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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 “adiĆ³s,” 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

Fall Semester Welcome Week and First-Week Events

All language instructors and staff are invited to the following Language Center sponsored and cosponsored professional development events. Registration is required for the first event, but the others are informal walk-in events.

  • August 31, 2016: PACE Workshop: Disabilities and Inclusive Design 8:30-1:00 p.m. in the Beacon room, RecWell Center. The first PACE event of the 2016-2017 academic year. The event is almost full. Please register today! 
  • September 1, 2016: Welcome Open House for Kate Paesani 3:00-4:30 p.m. in University Int’l Center 101. Join us for cake, lemonade and coffee to welcome the new CARLA Director. 
  • September 2, 2016: LATIS and Language Center Drop-in TechHub 10:30-3:00 p.m. in Jones 35. Come for last-minute Moodle or other academic tech help before the start of the Fall semester. 
  • September 9, 2016: BOSSA Open House 9:30-3:30 p.m. in Jones 35. Get a behind-the-scenes perspective on the BOSSA protocol, and a sneak peek of a new, one-touch BOSSA delivery system!

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.