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Monday, November 21, 2016

Language Center to Close Early Wednesday

On Wednesday, November 23, 2016, the Main Office will close at 5:15 p.m. and the Multimedia Lab will close at 5:00 p.m. so that student staff can travel home for the holiday. The computer classrooms will be open for previously scheduled classes.

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

Teaching Support Presentation: Canvas Faculty Experience Session

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
10:10 - 11:00 a.m.
Nolte Center 140 or connect via live video stream

Stephanie Hernandez and Elizabeth Lake both decided to use Canvas for their courses, but took different approaches to make the transition. Stephanie will talk about building her courses from scratch on Canvas while Elizabeth will speak about transferring her Moodle course. Their comparison of approaches and overall experiences will be interesting and informative.

The Canvas Pilot Project has been ongoing at the University of Minnesota since 2015. To date, more than 150 faculty members and instructional staff have participated or currently are in the pilot. A decision on the future use of Canvas will be made in the spring of 2017. Learn more about about the Canvas Pilot Project.

“Canvas Experiences” is an ongoing series of presentations scheduled throughout the year.

Presenters: Stephanie Hernandez & Elizabeth Lake, Spanish instructors in the department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies

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.

Teaching Support: (Re)Designing Your Course for Flipped and Online Learning

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
11:30 a.m - 12:30 p.m.
University Recreation & Wellness Center Multiple Purpose Room 7
Online Information and Registration

If you are thinking about moving your face-to-face course to a partially or fully online environment, you may wonder what such a move entails. Though your learning goals may not change, other things will. On this panel, faculty who have made the transition share their insights and strategies. How did they:
  • engage students in course content?
  • modify activities and assessments for the online environment?
  • manage the process?
See examples of how faculty were able to modify their own instructional methods and use technology tools to achieve their instructional goals.

Presenters: Patricia Schaber, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Rand Park, JD, Senior Lecturer, Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship and Annika Moe, PhD, Education Program Specialist II

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.