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Monday, February 29, 2016

Summary of Language Center March 2016 Events

Minnesota eLearning Summit: 10 Steps Closer to an Accessible Course

Thursday, March 3, 2016
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Join Online

Minnesota Learning Commons is re-airing its most popular webinars from the 2015 eLearning Summit. The March 3, 2016 topic is 10 Steps Closer to an Accessible Course. Catherine Artac of the College of Continuing Education will present, and you can join this free webinar online.

Save the date for these upcoming “Best of the eLearning Summit” webinars:
  • April 7, 2016, 1:00 p.m. The Presence Trifecta: Cognitive, Social and Teaching Presence in the Online Classroom
  • June 2, 2016, 1:00 p.m. Keeping Yourself Organized when Designing Courses

PACE Swap Shop: Authentic Listening Activities into Practice - Where, What, Why, and How

Thursday, March 3, 2016
10:10-11:00 a.m.
Bruininks Hall 512A.
Online Information

Maybe you’ve heard that “authentic texts” are a hot topic in language teaching and learning, but are wondering: What constitutes an authentic text? Why should I use authentic listening texts, especially if my textbook comes with recordings? Perhaps you are considering using authentic listening activities in your classroom, but wonder: Where do I begin searching for authentic texts? How much time will this search take? How can I tell what will make a good listening text? What if my students can’t understand everything in the text? And, what about using videos? If you’re confident about finding texts: How do you create level-appropriate activities for a given text? Can texts be reused at multiple levels.

While we don’t claim to have all the answers, we’re excited to share the processes and experiences we have in answering these questions for our own classrooms with you and to facilitate conversations on this topic among language instructors. We will focus both on finding appropriate and engaging recordings as well as on things to keep in mind as you tailor these activities to meet your course and students’ needs. Bring your experiences, intuitions, and questions about this topic (and your laptop) to our interactive swap shop!

Presenters: Stephanie Hernandez and Ana Anderson, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies
This event is open to the university community. Coffee will be served.

The PACE PD Peer Team is planning two additional swap shops for the Spring semester. Please bring your questions and ideas and be ready to share them. If you would like to present and share your experiences and projects, please contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello at carri093@umn.edu

Upcoming Swap shops:
  • April 5, 2016, 12:00 p.m. BOSSA in the Language Classroom, Nolte Hall, room 140. Join us to learn about successful stories and challenges from four experienced BOSSA users. Pizza will be served.
  • April 21, 2016, 2:30 p.m. Vocabulary Acquisition (note date change)

PACE Workshop: Incorporating Authentic Texts into the Language Classrooms

On February 19, 2016 the PACE Project hosted the Incorporating Authentic Texts into the Language Classrooms workshop. The workshop, led by Dr. Mahmoud Abdalla of the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), focused on the integration of authentic materials from different media such as printed texts, social media, and multimedia. Dr. Abdalla holds a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh. He has lectured at academic institutions in Egypt, Europe and the United States on the subjects of Arabic, linguistics, Arab culture, and the use of media in the classroom.

Approximately 30 language instructors and staff attended the event, representing Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Italian, French, German, Korean, and the Language Center. After discussing the challenges for identifying authentic materials for Arabic, Dr. Abdalla challenged the audience to identify dialectical and register variations of sample videos. Speakers of Arabic were disbursed amongst the non-Arabic speakers to assist in the viewing of authentic video materials. Attendees were tasked to determine dialectical variations and registers, paying particular attention to visual cues in the array.

Are you interested in continuing the discussion about authentic materials? Whether or not you were able to attend the workshop, please join us at this Thursday’s PACE Swap Shop.

PACE Project & CARLA Workshop: Language Learning and Disabilities

Friday, March 25, 2016
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Bruininks Hall, 131A
Register Online (required)

How do we distinguish a learning disability from other challenges in second language learning? What role does culture play in this distinction? How might an instructor’s individual teaching style support or hinder students with learning disabilities? How can language instructors best help students with disabilities?

In this interactive workshop, Dr. Kristi Liu and Dr. Martha Thurlow from the National Center on Educational Outcomes on our campus will guide us to explore answers to these questions and identify institutional and community resources. Drawing upon specific second language learners’ profiles, they will illustrate ways to overcome instructional challenges such as dealing with test anxiety, cultural expectations, and undiagnosed learning disabilities.

Please join us to ask questions, learn more, and share your experiences. When you register for this free event, you will have the opportunity to submit a question or concern you would like to have addressed at the workshop.

Presenters: Dr. Kristi Liu and Dr. Martha Thurlow, National Center on Educational Outcomes, University of Minnesota

Collaborator: Dr. Cynthia Fuller, Associate Director of Student Access, Disability Resource Center, University of Minnesota

This event is cosponsored by CARLA. It is open to the university community. Middle Eastern desserts and beverages will be served.


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

Monday, February 22, 2016

PACE Swap Shop: Authentic Listening Activities into Practice - Where, What, Why, and How

Thursday, March 3, 2016
10:10-11:00 a.m.
Bruininks Hall 512-A.
Online Information (registration not required)

Maybe you’ve heard that “authentic texts” are a hot topic in language teaching and learning, but are wondering: What constitutes an authentic text? Why should I use authentic listening texts, especially if my textbook comes with recordings? Perhaps you are considering using authentic listening activities in your classroom, but wonder: Where do I begin searching for authentic texts? How much time will this search take? How can I tell what will make a good listening text? What if my students can’t understand everything in the text? And, what about using videos? If you’re confident about finding texts: How do you create level-appropriate activities for a given text? Can texts be reused at multiple levels?

While we don’t claim to have all the answers, we’re excited to share the processes and experiences we have in answering these questions for our own classrooms with you and to facilitate conversations on this topic among language instructors. We will focus both on finding appropriate and engaging recordings as well as on things to keep in mind as you tailor these activities to meet your course and students’ needs. Bring your experiences, intuitions, and questions about this topic (and your laptop) to our interactive swap shop!

Presenters: Stephanie Hernandez & Ana Anderson, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies

This event is open to the university community. Coffee will be served.

The PACE PD Peer Team is planning two additional swap shops for the Spring semester. Please bring your questions and ideas and be ready to share them. If you would like to present and share your experiences and projects, please contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello at carri093@umn.edu

Upcoming Swap Shops:
  • April 5, 2016, 12:20 p.m. BOSSA in the Language Classroom
  • April 27, 2016, 2:30 p.m. Vocabulary Acquisition

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

CLA Outstanding Service Awards

Thursday, February 25, 2016
2:30-4:30 p.m. (Program begins at 3:00 p.m.)
Memorial Hall, McNamara Alumni Center
RSVP online

Congratulations to Catherine (Kate) Clements, CLA Language Center Language Exchange and Learning Spaces Specialist, who has been selected for a CLA Outstanding Service award for her work in 2014-2015.

Kate coordinates the vibrant TandemPlus program. She is responsible for all aspects of the program from recruiting internal participants and finding partners abroad, to counseling students about their individual partnerships, event planning, and collaborating with partnering schools. She also manages Jones 135, the walk-in multimedia lab that serves more than 3000 undergraduate language students who need access to language-learning technology.

In 2014-2015 Kate spearheaded the transformation of TandemPlus into a student group, which has given students more ownership in the program and provides leadership opportunities for the diverse student board. Through her efforts the program has grown to reach more than 1,000 students learning more than 20 languages per year. Under Kate’s leadership the number of international class-to-class telecollaborations grew to include partnerships with universities in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Venezuela and Mexico, and a telecollaboration with a university in Cuba is in the works for Fall 2016.

Please join in congratulating Kate and the other Outstanding Service Award recipients, which includes two representatives from German, Scandinavian & Dutch: Cathy Parlin and Virginia (Ginny) Steinhagen, as well as Anna Brailovski from Research and Graduate Programs. While Anna does not work with language programs directly, she is a valued partner for the Language Center and language departments engaging in research or developing grant proposals.

Upcoming CARLA Presentations with a Language Center Connection

Language Instructors Learning Together: Using Lesson Study in Higher Education
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
12:20-1:10 p.m.
University International Center 101

Research on professional development overwhelmingly suggests that instructor learning is maximized through sustained involvement in active learning. This type of participation allows instructors not only needed time to absorb and conceptually integrate new ideas, but more importantly, to practice that new knowledge in the contexts relevant to their work (Garet, Porter, Andrew & Desimone, 2001; Guskey, 2000; Opfer & Pedder, 2011). It can be challenging to design these types of meaningful environments for language instructors in higher education, particularly in the less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) where individuals may be sole representatives of their language.

In response to this challenge, the author brought together a small inquiry group composed of college instructors of Arabic, Japanese, and Korean (for a total of five individuals). Drawing ideas 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. 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 paper uses an activity theory framework to address the following question: How can elements of an instructor inquiry group such as interaction patterns, transcripts of previous group meetings, and videos of classroom interactions serve to mediate language teacher conceptual development?

Analysis of interview and inquiry group meeting data suggests the efficacy of using transcripts from prior meetings as “mirrors” or “second stimuli” (Engeström & Sannino, 2010) to mediate further insight into one’s teaching practice. Further, and importantly for professional development work with instructors of LCTLs, data suggest that the multi-language nature of the group itself was a mediating factor towards language teacher conceptual development.

Presenter: Beth Dillard is a Ph.D. candidate in the Second Language Education program in the College of Education and Human Development. Her research interests include teacher learning through teacher-led inquiry, the academic language development of language learners, and content-language integration in language classrooms. Beth was selected as a CARLA Fellow for 2014-2015. She also serves as the graduate PACE: Communications Coordinator for the PACE Project at the Language Center.

Development of Academic Writing Skills in the Spanish Major
Monday, March 7, 2016
12:20-1:10 p.m.
University International Center 101

In this presentation, we will explore the writing development of undergraduates in the Spanish major. The presentation will begin with a comparison of student writing with self-reported faculty expectations, highlighting incongruities between the two and the potential impact of under-defined criteria in assignment descriptions and rubrics. From there, we will explore the linguistic forms and expressions students use to fulfill one of these criteria - adoption of a critical and analytical stance – via a function-form analysis.

Presenters: Ana Maria Anderson is a Ph.D. student in Hispanic Linguistics in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies. While she has done work in a variety of areas of linguistics, including studies of Metaphor and of Second/Third Language Acquisition of Spanish and Portuguese, her main focus is on Language Contact between Galician and Spanish in Galicia.

Mandy Menke is an Assistant Professor of Hispanic Linguistics and Director of Language Programs in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies. She regularly researches topics related to both second language acquisition and foreign language pedagogy, at both the university and K-12 levels.


Cosponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies and the CLA Language Center PACE Project.

Language Center Undergraduate Office Position Available

Students: If you love languages and are registered for Spring 2016, consider working in the Language Center Main Office. We currently have one opening for a student with work study funding and daytime availability. Please visit the university’s employment site and search for Job ID 307773 to learn more and apply online.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Webinar: Moving from Testing to Assessment

Monday, February 15, 2016
2:00 p.m. (CTS)
Register online (required)

Part of the McGraw-Hill Education World Languages Professional Development Series
Do your assessments reflect your language class's proficiency goals? In this webinar, we will discuss formative vs. summative assessment and the role of each in a language course. We will also look at the differences between traditional testing and the Integrated Performance Assessment as well as ways to use tools like LearnSmart and Insight to take formative assessment to the next level.

Presented by Jon Fulk, Senior Teaching Specialist and Coordinator of First-Year French University of Minnesota.

PACE Swap Shops for Spring 2016

The PACE PD Peer Team is planning three swap shops for the Spring semester. Please bring your questions and ideas and be ready to share them.

If you would like to present and share your experiences and projects, please contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello at carri093@umn.edu.
  • March 3, 2016, 10:10 a.m. Bruininks Hall 512-A.
    Employing Authentic Texts for listening activities in the language classroom. Presenters: Stephanie Hernandez and Ana Anderson, Spanish and Portuguese Studies
  • April 5, 2016, 12:20 p.m.
    BOSSA in the language classroom
  • April 27, 2016, 2:30 p.m.
    Vocabulary acquisition 
The PACE Project is funded by a grant from The Language Flagship.

2016 CARLA Summer Institute Funding Opportunities

Registration is now open for the 2016 CARLA Summer Institutes!

The one-week institutes run July 11-29, 2016 and cover a variety of topics including second language acquisition basics for teachers, classroom assessment development, content-based instruction, and implementing technology in the second language classroom. In addition, an online five-week session on Using the Web for Communicative Language Learning runs from July 11 to August 14, 2016.

For instructors of French and Spanish
The PACE Project will provide funding for up to ten instructors of French and Spanish at the University of Minnesota to attend one of the 2016 CARLA summer institutes. Funding will be awarded to the first ten instructors who apply online before April 1, 2016. Each French or Spanish instructor may apply for funding to only one institute. Please note that some institutes fill up quickly. Please indicate your interest as soon as possible.

Questions about this special funding can be directed to Stephanie Treat at treat002@umn.edu.

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

For LCTL instructors
CARLA offers instructors of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) at the University of Minnesota a special scholarship to attend one of the 2016 CARLA summer institutes. Instructors are required to pay a non-refundable $25 commitment fee, but the balance of the institute cost will be paid by CARLA –a value up to $325! A limited number of scholarships will be awarded to current University of Minnesota LCTL instructors on a first-come, first-served basis until April 1, 2016. Each instructor may apply for funding to only one institute. Please note that some institutes fill up quickly. You can indicate your interest through this form.

Questions about this special funding can be directed to Karin Larson at larso205@umn.edu.

Monday, February 8, 2016

VideoBlocks for Education

Following a successful two-month trial of VideoBlocks for Education, the University signed a multi-year agreement to provide this full suite of audio, video and graphic content as a standard service offering for students, faculty and staff.

To see an example of VideoBlocks in action, view the Globalization and Trade in London trailer created by LATIS Video Services.

CARLA Fellow Presentation: Language Instructors Learning Together: Using Lesson Study in Higher Education

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
12:20 - 1:10 p.m.
University International Center 101

Research on professional development overwhelmingly suggests that instructor learning is maximized through sustained involvement in active learning. This type of participation allows instructors not only needed time to absorb and conceptually integrate new ideas, but more importantly, to practice that new knowledge in the contexts relevant to their work (Garet, Porter, Andrew & Desimone, 2001; Guskey, 2000; Opfer & Pedder, 2011). It can be challenging to design these types of meaningful environments for language instructors in higher education, particularly in the less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) where individuals may be sole representatives of their language.

In response to this challenge, the author brought together a small inquiry group composed of college instructors of Arabic, Japanese, and Korean (for a total of five individuals). Drawing ideas 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. 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 paper uses an activity theory framework to address the following question: How can elements of an instructor inquiry group such as interaction patterns, transcripts of previous group meetings, and videos of classroom interactions serve to mediate language teacher conceptual development?

Analysis of interview and inquiry group meeting data suggests the efficacy of using transcripts from prior meetings as “mirrors” or “second stimuli” (Engeström & Sannino, 2010) to mediate further insight into one’s teaching practice. Further, and importantly for professional development work with instructors of LCTLs, data suggest that the multi-language nature of the group itself was a mediating factor towards language teacher conceptual development.

Presenter: Beth Dillard is a Ph.D. candidate in the Second Language Education program in the College of Education and Human Development. Her research interests include teacher learning through teacher-led inquiry, the academic language development of language learners, and content-language integration in language classrooms. Beth was selected as a CARLA Fellow for 2014-2015. She also serves as the graduate PACE: Communications Coordinator for the PACE Project at the Language Center.

February COIL Coffee Hour: The Intersection of the Digital Humanities and COIL

Friday, February 12, 2016
9:00-10:00 a.m.
Bruininks 412 or by WebEx
Register Online (this event and future COIL events)


Professor Dan Nolan, UM-Duluth, will present the next COIL coffee hour on February 12, 2016. Dan will discuss three areas: the intersection of the Digital Humanities and COIL, his recent COIL work with the Peer-to-Peer Dialogue project that connects UMD and colleagues in Russia, and his current work as the COIL Fellow for the UMD campus.

What is COIL?
Collaborative Online International Learning, is an innovative way to engage in dialogue about global challenges. Typically, faculty from two different universities, and from two different countries, co-create a technology-enhanced learning environment where their students interact with and learn from each other. Students benefit from an internationalized course and an intercultural experience. Faculty establish meaningful partnerships with academics across the globe.

The COIL Initiative at the University of Minnesota is supported by the Center for Educational Innovation and the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance, and in partnership with UMTC College of Education and Human Development and the College of Liberal Arts. This event is one in a series of coffee hours in the 2015-16 school year to assess interest in COIL and to support faculty interest in COILing courses. The COIL initiative is open to all teaching faculty and staff across the University of Minnesota system.

PACE Project: ACTFL OPI Assessment Training, May 2016

The PACE Project in collaboration with the PACE PD Peer Team is sponsoring a four-day ACTFL OPI Assessment Training workshop for up to ten language instructors May 16-19, 2016. The workshop will take place in Jones 35 and will be conducted by an expert ACTFL OPI Tester trainer.

This four-day workshop introduces the ACTFL rating scale, the structure of the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), and techniques of administering and rating the OPI. Participants observe and conduct live practice interviews across all proficiency levels (Novice through Superior). Participants will critique and discuss interview elicitation, structure, and rating. Participation in this workshop can be the first step towards certification as an ACTFL OPI Tester for those who choose to do so. We hope that participation in this workshop will lead to a greater focus on proficiency and to greater opportunities for student success in developing their proficiency.

The workshop is funded by the PACE Project, which covers the cost of the training plus breakfast and lunch.

If you would like to apply for this opportunity, please register your interest by March 2, 2016. Priority will be given to the PACE languages funded by the grant.

New this year! Participants seeking to become ACTFL Certified Testers will be reimbursed for the ACTFL certification application fee upon obtaining certification.

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

PACE Project: Incorporating Authentic Texts into the Language Classroom

Friday, February 19, 2016
2:00-3:30 p.m
Nicholson 35
Online Information (registration not required)

The issue of authenticity has received much attention in recent years. In the case of foreign language learning and teaching, different types of naturalistic methods have focused on authenticity of acquisition processes and in the area of use. A content-based curriculum typically adheres to three principles: subject-matter core, authentic language and texts, and appropriateness to learner needs. The “core materials” such as texts, videos, realia, recordings, and visual aids, “should be selected primarily (but not exclusively) from those produced for native speakers of the language. The learning activities should be both expository and experiential in nature and focus on conveying real message and accomplishing specific tasks”(Leaver and Stryker, 1989, 271). This lecture will focus on the process of incorporating authentic materials into the language classroom and provide effective teaching strategies to maximize students’ learning.

Dr. Abdalla is an Associate Professor at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He has taught courses and lectured extensively in the areas of linguistics, Arabic media, and Arabic language in several universities in Egypt, Europe, and the USA.

This workshop is scheduled from 2:00-3:30 p.m. and is open to the university community. Coffee, dessert and fruit will be served.

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

Monday, February 1, 2016

Summary of Language Center February, 2016 Events

  • February 2, 2016: TandemPlus Kick-Off and Orientation 4:45-7:00 p.m. in Nolte 140
  • February 19, 2016: PACE Project Workshop: Incorporating Authentic Texts into the Language Classroom 2:00-3:30 p.m. in Nicholson 35

Transforming the Teaching & Learning Environment Virtual Conference

Presented by Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education, the Transforming the Teaching & Learning Environment Virtual Conference is scheduled from February 15-26, 2016. The conference is now in its seventh year and includes over 60 hour-long sessions.

The University of Minnesota has purchased an institutional license to view the conference. The schedule for all the sessions can be found on the 2016 sessions by Date page on the website. Please note that the times are listed in Eastern time.

PACE Intercultural Competence Conference & Virtual Presentations

The PACE Project and CARLA hosted two days of live streams between January 22 - 23, 2016 of the Intercultural Competence Conference, presented by CERCLL (a Language Resource Center similar to CARLA), at the University of Arizona. Open to all CLA language instructors, the livestream provided the keynote, plenary, and various breakout sessions of the conference.


Day one of the event started off with breakout sessions that led into the Keynote session, Intercultural Competence Beyond Orthodoxies, given by Fred Dervin of the University of Helsinki. Day two kicked off with the Plenary Presentation by Paige Ware of Southern Methodist University, titled: Intercultural Competence Inside Digital Contact Zones: Spaces of Reification, Negotiation, and Suspense, followed by breakout sessions.

The Language Center and CARLA had previously planned to air the virtual sessions associated with the conference weekly between February and April in Jones 117. However, CERCLL has graciously put all these virtual sessions online and made them accessible to everyone. The conference website now has all virtual session content available, and so the scheduled airings in Jones 117 are canceled.

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

LC / LATIS Open Technology Exploration Day

The Language Center and LATIS joined together to host an all-day open-door event of technology exploration on January 27, 2016. Instructors were invited to drop in to explore solutions to technology questions in support of the teaching and learning of language.

Nearly 40 instructors and staff explored a variety of topics, including Flipgrid, Voicethread, Moodle, DiLL, Google Docs, Flipping the Classroom, and more.

The Language Center and LATIS would like to hear from you! Is this type of event helpful? How else can we provide technology consultation, training and support? Whether or not you attended the January 27 event, please take this short survey to help us plan future technology and professional development opportunities!

Minnesota eLearning Summit: Five Ways to Use YouTube for Teaching and Learning

Minnesota Learning Commons is re-airing its most popular webinars from the 2015 eLearning Summit. The Thursday February 4, 2016 topic is Five Ways to Use YouTube for Teaching and Learning. Greg Steinke and Jill Zimmerman of the U of M's College of Continuing Education will present, and you can join this free webinar from 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Save the date for these upcoming “Best of the eLearning Summit” webinars:
  • March 3, 1:00 p.m. - 10 Steps Closer to an Accessible Course
  • April 7, 1:00 p.m. - The Presence Trifecta: Cognitive, Social and Teaching Presence in the Online Classroom
  • June 2, 1:00 p.m. - Keeping Yourself Organized when Designing Courses