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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.

Accessible U Website: Resources for Instructors

As a follow up to the PACE workshop Disabilities and Inclusive Design in August, be sure to check out the new Accessible U website accessibility.umn.edu. You'll find a whole menu of information created specifically for instructors, including resources on accessible syllabi and course website setup. Though we're a few weeks into the semester, it's not too late to learn how you can create more accessible digital materials for your courses.

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.

Teaching Support Workshops: First Workshop

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
10:30-11:30 a.m
Walter Library 101

TeachingSupport@UMN is offering a series of workshops for faculty and instructors throughout the year focused on how the research on learning can inform teaching. In this first workshop, Maximizing student learning while minimizing cognitive load, attendees will learn about some known cognitive limitations and discuss concrete strategies for enhancing class sessions and course materials without overloading students' cognitive abilities.

Monday, September 19, 2016

New Service: TeachingSupport@UMN

Faculty and instructional staff looking for help with their teaching have a new resource available called TeachingSupport@UMN that provides teaching, learning, and technology support from across campus in one location. A request made at TeachingSupport@UMN will result in coordinated support from the Center for Educational Innovation, University Libraries, the Disability Resource Center, and Academic Technology - OIT, along with other University support units. You can learn more at teachingsupport.umn.edu.

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