Education in Human Resources Development, both from University of Minnesota. She studied Swahili, French and English during her Advance Secondary Education Diploma in Tanzania. She speaks fluent Swahili and some French.

Welcome Back to the Language Center!

Welcome new and returning instructors, students and staff. If you were not around this summer, here are a few things you may have missed at the Language Center:
  • New iMac computers were installed in Jones 30 and 35! 
  • A new bright LED projector was installed in Jones 35, projector lamps were replaced in the other 3 classrooms
  • Three new HD video camcorders and two new lightweight tripods were added to the LC checkout pool
  • The Language Center AV database migrated to Elevator: Read more
  • Language courses received through Courseshare moved to the Language Center: Read more
  • The PACE Project has been renewed for another year: Read more
  • The new CARLA Director, Kate Paesani joined us in the fall with a split appointment between CARLA (75%) and the Language Center (25%): Read more

Monday, August 29, 2016

PACE Extended Through July 31, 2017

The Language Center is pleased to announce that the Proficiency Assessment for Curricular Enhancement (PACE) Project has been funded by Flagship for another year!

The three components of the project; proficiency testing, self-assessment, and professional development have been designed to work together synergistically towards building greater student language proficiency.

The first two years of the PACE project have been successful in shifting the University of Minnesota’s focus of foreign language education more towards language proficiency. Although UMN language programs were already proficiency-oriented, data from ACTFL proficiency testing, professional development opportunities, and self-assessment programs have helped administrators, instructors, and students to be better informed and more engaged. The first two years of formal and self-assessments with PACE helped instructors become more aware of what students can do with language, which areas need more attention, and understand better how to engage students in their own language learning.

The Project is pleased to announce the following innovations for the third year of the grant:

Targeted Curricular Revision: as a result of discussion with faculty and language coordinators, the PACE Project will focus the first half of Year 3 on targeted curriculum development. The goal will make specific changes to the curriculum between August 2016 and January 2017 that will be implemented during academic year 2016-2017 and students will be tested during spring semester to see if there are any changes in proficiency scores. This year the following courses are participating: Arabic 5101-5102, French 3015-3016, Korean 3031-3032 and Spanish 1003-1004.

Self-Assessment Improvement & Dissemination: the BOSSA instruments continue to be refined, and made more user friendly for instructors and students. The team is very excited about the pilot of the one-touch delivery system. In addition, later this fall, the project’s self-assessment instruments and speaking protocol will be available as downloadable documents on the CARLA website. This free educational resource will be available to the broader K-16 language community.

There is much more to come. Please look for future emails about upcoming professional development events and other opportunities to engage with the project. If you have any questions about the PACE Project, please reach out to the 2016-2017 administrative team:
  • Dan Soneson: Principal Investigator, Director of the Language Center
  • Adolfo Carrillo Cabello: Professional Development Specialist
  • Monica Eden Frahm: Testing Program Director
  • Anna Olivero-Agney: Sustainability & Assessment
  • Kate Paesani: Project Advisor, Director of CARLA
  • Jonathan Prestrud: Communications
  • Diane Rackowski: Technology Coordinator
  • Gabriela Sweet: Sustainability Coordinator
  • Stephanie Treat: Administrator
  • Ellen Wormwood: Testing Coordinator
The PACE Project is funded by a grant from The Language Flagship.

Farewell and Congratulations to Kate Clements

After six years at the Language Center, Kate Clements is leaving her position as the Language Exchange and Learning Spaces Specialist to accept a position as a full-time Teaching Specialist in the Minnesota English Language Program (MELP). Under her leadership, the TandemPlus program and Multimedia Lab have experienced steady growth, both in terms of the number of students served and the centrality of the program to language education.

Here are some of the highlights from Kate’s tenure at the Language Center:
  • TandemPlus was transformed from a stand-alone departmental program to an official student group. 
  • The number of students participating in TandemPlus grew from 384 in Fall 2010 to 700 students in Fall 2011 and reached more than 1,000 students each Fall from 2014 on. 
  • The diversity of languages represented in TandemPlus has expanded to include learners and native speakers of more than 20 languages each semester.
  • The Language Center has new class partnerships with universities in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Venezuela, and Mexico. 
  • The Multimedia Lab was completely redesigned to provide a more open and collaborative environment.

Kate will always remember her work at the Language Center, which includes: one mostly-complete software design, six TandemPlus assistants, dozens of events involving pizza, thousands of student conversation pairings, and about a bazillion sent emails reiterating that TandemPlus is not a dating service. Her last day at the Language Center will be September 2, 2016. This is “hasta luego” instead of “adiós,” as she hopes to stay in touch with her colleagues in Jones, Nicholson, and Folwell.

Kate leaves us by sharing her four tips for success:
  • Work, but not too hard.
  • Always try to have a sense of humor about what you do.
  • Never give away all of your secrets.
For Fall semester, TandemPlus duties will be expertly handled by Beth Kautz, current TandemPlus Assistant Sanaz Jabbari, and Jonathan Prestrud, who will also supervise the Multimedia Lab.

Monday, August 22, 2016

New Beginning Language Courses through Courseshare

Interested in starting a new language this Fall? The following entry-level language courses are now open through Courseshare. Space is very limited, so please register soon.

  • LANG 2011 Accelerated Catalan I, 2 credits: From the University of Chicago. This course is intended for speakers of other Romance languages, but is open to all students
  • LANG 1061 Beginning Persian I, 4 credits: From the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This language is also known as Farsi.
  • LANG 1071 Beginning Polish I, 4 credits: From Ohio State University.
  • LANG 1111 Beginning Turkish I, 4 credits: From the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • LANG 1121 Beginning Vietnamese I, 4 credits, Online. From Michigan State University.

If you have questions about these or other Courseshare courses, please email the Language Center at elsie@umn.edu.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Welcome Open House for Kate Paesani

Thursday, September 1, 2016
3:00-4:30 p.m.
University Int’l Center Room 101

CARLA and the Language Center invite you to meet and welcome CARLA’s incoming director Kate Paesani. While Kate’s primary position will be in CARLA, she will also work 25%-time to support CLA language programs. Join us for some cake and lemonade/coffee to welcome Kate to the U at this informal open house.

Kate Paesani comes to the University of Minnesota from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where she was an associate professor and director of basic French courses. Dr. Paesani earned her Ph.D. in French linguistics from Indiana University. Her research focuses on literacy-based curriculum and instruction and foreign language teacher development. We are thrilled to have her join our team!

Learn more about Kate on her new CARLA staff page.

LATIS and Language Center Drop-in TechHub

Friday, September 2, 2016
10:30-3:00 p.m.
Jones 35
No Registration Required

Need last-minute academic tech help before the start of the Fall semester? Whether struggling or just looking for ways to improve your Moodle course, we can help! The LATIS Technology Enhanced Learning Team and CLA Language Center invite you to drop in to get one-on-one help during the TechHub event. LATIS and Language Center staff will be available to answer your questions related to:

  • Moodle general setup 
  • Moodle Gradebook 
  • Canvas (for those who are piloting it)

In addition, we will be offering tips and strategies on how to incorporate Inclusive Design in your Moodle and Course Documents, and tricks on how to personalize your course.

All instructors are welcome! Refreshments will be provided. Hope to see many of you! Questions or special requests? Please contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello at carri093@umn.edu.

CLA Courseshare Change, Introducing LANG

The University of Minnesota is an active participant in the Big Ten Academic Alliance (formerly CIC) Courseshare program, which uses technology to send and receive less commonly taught language and culture courses with partner institutions. Sending courses expands the profile of our language and culture programs, and increases and diversifies their audience. Receiving courses provides students with access to courses they need for their academic and career goals, and connects them with students and scholars across the country.

CLA Courseshare is administered by the Language Center, through collaboration with academic departments. To make it more clear to students and the Office of the Registrar which courses are being received from other institutions, effective Fall 2016, courses received will share a common course designator LANG: Language Center, CLA Courseshare.

There are no changes in the management of courses we will send through Courseshare. They will still appear under the designator of the department that offers the course.

The following classes are open for registration Fall 2016, and others are current in process. Please note that seat availability for all of these courses is limited.

  • LANG 3501 Introduction to Korean Civilization
  • LANG 2011 Accelerated Catalan I 
  • LANG 1021 Beginning Czech I 
  • LANG 2021 Intermediate Czech I 
  • LANG 3051 Advanced Indonesian I
  • LANG 5051 Advanced Indonesian III 
  • LANG 1061 Beginning Persian I
  • LANG 2061 Intermediate Persian I 
  • LANG 1071 Beginning Polish I
  • LANG 2071 Intermediate Polish I
  • LANG 1111 Beginning Turkish I
  • LANG 3113 Advanced Turkish and Azeri I
  • LANG 5111 Advanced Turkish and Azeri III
  • LANG 2151 Intermediate Pashto I
  • LANG 1121  Beginning Vietnamese I

If you have questions about one of these courses, or  have a recommendation for a new course to receive or send, please email the Language Center at elsie@umn.edu.

Monday, August 8, 2016

BOSSA Open House

Friday, September 9, 2016
9:30-3:30 p.m.
Jones 35
Online Information (no registration required)

The BOSSA team has been busy this summer preparing for the Fall semester. As we get started for the new semester, we invite you to join us at this BOSSA Open House to socialize with new and current users of BOSSA and get answers to your questions about BOSSA. Get a behind-the-scenes perspective on the BOSSA protocol, and a sneak peek of a new, one-touch BOSSA delivery system!

Mark your calendars for the BOSSA Open House, and come out and share experiences with other BOSSA users in an informal setting while getting to know the new one-touch BOSSA delivery. Refreshments will be served.

Monday, August 1, 2016

CARLA Director—Goodbye and Hello!

The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) is preparing for a big change as the current director Elaine Tarone retires from the University, and they welcome the new director, Kate Paesani.

We invite our colleagues in the language education community to two open house events in celebration of these important passages.

Farewell Open House for Elaine Tarone
Thursday, August 11, 2016
3:30-4:30 p.m.
University Int’l Center Room 101

You are invited to come have some cake and goodies with Elaine Tarone on her second-to-last day in the CARLA office. While we had a great time celebrating her illustrious career at a formal retirement party back in April, Elaine continued her work as CARLA director throughout the summer and even taught a CARLA summer institute. This informal event offers another opportunity to share your good wishes with Elaine as she heads off to the wonderful world of retirement!

See pictures from Elaine’s retirement party on the CARLA photo archive page.

Welcome Open House for Kate Paesani
Thursday, September 1, 2016
3:00-4:30 p.m.
University Int’l Center Room 101

CARLA and the Language Center invite you to meet and welcome CARLA’s incoming director Kate Paesani. While Kate’s primary position will be in CARLA, she will also work 25%-time to support CLA language programs. Join us for some cake and lemonade/coffee to welcome Kate to the U at this informal open house.

Kate Paesani comes to the University of Minnesota from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where she was an associate professor and director of basic French courses. Dr. Paesani earned her Ph.D. in French linguistics from Indiana University. Her research focuses on literacy-based curriculum and instruction and foreign language teacher development.  We are thrilled to have her join our team!

Learn more about Kate on her new CARLA staff page.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

TandemPlus Goes Wild at the Como Zoo and Conservatory

On Friday, July 22, 2016, MELP and TandemPlus will co-host a trip to the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. Interested participants should gather in front of Nicholson Hall at 2:30 p.m. to catch the bus to the Zoo. With a wonderful variety of animals, as well as a gorgeous botanical garden in the Conservatory, the Como Zoo aims to inspire its visitors with a closer connection to nature. The event is open to all TandemPlus participants, and it's free (though donations to the Zoo are suggested). It's a wonderful opportunity to visit one of the Twin Cities' top attractions and use and improve second-language skills. Those interested in attending should contact Tandem at tandem@umn.edu.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Falafel, Fellowship and Fun at Eid Lunch with TandemPlus and the Arabic Program

On Thursday, June 7, TandemPlus and the Arabic Program co-sponsored our second annual Eid lunch. This was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Eid Al Fitr, the Muslim holiday at the end of the month of fasting, Ramadan. More than 30 native Arabic speaking students and learners, as well as other TandemPlus participants and friends, gathered in Nicholson Hall, where Wally’s Falafel and Hummus in Dinkytown provided delicious authentic Arabic food such as tabouli, hummus, and baba ganouj, and the Arabic Program provided Arabic music and drinks. While enjoying the food and music, participants conversed and exchanged information in different languages about their countries. Eid mubarak!

If you have any questions or inquiries about TandemPlus, please contact tandem@umn.edu.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

TandemPlus is Experiencing a Sizzling Summer

Summer registration for TandemPlus is currently open. We are currently experiencing our biggest summer yet, with more than 125 language learners registered; however, we are always looking for more participants, especially learners of Chinese, Korean, and Arabic; or native speakers of French, Spanish or Portuguese. Anyone looking for a second-language conversation partner should register soon at tandem.umn.edu.

Join TandemPlus and the Minnesota English Language Program (MELP) on Friday, July 22, 2016 for a trip to the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. We will leave the MELP office at Nicholson Hall at 2:30 p.m. This new event is open to all TandemPlus participants.

Please send questions or inquiries about TandemPlus to tandem@umn.edu.

Monday, June 27, 2016

CLA Language Center Film Library Now on Elevator

Information about the Language Center collection of over 3000 foreign language feature films and documentaries, along with instructional audio/video materials can now be found on Elevator! Developed at the University of Minnesota, Elevator, is a flexible platform for storing, organizing and displaying digital content.

To get started, use the Search Box at the top of the page to find media in the Language Center collection.

Many films have been digitized by the Digital Content Library (DCL) for instructional purposes and are available for online streaming. To find these films, look for search results that have a field named DCL link. Clicking on the media title will send you to a detailed view where you can watch the video online.

Most items may be reserved by University of Minnesota instructors and students. Restrictions may apply.

Monday, June 13, 2016

New Community of Practice: Basic Linguistics for all Language Learners

Do you ever wish your students were more prepared to learn a foreign language? Are there linguistic concepts that would be helpful for all language learners to review? If you are interested in discussing how to help your students better understand how language works so that they can be more successful in our courses, then this new Community of Practice (CoP) is for you! We anticipate meeting regularly beginning in Fall 2016. If you might be interested in being part of this group, let the Language Center staff know! We will be in touch with you before our first meeting next fall.

What is a CoP? It is a group of people who share a passion for something that they know how to do and interact regularly to learn how to do it better. By exchanging stories, problems and solutions, the CoP can bring its collective knowledge to bear on individuals' problems.  As a community, we will explore concepts we believe are most important for beginning language learners and how these concepts could be demonstrated or "unpacked" for students in an engaging way. All languages welcome!

How interested are you? Let us know!

Congratulations Diane Rackowski!

This week, the University of Minnesota will honor Civil Service and Labor Represented employees from all campuses celebrating milestone work anniversaries, between 20 and 50 years. Honorees include Technical Coordinator, Diane Rackowski, who is celebrating 20+ years at the Language Center!

Much has changed since 1995, when Diane – who had already installed the department’s two Sony Language Labs and an extension to the intercom system while working for what was then known as University Media Resources - was hired as a Senior Electronics Technician. The Language Center was located in Folwell Hall, and the department’s technology consisted mostly of monitors and VCRs on carts, VHS camcorders and cassette tape recorders. Today, Diane is responsible for a wide range of technology at the Language Center, from computer classrooms, classroom video recording systems, digital audio recorders, and the Language Center website. One thing has not changed: Diane remains an excellent technology resource and the go-to person for instructors and staff looking to realize their innovative technology ideas.

Diane will be honored on Thursday, June 16, 2016  with a reception at Eastcliff. Please join the Language Center in congratulating Diane and thanking her for all she has accomplished on behalf of language instructors and students. 

TandemPlus Registration for Summer Opens This Week

Welcome back to all those on campus! Summer Session classes are starting and that also means that Tandem registration will be opening our Summer semester session again. Any and all language and culture learners are encouraged and welcome to sign up or re-register starting June 13, 2016. The free, voluntary TandemPlus Program gives language learners the opportunity to improve second language skills while gaining a cultural insight by collaborating with native speakers of the language they are learning. You can register at tandem.umn.edu.

A complete list of summer activities for TandemPlus participants will be available soon.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Welcome Sanaz Jabbari to TandemPlus

TandemPlus is happy to welcome Sanaz Jabbari as the new TandemPlus Assistant. She takes over from outgoing TandemPlus Assistant Salma Bile, who has graduated and will attend nursing school.

Sanaz immigrated from Iran to the United States about eight years ago with the dream of furthering her education. She started at Normandale Community College, then transferred to the University of Minnesota to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology. Her long term goals are to apply to and complete chiropractic school and open her own clinic.

Sanaz says, “I am a big foodie and love many types of foods, namely sushi. I also love the outdoors and nature as well as all types of animals.” We are delighted to have her on our team! You can reach her at tandem@umn.edu.

Registration for the summer TandemPlus program will begin on June 13, 2016.

A Penny for my Thoughts? We Have a Winner of the $10 Bordertown Gift Card!

The PD Peer Team would like to thank all instructors who took the time to complete the survey to provide feedback for PD event for the AY 2016-2017. We will use this information to help us shape our professional development agenda for next year.

The winner of the drawing for a $10 Bordertown Gift Card is Meagan Tripp! 

If you have ideas for PD events and topics, please let us know! Contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello at carri093@umn.edu. We would love to hear from you as we plan ahead for academic year 2016-2017.

PACE Workshop: Disabilities and Inclusive Design

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Beacon room, RecWell Center
Register online (required)

The PACE Project in collaboration with the Committee on Second Language Education (ComSLE), the Disability Resource Center, the College of Liberal Arts office of Undergraduate Education, and the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) are pleased to invite you to a workshop on Disabilities and Inclusive Design. The workshop is intended to provide meaningful strategies for integrating inclusive design into course curriculum that are closely aligned with current teaching practices of language instructors.

This workshop will take place Wednesday, August 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Recreational and Wellness Center, Beacon room. Lunch will be provided for all attendees. Light breakfast items will be available at 8:00 a.m.

We would like to thank all instructors who have taken the time to complete a survey to gather information about their teaching experiences and practices in connection with with working with students with disabilities, core course assignments, and teaching practices. If you have not completed the survey, we welcome your input.

Click here to complete the survey. You will be able to save your entries and return to complete the survey if necessary.

This event is free and open to the university community. Please register in advance, since lunch is provided. If you are unable to register online, please email elsie@umn.edu.

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

Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Professional Development, CLA Language Center
Cynthia Fuller, Associate Director, Disabilities Resource Center and Student Access
Angela Bowlus, Assistant Director of Advising, CLA Undergraduate Education

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

New CARLA Director

We are excited to welcome Kate Paesani as director of the Center for Advanced Research and Language Acquisition and affiliate Associate Professor in the College of Liberal Arts. She will join us in the fall semester with a split appointment between CARLA (75%) and the CLA Language Center (25%). The Language Center component will involve her working directly with CLA language instructors to provide leadership and support to research and curriculum development initiatives.

Kate comes to CARLA and the University of Minnesota from Wayne State University, where she was Associate Professor and Director of Basic French Courses. Her research focuses on literacy-based curriculum and instruction and foreign language teacher development, couched within the frameworks of multiliteracies pedagogy and sociocultural theory. She has published on applications of multiliteracies pedagogy in collegiate foreign language programs, integrated language and literature instruction, foreign language program articulation, teacher conceptual development, and high-leverage teaching practices. She has also served as President of the American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators (AAUSC), and is a 2016 recipient of Wayne State University’s Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award for her co-authored book, A Multiliteracies Framework for Collegiate Foreign Language Teaching.

Kate's first day at the University will be August 29, 2016. We look forward to working with her in the new academic year!

Monday, May 9, 2016

TandemPlus is looking for a Few Good Men and Women

Did you know that in 2015 TandemPlus officially became a student group at the University of Minnesota? This means Tandem has student officers who help guide the group. Since all five members of the current TandemPlus student board are graduating in 2016, Tandem needs more officers to help in the 2016-2017 academic year. If you or someone you know are interested in being a TandemPlus officer, apply here.

Top reasons to be a TandemPlus Student Officer:
  • Be more involved on campus
  • Meet new people from around the world
  • Gain valuable experience for your CV 
  • Help shape the campus’s top language and cultural exchange program
The application form will close on Sunday, May 23, 2016 at midnight. Incomplete or late applications will not be processed. Please be mindful of the deadline and write complete, thoughtful responses.

Language Center Graduate Staff Graduations

The Language Center has been fortunate to work with Beth Dillard, Rachel Sherman Johnson and Fang (Andie) Wang for several years. These three graduate students have held multiple positions and worked on multiple projects. Andie brought expertise in traditional and non-traditional assessment, Rachel, expertise with statistics and learning abroad, and Beth, expertise with professional development and project management. They all brought a collaborative spirit, and a willingness take on new challenges. Whenever a need arose, they were always among the first we would contact, just hoping they might be available for a new project. Fortunately, they often said yes!

Please offer your congratulations to the following graduates!

Beth Dillard, PACE Communications Coordinator, will defend her dissertation this summer. She looked at instructor learning in inquiry groups, with a special focus on how “lesson study” might be modified for the needs of language instructors in higher education. In Fall 2016 she heads out to the West Coast as Assistant Professor of Second Language Acquisition in the College of Education at Western Washington University. As a language teacher educator, she will be working with graduate and undergraduate K-12 education students, preparing them to work with linguistically and culturally diverse students.

Rachel Sherman Johnson, former Assistant Coordinator and current PACE Project Researcher, is graduating this spring with a PhD in Comparative and International Development Education. She defended her dissertation, "Creative Minds Abroad: How Design Students Make Meaning of Their International Education Experiences" on April 27. She plans to pursue a career in higher education administration.

Fang (Andie) Wang, former Intercultural Competence Specialist and LPE Developer, will defend her dissertation on Chinese international graduate students' cross-cultural experiences of learning to teach using the theoretical framework of teacher identity in summer for the PhD program in Second Languages Education in the Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction. Afterwards, she will start her assistant professor (non-tenure track) position in the Department of East Asian Studies at Colby College, Maine. She will be teaching Chinese language courses and foreign language education courses in the department.

A Penny for my Thoughts? We’ll Give you Ten Bucks!

The PD Peer Team would like to thank you for being part of our community, and for engaging in PD events this year. As you wrap up your semester, we would like to hear about your PD needs and interests. Help us shape our professional development agenda for next year, tell us about your experiences and challenges -- what would you like to implement in your classroom? -- and earn a buck doing it.

Complete this survey by Friday, May 20, 2016 and you will be entered in a drawing for a $10 Bordertown Gift Card!

The survey should take no more than five minutes to complete and is compatible with mobile devices. Ready to try your luck? Click here to complete the survey.

We greatly appreciate your feedback as we plan ahead for the AY 2016-2017.

New Community of Practice: Basic Linguistics for all Language Learners

Do you ever wish your students were more prepared to learn a foreign language? Are there linguistic concepts that would be helpful for all language learners to review? If you are interested in discussing how to help your students better understand how language works so that they can be more successful in our courses, then this new Community of Practice (CoP) is for you! We anticipate meeting regularly beginning in Fall 2016. If you might be interested in being part of this group, let the Language Center staff know! We will be in touch with you before our first meeting next fall.

What is a CoP? It is a group of people who share a passion for something that they know how to do and interact regularly to learn how to do it better. By exchanging stories, problems and solutions, the CoP can bring its collective knowledge to bear on individuals' problems. As a community, we will explore concepts we believe are most important for beginning language learners and how these concepts could be demonstrated or "unpacked" for students in an engaging way. All languages welcome!

How interested are you? Let us know!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Congratulations 2016 SELP Honorees!

Did you know that the Language Center employs approximately twice as many undergraduate student staff as continuing non-student staff? Our undergraduate student staff provide primary assistance to students and instructors in public areas like the Main Office and Multimedia Lab, and provide Classroom Support for our four classrooms. In addition, undergraduate students play a vital role on the following teams: Dev Studio, TandemPlus, Technical Support, Testing and Instructional and more. The Language Center could not run without our dedicated and skilled undergraduate team members.

The Student Employee Leadership Program (SELP) provides an opportunity to recognize student employees who go above and beyond expectations in their work at the university through the annual SELPie awards for Outstanding Student Employees and graduates of the SELP program. Award winners will be honored May 2, 2016 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in McNamara Alumni Center.

The 2016 winners from the Language Center are:
  • Salma Bile: Outstanding Student Employee Award
  • Keerthana Shankar: Outstanding Student Employee Award
  • Anna Sisombat: Outstanding Student Employee Award
  • Hunter Slack: Outstanding Student Employee Award
Congratulations to all!

Language Center Undergraduate Staff Graduations

After this spring semester, five long-term Language Center undergraduate employees will complete their undergraduate programs. All of them held unique positions in our department and made valuable contributions to language education at the University of Minnesota. Please join us in congratulating the following graduates, and wishing them the best in their future endeavors!

Dimitra Andreadaki, Main Office Assistant, is graduating with a BA in Biology, Society, and the Environment with a minor in Public Health. She is currently working as a nursing assistant and will be starting a year of service with the Minnesota College Health Corps working to increase healthcare access to low-income students in the Alternative Learning Center in Rochester. Afterwards she will apply to graduate school in physician assistant studies.

Salma Bile, TandemPlus Assistant and previous Multimedia Lab Lead Student, is graduating with a degree in Biology. After graduation she will pursue a master’s degree in Nursing at the University of DePaul. After graduate school, she hopes to work abroad as a nurse to help spread health literacy and work as an advocate for the rights of children and women around the world.

Keerthana Shankar, Classroom Support Assistant, is graduating with a degree in Asian Languages and Literature with a focus in Korean. Her plan for after graduation is to find employment at Sejong Academy or a Pet Hotel and then apply for Teach For America next year. Her other goal is to create comics that has plots related to social justice and make an impact in people's lives.

Hunter Slack, Main Office and Moodle Course Assistant, will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business, majoring in Marketing and minoring in Design. While the short term has yet to be decided, his long term career goals are to be working in brand management for exciting consumer brands.

​Shoua Thao, Main Office Assistant, will graduate with a Bachelors of Individualized Studies Degree in Mass Communication, Political Science, and Interdisciplinary Design Minor. She is currently finding more opportunities to advance in her marketing and design skills with more internship experience, or FT job in any business marketing department. After a few years of working, she plans to attend graduate school once she narrows down her interests. Her long-term goal is to achieve a position in a PR or advertising agency, working specifically in the creative services department, and possibly become a creative director one day. As for now, she needs a break from school.

Workshop on Disabilities and Inclusive Design - We Need your Input!

On March 25, 2016, the PACE Project and CARLA hosted a workshop on Language Learning and Disabilities presented by Dr. Kristi Liu and Dr. Martha Thurlow from the National Center on Educational Outcomes. The workshop explored answers to questions on the distinction between disabilities and teaching-learning challenges, as well as on the identification of institutional and community resources available on campus. Drawing upon specific second language learners’ profiles, the presenters illustrated ways to overcome instructional challenges such as dealing with test anxiety, cultural expectations, and undiagnosed learning disabilities.

The workshop generated many excellent talking points and ideas for working with students needing different types of accommodations. From these conversations came an expressed interest to further explore strategies for working with students with disabilities and learning about the applicability of inclusive design principles and strategies to provide equal access to all learners.

Furthermore, the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and the College of Liberal Arts are receiving an increased number of petitions from students with documented disabilities for modification to the second language requirement. This is in line with the expanded definition of disability provided by the ADA Amendments Act, as well as the nationally acknowledged growing number of students disclosing mental health conditions.

A future workshop is being designed through collaboration between the Committee on Second Language Education (ComSLE), The Disability Resources Center, and the College of Liberal Arts office of Undergraduate Education. The workshop is intended to more closely align with current teaching practices, and provide meaningful strategies for integrating inclusive design into course curriculum.

As such, we are seeking your input in a survey that will help us gather some ideas on your experiences working with students with disabilities and methods of instruction typically used. We appreciate your help in providing such useful information for the development of this workshop. Survey responses are appreciated by Friday, May 6, 2016.

Click here to complete the survey. You will be able to save your entries and return to complete the survey if necessary.