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Monday, November 20, 2017

Looking for Skis?

Last winter a multimedia lab patron left some recently purchased, used skis in the room. It has been nearly a year, and no one has come to claim them. The Language Center staff have no idea who lost their skis. They are now free to whoever is willing to take them home, first come, first served. Please come to Jones 110 to inquire about the skis.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Courseshare for Spring 2018: New Culture Course Offerings

All LANG Courseshare courses planned for Spring 2018 are now open for registration. There are two upper-division culture courses open to all students.

LANG 3601 Sámi Culture, Yesterday and Today

The northern tracts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula seem for many a singularly remote locale—Europe's area of sparsest population, an Arctic region where snow can remain on the ground for nine months out of the year and where the annual daylight regimen swings from a summer of perpetual light to a long, dark winter during which the sun never rises above the horizon. Yet to its indigenous inhabitants—the Sámi (Lapps)—this land is rich and bountiful, an age-old ally that deserves to be reverenced and safeguarded. Here Sámi people have lived from time immemorial, sustaining themselves on various combinations of hunting, fishing, reindeer husbandry, farming, and trade. In this course, we explore the culture of the Sámi people, both on Sámi terms—through examination of Sámi language, oral tradition, material culture, religion, literature, film, digital media, and other cultural products—and on terms imposed from the outside. We will examine how neighboring peoples defined and disenfranchised Sámi over time, depicting them as magicians, primitives, racial inferiors, and trouble-makers in a manner that allowed authorities to discredit and disregard Sámi views. We will look at the legacy of this process of colonization as it continues today and how Sámi have worked to preserve their culture and bring it into the future. We will compare the Sámi situation to that of indigenous peoples elsewhere in the world, particularly those of North America. We will look at the international "Fourth World" or indigenous peoples' movement that has resulted in legislation like the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ongoing battles throughout the world to secure self-determination, cultural preservation, and resource rights for some of the world's smallest and most endangered populations. Through it all we will see a culture of remarkable vitality and resilience, one that offers deep wisdom and pragmatic insights for a world contemplating the notion of sustainability.

This course is taught in English and there are no prerequisites. It is taught by Dr. Thomas DuBois at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

LANG 3651 Islamic Seminar on Rumi, Sufi Poet

Rumi is today the most well-known Sufi across the world. His legacy suggests that this is not undeserved, for he not only composed thousands of verses of poetry that have become revered internationally, but his disciples formed, on the basis of his teachings, a Sufi order that became highly influential for many centuries in three different continents. Moreover, he has come to be considered in much of the world as one of the greatest ever mystics to have lived.

This seminar will focus on Rumi and his writings, in order to acquire an in-depth understanding of Sufi spirituality and literature. The method will be to contextualize Rumi historically and then analyze his poetry and discourses, with an emphasis on his didactic poetry. At every stage, the analysis of texts in translation will be emphasized, both as a means to acquire a more in-depth and nuanced understanding, and also to develop skills in textual analysis that are indispensable for advanced undergraduate and graduate study. Original sources can be provided for anyone who reads Persian.

This course is taught in English and there are no prerequisites. It is taught by Dr Jawid Mojaddedi from Rutgers University through the Digital Islamic Studies Curriculum (DISC) program.

The other eight LANG Courseshare courses are language sequence continuation courses:

  • LANG 2012 Accelerated Catalan II
  • LANG 1162 Beginning Hungarian II
  • LANG 1062 Beginning Persian II
  • LANG 2062 Intermediate Persian II
  • LANG 1072 Beginning Polish II (partially online)
  • LANG 1102 Beginning Modern Tibetan II
  • LANG 1122 Beginning Vietnamese II (fully online)
  • LANG 2122 Intermediate Vietnamese II (fully online)

Students and advisors who do not see the language or level they are looking for should email Stephanie Treat at elsie@umn.edu as soon as possible to convey their interest.

Monday, November 6, 2017

TandemPlus for Chinese Immersion Gap students and Native Speakers

The Language Center TandemPlus program and the department of Asian Languages and Literatures recently started a new initiative: coordinating and conducting conversation sessions for Chinese immersion gap students and native speakers of Chinese.

A couple years ago, Chinese immersion schools in Minnesota began to have graduates after eight years of bilingual training. Those students were fluent in Chinese and went on to regular high schools. Once entering high school however, most of them found no Chinese course that would suit them, because their Chinese language proficiency was so much higher than other students. Consequently, they became so-called “gap” students, meaning they have a gap of four years between graduating from immersion school and entering college. During these years, they often lack opportunities to communicate in Chinese. Students and their parents expressed concern that their Chinese language proficiency would slide down instead of going up if they had no opportunity to use the language.

On the other hand, on the University of Minnesota campus, there are more native speakers of Chinese who need help with their English than there are American students learning Chinese who would like to have a Chinese language partner. Consequently, TandemPlus has long been troubled by their inability to find language partners for international students from China.

Naturally, an idea came up: how about matching the Chinese immersion gap students with native speakers of Chinese at the university? We can kill two birds with one stone! Why not?

The two departments assessed the feasibility, discussed details, and assigned people to work on this project. At the meeting, it was also decided that the conversation sessions should be conducted once a week with 90 minutes each time. In order to benefit both groups of students, half of the time students would be speaking Chinese, and the other half in English.

The first conversation session was held on Thursday, September 28, 2017 and it was a great success. A total of 26 students came, about half of which were immersion graduates, and the other half native speakers of Chinese, as well as 3-4 chaperones. Since then, the conversation sessions have been going well. The lead instructor, Zhen Zou, has come up with more than a dozen topics which should be sufficient for this semester. On each topic, he has also designed 8 - 10 questions, both in English and Chinese, for students to dig deep into the topics.

The parents told Zhen that they appreciate this opportunity for their children. Students also enjoy this precious opportunity to speak Chinese. Some report that they speak more Chinese in those 45 minutes than they do the whole rest of the week!

TandemPlus Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Fraser 102

The autumn holidays keep rolling along; Halloween has come and gone, and TandemPlus is gearing up for the Turkey season by throwing an early Thanksgiving event! Bring your partner, or come alone, to celebrate. The event is an opportunity to hang out, munch on food, meet other participants of the TandemPlus program, see old friends, and make new ones!

TandemPlus will be offering pumpkin pie, apple pie, cinnamon rolls, and apple cider to those who come. Participants who take a chance at our trivia game have a chance to win gift cards as prizes as well. Take the evening off to enjoy the end of midterms exams, and hang out with TandemPlus!

Language Center Staff News

The Language Center is pleased to welcome Anna Sisombat back the Language Testing Program as an Assessment Administrator. Anna will coordinate ACTFL assessments for the Certificate of Advanced Proficiency students and other students requiring those tests, as well as administer other proficiency tests. Her office is in Jones 105C.

Beth Kautz, the TandemPlus Educational Specialist, is moving to the main office suite in Jones 110G.

Monday, October 30, 2017

PACE and LATIS Presentation: The cool things you can do with Canvas

Part 1
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
12:20 - 1:10 p.m.
Nolte 140
Register Online

Part 2
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
12:20 - 1:10 p.m.
Nolte 140
Register Online

Make the most of your transition to Canvas!

LATIS and the Language Center are teaming up to offer a series of professional development opportunities for language instructors to become familiar with Canvas. In this two-part event, we will explore options to make your implementation of Canvas more effective, and to learn from colleagues who have already worked with this system. You will also become familiar with features specifically applicable for language learning and instruction that you can implement in your Canvas courses.
  • Part 1: November 15: a general introduction to new features available in Canvas, and resources for the transition into Canvas
  • Part 2: November 29: best practices for managing online content, instructional design, and language options for courses and assignments
Both sessions will be useful to all language instructors, including instructors who teach multi-section courses and those who design their own sites. Come to one or both sessions! Refreshments will be provided.

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

Spring Semester Reservation Requests Entered Beginning November 15, 2017

The Language Center will begin entering general Spring semester reservations on November 15, 2017. You may submit reservation requests before that date, and they will be held until then. To have the best possibility of receiving the rooms, media, and equipment you need, please submit by that morning.

At the University of Minnesota, the number of language and culture courses scheduled in the evening has declined in recent years. As a result, the Language Center has reduced its evening classroom hours this year. Classrooms may be reserved during the following times:

Monday 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

We will make exceptions for some tests and self-assessments scheduled in advance.
  • Here is some additional information about reservation requests:
  • Please submit a form for each class section.
  • Each class is allowed to reserve up to 15 hours in Jones Hall classrooms.
  • Teachers of intensive courses may negotiate their needs.
  • Reservations for equipment and media are unlimited in terms of amount and frequency (within reason).
  • Instructors must intend to use the technology they are reserving.
  • There is now a waitlist for when the room requested is not available.

Discover Canvas: Basics Workshop

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Online
Please RSVP

New to Canvas? If so, plan to attend an online 90 minute, “Canvas Basics” workshop that will include a review of the Canvas interface, tools and features, course design options, and an introduction to moving content from Moodle to Canvas. This workshop will feature:
  • Review of the interface, tools, and features. 
  • Exploration of 2-3 course design options that showcase how core design decisions in Canvas impact ease of use and navigation. 
  • Should you transition your content from Moodle to Canvas, or start from scratch? 
  • Once content has been transitioned, how do you find it in Canvas? 
  • How do you modify / move content?

German / English TandemPlus Class Exchanges: What time is it?

This week, students in five German courses here at the U of M will talk individually via Skype with a partner at Leuphana Universität in Germany. It is the first of three exchanges this semester for students in German 3011 and two sections of 1003. While students here on campus are in the midst of midterms, students in Germany just began their “winter semester” 10 days ago. Because the semester schedules differ so much between Germany and the United States, scheduling class-to-class exchanges can be challenging, but the participating instructors agreed upon three conversations between October 30 and December 4, 2017. The instructors assigned the specific weeks for each conversation to occur, but students are responsible for scheduling the exact date and time to meet their partner online. Calculating the time difference between the two countries can be confusing, especially this week! Daylight savings time ends October 29 in Germany, but not until November 5 in Minnesota. When Germans turn their clocks back on Saturday night, the time difference will be six hours - not the usual seven hours. Hopefully, students on both sides of the Atlantic will remember. For anyone wondering which countries use daylight savings time and when it begins or ends, check out https://www.timeanddate.com/time/.

TandemPlus Halloween Movie Night

Thursday, October 26, 2017
5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Keller 3-230

To celebrate the season of scare, TandemPlus is hosting a Halloween movie event in a nontraditional fashion, with a showing of Pixar’s Monsters, Inc.! Participants of the program are invited to join in the festivities, mingle with faces new and old, enjoy Halloween treats, and delight in the show.

LATIS Research Workshop Series

LATIS offers a series of workshops created by their experts that are free and open to all faculty and graduate students. Join the LATIS Research Workshops Google Group to learn about their workshops. They are highly recommended for instructors and graduate students interested in second language research.

This week’s workshop is:

Qual Data Collection
Friday, October 27, 2017
9:30 - 12:00 p.m.
Humphrey 50B
Register online

There are many ways to gather qualitative data from people and textual sources and a host of tools to make the process easier. This workshop will focus on the strategies, techniques, and useful tools for qualitative data collection, ranging from archival work to ethnography, interviews and other types of field work. For instance, we’ll look at using mobile devices like phones and tablets and relevant apps (OneNote, annotation, scanning, Atlas.ti, etc), cover strategies for photographing text for computer legibility, and discuss data security and protecting your research participants.

TandemPlus English Conversation Hour

In order to provide currently unpaired participants of TandemPlus an opportunity to meet other language learners and practice together, the program is piloting a new English conversation hour each Friday of the semester in Folwell Hall for invited members of TandemPlus. The meetings will be conducted by Megan Schley, the current TandemPlus assistant, who recognized unpaired participants’ desire to have language practice with others of the program, and came up with a plan to fulfill the need for practice. Invited participants can expect to enjoy practicing speaking English based on thematic topics and questions, and interact with participants of other cultures, backgrounds, and native languages, who share a goal of improving spoken English skills.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Onsite and Online Canvas Training

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
9:00 - 4:00 p.m.
St. Paul Campus, Cargill 105 & Online

Thursday, October 26, 2017
9:00 - 4:00 p.m.
West Bank, HHH 50 & Online

Please RSVP for the day that works best in your schedule.

This full day training will be an introduction to Canvas that cover the basics, and beyond. A trainer from Canvas will be visiting the Twin Cities campus and will also be streaming on YouTube Live to provide attendees a solid foundation to begin using Canvas to its full effectiveness.

Agenda
  • Hour 1: Create and organize course content
  • Hour 2: Communication and discussion
  • Hour 3: Assess, grade, and monitor student work
  • Hour 4: Lunch (on your own)
  • Hour 5: Facilitate collaborative learning with groups
  • Hour 6: Advanced topics
  • Hour 7: Questions & Canvas work time

LATIS Research Workshop Series

LATIS offers a series of workshops created by their experts that are free and open to all faculty and graduate students. Join the LATIS Research Workshops Google Group to learn about their workshops. They are highly recommended for instructors and graduate students interested in second language research.

This week’s workshop is:

Atlas.TI
Friday, October 20, 2017
9:30 - 12:00 p.m.
Humphrey 50B
Register online

Atlas.TI is a long-standing qualitative analysis program, used to organize, tag, and analyze a variety of research materials including text, audio, and visual sources. This workshop will give an introduction to the major functions and uses of this research tool including: source material organization, codes and coding strategies, querying your materials, grouping and stored queries or super codes, backing up and sharing your project, and working collaboratively. No prior experience with Atlas.TI is required.

Monday, October 9, 2017

CARLA Presentation & Open House: Two PACE Poster Sessions



CARLA Presentation & Open House: Two PACE Poster Sessions

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
McNamara Alumni Center

The 2017 CARLA Open House features a Keynote Presentation, The Challenge of Globalization in Foreign Language Education by Claire Kramsch, Professor Emerita of German and Education at University of California–Berkeley, and research poster sessions highlighting CARLA-Funded Research Initiatives and University of Minnesota Language Community Research Initiatives.

The PACE project will present two posters at this event:

Interweaving Assessment and Advanced Language Proficiency: Lessons Learned and Views to the Future by Adolfo Carrillo Cabello

Proficiency Assessment for Curricular Enhancement: Large-Scale Proficiency Testing by Dan Soneson

There are a variety of poster sessions from other UMN researchers. Please see the CARLA website for full details. Don’t miss this opportunity to network with colleagues and learn about language program research initiatives.

Monday, October 2, 2017

BOSSA: Prepare for Your Upcoming Session

Instructors: do you have an upcoming BOSSA session? Are you interested in getting one-on-one training or a refresher in preparation? If so, please email bossa@umn.edu.

During this training, you will become familiar or reacquainted with all the pieces of the BOSSA protocol, and how they fit together. The training session will present how students record and listen to their recordings, and how instructors can go about conducting the pair and group discussions which prepare students for the final, all-important piece: the self-assessment questionnaire.

Discover Canvas: Basics Workshop

Thursday, October 12, 2017
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Online
RSVP

New to Canvas? If so, plan to attend an online 90 minute, “Canvas Basics” workshop that will include a review of the Canvas interface, tools and features, course design options, and an introduction to moving content from Moodle to Canvas. This workshop will include:
  • Review of the interface, tools and features.
  • Exploration of course design options that showcase how core design decisions in Canvas impact ease of use and navigation.
  • Should you transition your content from Moodle to Canvas or start from scratch?
  • Once content has been transitioned, where do you find it in Canvas?
  • How do you modify / move content?

Using the DiLL System for Assessments

Are you using the DiLL system this semester for assessments? Please keep in mind that it is always a good idea to do a test recording before engaging your students in the recording of any tasks. Doing a test is simple, and it allows your students to get familiar with the DiLL interface before completing their recordings to be submitted.

Conducting a test involves asking students if they can hear you through the all call feature, asking them to record a sentence or two and then play it back. This simple test helps to ensure that your class activity will be successful.

If you're unfamiliar with the DiLL or other software, please contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, our Classroom Support Coordinator at carri093@umn.edu, for training and time to practice before your class meets.

Congratulations to Jonathan Prestrud

On September 30, 2017, Language Center Student Support Specialist, Jonathan Prestrud married Yuning Zhang at Cedar Lake, outside of New Prague, Minnesota. Yuning is a graduate of the University of Minnesota CEHD education program, and she is currently a teacher at Yinghua Academy, a K-8 Chinese immersion school. Congratulations and best wishes to Jonathan and Yuning!

Farewell to Anna Olivero-Agney

After working at the Language Center in many capacities for a few years, Anna Olivero-Agney is returning to teaching Italian part-time and exploring other work opportunities. Anna first joined the department in 2010 as part of a Language Proficiency Exam (LPE) development team to create a new Italian LPE. In 2013, she returned to assist with the development of multiple LPEs and other instruments. This led to her involvement in the BOSSA self-assessment protocol as one of the five original developers. In 2014, she joined the PACE project sustainability team, further developing BOSSA and other self-assessment instruments. In 2015, she became the departmental Assessment Specialist, which included supporting not only PACE, but also managing test development projects for many languages, including Korean and Somali. She also was one of the original raters for the Critical Reflection Essays required by the Certificate of Advanced Proficiency programs, and her work was essential to the refinement of this instrument. Because of Anna’s diverse talents, her generosity and her good nature, she has made valuable contributions to countless projects that benefit language students. She will be greatly missed by our staff, and the many language instructors and students who turned to her for guidance and expertise.

First TandemPlus Event of Fall 2017

The first TandemPlus event of the semester, held on September 27, 2017, was a massive success! Around 90 participants attended, and the night was full of fun and socializing. We dined on Mesa Pizza and cookies, chatted, and just generally had a lovely evening. Many people met new language partners, and everyone was satisfied with the relaxed, laid-back feel.

A big thank you to the TandemPlus Student Group for organizing it!

IALLT Webinar: Post-secondary administrative perspectives on technology-mediated language learning

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Jones 35

In this free IALLT webinar, a College Dean and a Chief of Information Technology will share their experiences with collaborative opportunities and strategies to address challenges in the context of post-secondary foreign language education. Please join us for the webinar, and discussion with colleagues. This webinar is offered by the International Association of Language Learning and Technology. Refreshments will be provided.

If you are unable to come to Jones 35, but are interested in the content, you can register via IALLT and view the webinar from another location.

Presenters: Benjamin Rifkin, Hofstra University, and Keith Mac McIntosh, University of Richmond

Monday, September 25, 2017

LATIS Research Workshop Series

LATIS offers a series of workshops created by their experts that are free and open to all faculty and graduate students. Join the LATIS Research Workshops Google Group to learn about their workshops. They are highly recommended for instructors and graduate students interested in second language research.

This week’s workshop is:

Data Wrangling in R
Friday, September 29, 2017
9:30 - 12:00 p.m.
Hanson Hall 1-108
Register online

Often the most difficult part of analyzing data is getting it into the right format for your analysis. This workshop will introduce the dplyr and tidyr packages designed for data manipulation in R. Participants will learn how to subset rows and columns of a dataset, order columns, group and summarize data, and do basic reshaping from "long" to "wide" format data. Some familiarity with social science data and R is assumed. Please bring a computer to the workshop with R and RStudio installed.

Two Flagship Language Proficiency Initiative Articles in Foreign Language Annals

The UMN PACE project is funded by The Language Flagship through its Language Proficiency Initiative. Two other universities, Michigan State University (MSU) and the University of Utah (Utah) have similar projects, and the three institutions work closely together.

The current issue of Foreign Language Annals (Volume 30, Number 3) published by ACTFL has two articles relevant to the initiatives for MSU and Utah.
  • The Contribution of Vocabulary Knowledge to Reading Proficiency: The Case of College Russian by Jane E Hacking and Erwin Tschirner
  • Assessing the Validity of ACTFL Can-Do Statements for Spoken Proficiency: A Rasch Analysis by Magda Tigchelaar, Ryan P. Bowles, Paula Winke, and Susan Gass
The online and print versions of the Foreign Language Annals are free to ACTFL members. A paper copy is also available at the Language Center. The Foreign Language Annals website includes a video of Magda Tigchelaar, Ryan P. Bowles, Paula Winke, and Susan Gass discussing their article.

New Article on Self Assessment in The Language Educator

Sara Mack, Spanish and Portuguese Lecturer and SPAN 1004 Coordinator, and Gabriela Sweet, former PACE Sustainability Specialist, have an article in the current issue of The Language Educator (Volume 12, Issue 3) published by ACTFL titled: Taking the Next Step and Empowering Students with Self-Assessment: I know what I need to do and now I’m going to do it.

 The online and print versions of the Language Educator are free to ACTFL members. A paper copy is also available at the Language Center.

PACE Presentation: Using VoiceThread for enhancing speaking proficiency

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
12:20 - 1:10 p.m.
Nolte Center 140

Providing feedback to each student on the fine points of second language phonetics is often beyond what our packed syllabi and 50-minute class sessions will allow. In this presentation, Sean Killackey will share his experience using VoiceThread to provide students with individual feedback targeting specific features that are taught and practiced in the whole class setting. Refined over several semesters, Sean has developed an assessment activity that returns extra time back to oral exams and allows the instructor to rewind and listen to specific words for feedback on the targeted phonetics. This activity also decreases the time required for similar assessments using other recording technologies like DiLL or Vocaroo.

Please join us to learn about this assessment activity and brainstorm ways to incorporate similar activities and applications to foster speaking proficiency. Pizza will be served.

Presenter: Sean Killackey, Coordinator of first-semester French, Department of French and Italian

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

Monday, September 18, 2017

PACE Project: Advanced Speaking Proficiency Update and Year Four Team

The fourth year of the PACE project is underway! This academic year will build on the work of the past three years. The focus this year is on analyzing and responding to student proficiency test data. The PACE project team is working closely with two other grant recipients who have been conducting parallel projects: Michigan State University (MSU) and the University of Utah (Utah).
One of the major initiatives of the year is the collaborative Advanced Speaking Proficiency Project. In collaboration with MSU and Utah, PACE will support the design and implementation of activities and pedagogical interventions for upper-division content courses in literature, culture, or linguistics that focus attention on speaking and will provide opportunities for students to develop proficiency beyond the Intermediate High level. UMN Teaching Assistants (TAs) in Arabic, French, German and Spanish will join with instructors from the other two institutions and an external consultant to form a collaborative cohort that will meet throughout the year. Each TA will be mentored by a faculty member in conducting a content-focused course and will provide support in delivering the course over Spring 2018.

The Advanced Speaking Proficiency Project courses and teams are:
  • ARAB 5102: Dr. Katrien Vanpee and Emily Sumner are integrating more speaking and other activities into this advanced-level Arabic course.
  • FREN 3611 / 3711: Dr. Mary Franklin-Brown and Rachel Balstad are providing speaking activities for the French students in this new bilingual course on Speaking of Love in Medieval France.
  • GER 3431: Dr. Ruediger Singer and Emily Groepper are creating speaking activities for this 19th Century Literature course.
  • SPAN 3510: Dr. Michelle Hamilton and Alex Korte are integrating speaking activities into this topics course on Medieval Spanish Literature.

The other 2017-2018 PACE administrative and academic team members are:
  • Dan Soneson, Director of the Language Center and the Principal Investigator
  • Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Professional Development Specialist at the Language Center and the Curriculum Specialist
  • Carter Griffith, Research Professional
  • Kate Paesani, Director of CARLA and the Research Consultant
  • Stephanie Treat, Administrator of the Language Center and the Project Administrator

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

Register Now for TandemPlus Language and Culture Exchanges!

TandemPlus is off to an exciting beginning of the semester, with 300 participants signing up by the second week of class. Intrigued by the thought of having a language partner this year? Anyone who is interested is encouraged to join. It’s free, and voluntary! Participants will have the opportunity to search for a partner with whom to practice and share in conversation and cultural exchange, to the benefit of each person in the partnership.

To register, visit tandem.umn.edu and sign up with either your X500, or personal email account. Registration takes 5 -10 minutes. You’re now able to search for your own partner with self-matching, and Tandem will continue to search for a partner for you throughout the semester.

Have questions about registration or the program? Email tandem@umn.edu, or read our program overview.

Introducing the New Tandem Assistant

Megan Schley is a sophomore at the university working towards her degree in Independent Studies, focusing on English, German, and Teaching English as a Second Language. Before coming to the U, Megan studied abroad in Austria, following her passions of travel and language learning. She loves her job, stating that it combines her favorite things: language learning and planning!

University of Minnesota Language Programs: Awards, Honors and Kudos

Dr. Frances Matos-Schultz, Department of Spanish and Portuguese; and Dr. Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, CLA Language Center, received a grant from the ACTFL Research Priorities Project for their research project titled Blended learning and online coaching: Investigating differences of instructional interventions in the self-assessment of fluency. The ACTFL Research Priorities Project supports empirical research on priority areas that are currently critical to improving foreign language education.

PACE: Springboard to Research and Curriculum Design

PACE: Springboard to Research and Curriculum Design Friday, September 15, 2017 9:00 - 3:30 p.m. Folwell 5 Online Registration Over three years the PACE project has collected data on students of Arabic, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, including proficiency ratings in reading, listening, and speaking, self-assessment ratings, and survey data on language background, use, and motivational factors. Now in in its fourth year, the PACE project invites language instructors to explore and analyze the data collected thus far. Join us for a workshop that will introduce the available data, and provide you with examples of possible research inquiries that can impact your curricular programming and decisions. Paula Winke, Associate Professor at Michigan State University (MSU), will share what MSU is doing with similar data at that institution and will engage with participants to explore ways to interpret and analyze the Minnesota data. Using Excel, participants will have an opportunity to approach the data with specific questions that can be useful for the relevant language program or for larger questions regarding second language acquisition more generally. In addition, a short introduction to the statistical program ‘R’ will be presented. Please let us know if you plan to attend by registering for the event, or email carri093@umn.edu. We encourage you to bring a laptop with Excel installed to the event for hands-on experience working with the data. Before Friday’s event, please read the article Setting evidence-based language goals (Goertler, S, Kraemer, A., & Schenker, T., 2016), which illustrates how one German program analyzed test data to fortify and revise their curricular expectations. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Check-in starts at 8:30 a.m. The PACE Project is funded by a grant from The Language Flagship.

LATIS Research Workshop Series

LATIS offers a series of workshops created by their experts that are free and open to all faculty and graduate students. Join the LATIS Research Workshops Google Group to learn about their workshops. These workshops are highly recommended for instructors and graduate students interested in second language research.

This week’s workshop is:

Intro to RFriday, Sept. 22, 2017
9:30-12:00 p.m.
Hanson Hall 1-108

This session is full, but you can email latisresearch@umn.edu to join the waitlist.

This workshop will provide an introduction to R, a popular tool for statistical computing. Participants will learn how to get started using R for social science data, including how to read data into R, what to consider when prepping your data for R, basic data cleaning (renaming, recoding, and converting variables), basic data exploration, and how to save files manipulated in R. No experience using R is assumed. Please bring a computer to the workshop with R and RStudio installed.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

CARLA Presentation: Development of Language Learner Autonomy in Adaptive Learning Systems

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
12:20–1:10 p.m.
Jones 35

This study investigated affordances offered by adaptive learning systems (ALS) for the development of second language learner autonomy, as well as potential constraints that prevent such development. Using the tenets of activity theory (Basharina, 2007; Blin, 2004; Engeström, 1999, 2001; Lantolf & Thorne, 2007), this study examined the use of two ALS by 35 learners of Spanish enrolled in beginning and intermediate-level Spanish courses. The data comprised learners' responses to an online survey, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups administered at two different points in the semester. Results revealed that the division of labor and the rules embedded in the design of the two ALS offered both affordances and constraints for developing learner autonomy.

Presenters:
Dr. Ruslan Suvorov is Language Technology Specialist at the Center for Language & Technology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. His research interests lie at the intersection of applied linguistics and instructional technology and design, with the focus on language assessment, eye tracking, and blended and online learning.
Dr. Adolfo Carrillo Cabello is Professional Development Specialist at the CLA Language Center, University of Minnesota. His research interest include intercultural communicative competence, foreign language pedagogy, materials development, and online and distance learning.


This presentation is cosponsored by the CLA Language Center.

TandemPlus Fall 2017 Session Begins!

Intrigued by the thought of having a language partner this year? One of the largest summer sessions ever of TandemPlus has just ended, and registration has opened early for the Fall 2017 semester! Anyone interested is encouraged to join. Participants will have the opportunity to search for a partner with whom to practice and share in conversation and cultural exchange, to the benefit of each person in the partnership.

To register, visit tandem.umn.edu and sign up with either your X500, or personal email account. Registration takes 5 -10 minutes. In three weeks, you’ll be able to search for your open partner with self-matching, and Tandem will continue to search for a partner for you throughout the semester.

Have questions about registration or the program? Email tandem@umn.edu, or read our program overview.

Farewell to Gabriela Sweet

Few people at the university have had as much direct impact on language students as Gabriela Sweet. Over eight years working at the Language Center, she has led several highly collaborative, grant-funded projects that ultimately served hundreds of language students each year. The most notable of these many projects are probably the Collaborative Language Proficiency Exam (LPE) Development Initiative and the BOSSA self-assessment protocol.

The LPE development project of 2010-2011 brought together a diverse team of instructors from Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish to develop LPE tests for reading, listening and writing. Gabriela coordinated this large group of language instructors and shepherded the development, piloting, refinement and implementation of these tests, working with multiple stakeholders, and training and guiding new developers. Today, all of these LPEs are approved and taken by hundreds of students each year. In addition, Gabriela later coordinated or assisted with the development of LPEs for Arabic, Finnish, Korean, Somali, and German. Thanks in large part to Gabriela's leadership, LPEs are now available for most of the languages taught at the University of Minnesota. Gabriela also was part of the team that developed the innovative Individualized Language Assessments, allowing students to fulfil the CLA second language requirement in a language not offered at the University of Minnesota.

In 2013, Gabriela turned her focus from traditional summative assessment to the more student-focused self assessment. She helped create the new Certificate of Advanced Proficiency in Spanish by developing self-assessment instruments for four modalities to allow students to gauge their own level of language proficiency. These instruments served as an integral part in the development of the BOSSA (Basic Outcomes Student Self-Assessment) protocol, which involves students in the assessment of their growing language competence. The protocol aims at engaging students in the development of their language capabilities and cultural awareness as they progress throughout the language curriculum. She was part of a cohesive team of five original developers, which expanded to more than 50 language instructors and Language Center staff, all engaged to one degree or another in developing this protocol. The self assessments developed by Gabriela and others eventually became an essential part of the PACE project, and BOSSA is now integrated into the curriculum for many languages and levels.

The LPEs and self-assessment instruments that Gabriela developed have reached students at the macro level, but perhaps Gabriela's greatest contribution to language education at the University of Minnesota is her direct work with students. The Language Center employs about 25 undergraduate staff per year. Over eight years, Gabriela has developed a relationship with nearly all of them. She gets to know their strengths and interests, and she finds a way to involve them in larger projects. She finds out what language they study or speak at home, and communicates with them in that language. Many student employees have stated that working with Gabriela was the highlight of their time at the Language Center, and their faces light up when they talk about her.

Gabriela's work with self assessment and students eventually led her to the CLA Career Readiness Project, where she has been bringing the development of learner agency to a larger student population. Beginning this week, Gabriela is moving to Johnston Hall, where she will focus exclusively on this important project. Gabriela's collaborative spirit, her generosity, and her desire to guide every student will always be remembered at the Language Center.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

September 2017 Language Center Events

As you prepare for a busy semester, please take a moment to explore a new technology or teaching approach, or just catch up with your colleagues. The Language Center is sponsoring or co-sponsoring a variety of events from this week through the first half of the September. You are invited to the following workshops, presentations, open houses, and conversations. All events are open to everyone, and refreshments will be served.
  • September 1, 2017: LATIS TEL and Language Center Drop-in TechHub 10:30 - 2:00 p.m. in Jones 35. This is a drop-in event for anyone who is interested in learning more about Moodle and/or Canvas, or would like to discuss options. 
  • September 6, 2017: Italian Tandem Exchanges: Views from the Other Side of the Ocean! 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. in Folwell 317. This is a drop-in event to meet a visiting Tandem partner from Italy, hear about her inter-cultural experiences, and to discuss possible ways to enhance the TandemPlus program.
  • September 8, 2017: Thursday BOSSA Open House 1:25 - 4:00 p.m.in Jones 35. This is a drop-in event to socialize, receive training, and have your questions answered. 
  • September 9, 2017: Friday BOSSA Open House 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. in Jones 35. This is a drop-in event to socialize, receive training, and have your questions answered. Refreshments will be served.
  • Wednesday, September 13, 2017: CARLA Presentation: Development of Language Learner Autonomy in Adaptive Learning Systems 12:20–1:10 p.m. Jones 35. This event is co-sponsored by CARLA and the Language Center.
  • September 15, 2017: PACE: Springboard to Research and Curriculum Design. Save the date for a longer workshop led by Paula Winke, Associate Professor at Michigan State University, and other internal and external presenters on potential research uses and applications of the data from three years of the PACE project. More information will be available soon.

PACE Project Renewed: A Preview of the Coming Year

The Language Center is pleased to announce that The Language Flagship has agreed to fund another year of the PACE project through its Flagship Proficiency Initiative. This fourth year will build on the work of the past three years. It will focus on analyzing and responding to the student proficiency test data, but will not include new testing. The work of the fourth year will be highly collaborative. The PACE project team will work closely with two other grant recipients: Michigan State University (MSU) and the University of Utah (Utah).

Here is a short preview of the coming year.

Data analysis and research: During the first three years of the grant, the three institutions have collected over 6000 ratings in speaking, listening, and reading, in nine language programs. Data from these three institutions will be combined to more effectively investigate significant factors that affect proficiency development at the post-secondary level. The PACE project team will meet with instructors and students throughout the year and will host two events with external experts to share best practices in proficiency research and data analysis.

Collaborative Project - Advanced Speaking Proficiency: In collaboration with MSU and Utah, the project will support the design and implementation of activities and pedagogical interventions for upper-division content courses in literature, culture, or linguistics that focus attention on speaking and will provide opportunities for students to develop proficiency beyond the Intermediate High level. Teaching Assistants (TAs) in Arabic, French, German and Spanish will join with instructors from the other two institutions and an external consultant to form a collaborative cohort that will meet throughout the year. Each TA will be mentored by a faculty member in conducting a content-focused course and will provide support in delivering the course over Spring 2018.

Professional Development for Language Instructors: The project will support a year-round program of professional development, including larger events with a focus on research, and a variety of smaller events. The first major event is scheduled for Friday, September 15, 2017. It will be led by Paula Winke, Associate Professor from Michigan State University, and other internal and external presenters on using the data from three years of the PACE Project for research. The project will provide special support for the Russian program, including bringing in two consultants for all-day workshops for the instructional team.

Project Dissemination: Utah, MSU, and the U of M will continue to publish the results of their individual and collaborative projects, and present at a variety of national and international conferences. In addition, the three universities will jointly host a symposium in late May 2018 at the University of Minnesota for representatives from sister institutions (Big Ten Academic Alliance, Pac 12). The three institutions will share experiences and findings and foster collaboration in contributing to the efforts of raising the level of cultural understanding and language proficiency in undergraduate programs, thereby expanding the reach of the Language Flagship Proficiency Initiative. The event will lay the groundwork for future collaboration and implementation.

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

Monday, August 28, 2017

Language Center Reservable Small Rooms for Fall 2017

Effective Fall 2017, we will have a new reservable small room, and some other, more familiar spaces will have new furniture. Here are short descriptions of the five small rooms that instructors and students can reserve for academic purposes:
  • Jones 21: Equipped with a small round table for four and no technology. Recommended for tutoring sessions and small group work. Note: this is the only small room without a waiting area outside the room.
  • Jones 105A: Equipped with a small rectangular table for two, videoconferencing technology and a monitor. Recommended for one-on-one tests and videoconferencing. Note: this is the only small room without a window.
  • Jones 105B: Equipped with a desk for two and no technology. Recommended for one-on-one tests.
  • Jones 110D: Equipped with an oval table for four, videoconferencing technology and a monitor. Recommended for one-on-one tests and videoconferencing.
  • Jones 135B: Equipped with a conference table for seven, videoconferencing technology and a large monitor. Recommended for student group work and videoconferencing. Note: reservation priority is given for videoconferencing and student use.

Italian Tandem Exchanges: Views from the Other Side of the Ocean!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Folwell 317

Visiting Italian professor Cristina Casagrande from the Liceo 'Oriani' in Italy is a long standing TandemPlus partner for University of Minnesota Italian classes. She will share her achievements and struggles from over the past seven years, providing perspectives and reflections from all stakeholders. After the presentation, representatives from the department of French and Italian and the TandemPlus program invite the audience to stay for a brainstorming session on ways to improve the tandem experience for all involved.

This event is sponsored by the Department of French and Italian and the Language Center.

Refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

BOSSA Open Houses

Thursday, September 7, 2017
1:25 - 4:00 p.m.
Jones 35

Friday, September 8, 2017
9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Jones 35

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 one of our BOSSA Open Houses to socialize with new and current users and to have your questions answered. Get a behind-the-scenes perspective on self-assessment, and one-on-one training and experience using the speaking self-assessment protocol.

Mark your calendars for the BOSSA Open House, and come share experiences with other users in an informal setting. Refreshments will be served.

Monday, August 7, 2017

LATIS TEL and Language Center Drop-in TechHub

Friday, September 1, 2017
10:30-2:00 p.m.
Jones 35


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 (TEL) Team and the Language Center invite you to drop in to get one-on-one help during this TechHub event. All four TEL team members, as well as Language Center staff, will be available to answer your questions related to:
  • Moodle general setup 
  • Moodle Gradebook 
  • Canvas features and transition information
  • Universal design and your Canvas or Moodle site
If you would like to submit a request for special assistance, please email Adolfo Carrillo Cabello at carri093@umn.edu.

All instructors are welcome! Refreshments will be provided. Hope to see many of you!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Farewell and Thank You to Ellen Wormwood

The Language Center and the PACE Project would like to thank Ellen Wormwood who is returning to teaching, translating and interpreting after three years as the PACE Assessment Coordinator.

In 2014, Ellen agreed to design and implement a plan to assess between 700 and 900 students per year in seven languages, up to four modalities, and using two assessment instruments. She also accepted the challenging job of explaining the structure and value of these new tests to instructors and students. The first year of testing was sometimes bumpy as we learned more about the tests and how best to administer them. Ellen persevered and stuck with the project through long hours preparing for and administering tests. She worked hard to improve the test experience for students by negotiating with test vendors, improving communication, and constantly refining the testing plan.

PACE Assessment Coordinator was not Ellen's first position at the Language Center; she started as a graduate assistant in 2005. A standout among her roles in our unit was serving as one of the original TandemPlus Coordinators. We are thankful to Ellen for the leadership she brought to new programs and projects.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Minnesota eLearning Summit: Open. Online. Opportunity.

Normandale Community College
August 2−3, 2017
Bloomington, Minnesota
Register Online

The MN eLearning Summit is the premiere event of the Minnesota Learning Commons and a gathering place for K-12, college, and university educators and innovators in the Midwest who are committed to effective online and blended learning.

The Summit will include:
  • Concurrent sessions focused on elearning tools, resources, services, and best practices
  • Opportunities to meet, collaborate, and contribute ideas for the effective use of instructional technology in and out of the classroom
  • A shared vision for utilizing resource-rich tools that reach 21st-century learners
What to expect:
  • 400+ educators, innovators, and presenters
  • About 80 concurrent breakout sessions covering topics of eLearning including blended, flipped, digital learning
  • Bring-your-own-device learning sessions
  • Presentations for all skills levels, including experienced educators, as well as those new to digital learning
  • Exhibitors showcasing the latest resources and tech solutions
  • Opportunities to network with professional colleagues
  • Certificate of attendance for CEUs

The Minnesota eLearning Summit is a collaborative conference with Minnesota Learning Commons (Minnesota Department of Education, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and the University of Minnesota). The Minnesota eLearning Summit is facilitated by the University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education.

TandemPlus Assistant Position Open!

TandemPlus is seeking a student for the role of TandemPlus Assistant starting as early as August, 1, 2017. A strong candidate for the position is involved with and interested in the language learning process, has keen attention to detail, is self-motivated and comfortable with speaking publicly. Being registered for at least six credits Fall semester is required, and work study funding is preferred.

The primary role of the TandemPlus Face-to-Face (F2F) Assistant is to help facilitate the operation and development of the Face-to-Face portion of the TandemPlus language/culture exchange program (in-person and virtual exchanges) under the direction of the TandemPlus F2F Coordinator. The TandemPlus Assistant is asked to work a minimum of 10 hours per week.

To apply for this position, please visit the University Employment Center and search for Job # 318392. For more information email tandem@umn.edu.

Monday, July 10, 2017

TandemPlus: Chinese Learners Desired!

TandemPlus is off to a great start this summer, with more than 100 participants having joined in the past few weeks. The majority of participants have been paired for the summer, but there are some languages for which we’re still seeking learners.

If you’re learning Chinese, want to practice, keep up on it, or refresh yourself and brush up on your skills, join TandemPlus! We currently have eleven Chinese speakers seeking English speaking partners for Chinese-English conversation and cultural exchange. Joining the program is as easy as registering at tandem.umn.edu, taking five minutes to fill out a profile, and waiting for us to pair you up!

You can read more about the program online, and email us with any questions at tandem@umn.edu.

Call for PACE Presentations for Fall 2017

As you plan your Fall courses, please consider sharing your innovative ideas with other language instructors. If you have ideas for presentations, please contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello at carri093@umn.edu.

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? Interested in building up your CV? Please consider joining the PD Peer Team, 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.

Fall Semester Reservation Requests Entered Beginning July 17, 2017

The Language Center will begin entering general Fall semester reservations on Monday, July 17, 2017. You may submit reservation requests before that date, and they will be held until then. To have the best possibility of receiving the rooms, media and equipment you need, please submit by that morning.

At the University of Minnesota, the number of language and culture courses scheduled in the evening has declined in recent years. As a result, the Language Center is reducing its Fall 2017 classroom hours. Classrooms may be reserved:

Monday 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

We will make exceptions for some tests and self-assessments scheduled in advance.

Here is some additional information about reservation requests:
  • These reservations always require a reservation form.
  • Please submit a form for each class section.
  • Each class is allowed to reserve up to 15 hours in Jones Hall classrooms.
  • Teachers of intensive courses may negotiate their needs.
  • Reservations for equipment and media are unlimited in terms of amount and frequency (within reason).
  • Instructors must intend to use the technology they are reserving.
  • There is now a waitlist for when the room requested is not available.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Discover Canvas Sessions from OIT

Come discover Canvas, the University's new learning management system that will replace Moodle. Staff from the Canvas Transition Team will be on hand to help you explore this new learning environment. You are invited to:
  • discover Canvas features,
  • see example sites,
  • get a sandbox site,
  • learn where to find guides and tutorials, and
  • talk with an academic technologist about your current course site to plan your next steps.

The summer 2017 Discover Canvas sessions will be held on Thursdays from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on the following dates. You can join the sessions online or in person.
  • June 29, 2017, St. Paul Student Center 4 (St. Paul Tech Stop) 
  • July 6, 2017, Blegen 90 (West Bank Tech Stop) 
  • July 13, 2017, Walter Library 212
  • July 20, 2017, St. Paul Student Center 4 (St. Paul Tech Stop)
  • July 27, 2017, Blegen 90 (West Bank Tech Stop)
  • August 3, 2017, Walter Library 212
  • August 10, 2017, St. Paul Student Center 4 (St. Paul Tech Stop) 
  • August 17, 2017, Blegen 90 (West Bank Tech Stop)
  • August 24, 2017, Walter Library 212

TandemPlus Open for Summer!

TandemPlus is off to a great start this summer. Participation is at 75 students and growing, with an especially high number of Japanese speakers. There is still time to sign up at tandem.umn.edu to seek a language partner for the hot months -- Summer has a way of flying by, so be sure to jump in while you can!

Questions about the program? Email tandem@umn.edu.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Start a New Language with Courseshare

Interested in starting a new language Fall 2017? The following entry-level language courses are now open through Courseshare:
  • 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 1161 Beginning Hungarian I, 4 credits: From Indiana University.
  • 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. This course is taught partially online.
  • LANG 1111 Beginning Turkish I, 4 credits. From the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • LANG 1121 Beginning Vietnamese I, 4 credits, From Michigan State University. This online course is full, but the waitlist is open.

TandemPlus Summer Registration is Here!

Registration for the summer session of TandemPlus is here! Beginning June 12, 2017, students can sign up or update their profiles at tandem.umn.edu and begin their search for a language and conversation partner for the warm months. The Tandem program is smaller in summer than in the fall and spring, and yet it remains vibrant. In addition to a face-to-face matching program, Tandem co-hosts cultural events for students.

Contact tandem@umn.edu to propose a student event or activity, or with any questions you have about the program!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Bon Voyage to Pablo Viedma!

Pablo Viedma will be on leave beginning June 5, 2017 to work at an international school in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He will be the technology coordinator and also the soccer assistant coach.

Pablo says: This is a great opportunity to live and work in a very different part of the world, and to learn and enjoy from another culture. Looking forward to new experiences in the three continents I have never visited.

Beginning June 5, Stephanie Treat will serve as the primary Courseshare contact. Please send questions and inquiries about the Courseshare program to elsie@umn.edu.

TandemPlus Spring 2017 Recap

Another semester has come and gone for TandemPlus. Partnered with the TandemPlus Student Association (TPSA) for its second year, Tandem’s Face-to-Face (F2F) program hosted monthly events complete with food, entertainment, and friendship. This semester, we reached 465+ on-campus participants, representing speakers of Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin & Cantonese), English, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

The University of Minnesota's Class-to Class Tandem (C2C) program matched nearly 350 UMN students with conversation partners in Spain, Mexico, France, and Germany for telecollaborative, curricular-based language exchanges. Local F2F participants participated in the C2C pairings when course sizes locally and abroad were not identical. This provided F2F participants with more pairing options and helped grow the number of C2C exchanges.

If you’re interested in joining TandemPlus, summer registration will open June 12, 2017! Sign up by registering at tandem.umn.edu. Feel free to send a message to tandem@umn.edu with questions.

Monday, May 22, 2017

LANG Courseshare for Fall 2017 - List Complete

All LANG Courseshare courses planned for Fall 2017 are now open for registration:
  • LANG 2011 Accelerated Catalan I
  • LANG 3012 Adv Catalan Lang, Soc, Culture
  • LANG 1161 Beginning Hungarian I
  • LANG 1061 Beginning Persian I
  • LANG 2061 Intermediate Persian I
  • LANG 1071 Beginning Polish I (partially online)
  • LANG 1111 Beginning Turkish I
  • LANG 1121 Beginning Vietnamese I - currently full, but the waitlist is open
  • LANG 2121 Intermediate Vietnamese I (fully online)
  • LANG 3503 Traditional Korean Poetry Sijo
Students and advisors who do not see the language or level they are looking for should email Stephanie Treat at elsie@umn.edu as soon as possible to convey their interest.

Special Thank You to the TandemPlus Student Association Officers of 2016-2017

The TandemPlus Student Association jumped into its second year this last Fall, and it brought with it new student officers: President Ali Megarry, Treasurer Sarah Brown, Secretary Maggie Stone, and Event Coordinator Mark Liu. Their efforts throughout the year were instrumental in assisting the the program, helping it run smoothly during a period of transition. Together the officers took up the tasks of brainstorming, planning, and hosting creatively themed monthly events. Included in these themed events were a TandemPlus Halloween haunted house, cohosted with the International Buddy Program and MISA, a Korean Thanksgiving event, which delivered traditional American Thanksgiving meals as well as traditional foods of Korean Harvest festivals, a buffet-style study event during finals, and a movie night featuring a comedic rendition of the classic Chinese story, A Journey to the West.

In addition to organizing events, the group was responsible for representing TandemPlus as an Affiliate to the Minnesota International Student Association (MISA) at Affiliate meetings and at events. They also applied for and received several grants, which made the monthly events possible.

Beginning Fall semester 2017, TPSA returning members will be joined by new officers: Secretary Minh Tran, Treasurer Chaonan Lin, and Anas Al Badi in the newly developed Social Media Coordinator position. Sarah Brown will return in the position of Vice President, with Maggie Stone as Event Coordinator, and Ali Megarry will retain her position as President.

Monday, May 15, 2017

LANG Courseshare for Fall 2017

There are now nine LANG Courseshare courses open for Fall 2017 registration:
  • LANG 2011 Accelerated Catalan I
  • LANG 3012 Adv Catalan Lang, Soc, Culture
  • LANG 1061 Beginning Persian I
  • LANG 2061 Intermediate Persian I
  • LANG 1071 Beginning Polish I (partially online)
  • LANG 1111 Beginning Turkish I
  • LANG 1121 Beginning Vietnamese I - currently full, but the waitlist is open
  • LANG 2121 Intermediate Vietnamese I (fully online)
  • LANG 3503 Traditional Korean Poetry Sijo
The scheduling of several other classes is in progress. Because of the complexities of working between multiple institutions, registration for Courseshare courses usually opens later than traditional courses. Students and advisors who do not see the language or level they are looking for should email Pablo Viedma at elsie@umn.edu to convey their interest.

Language Center Graduate Staff Graduations May 2017

The Language Center has been fortunate to work with two outstanding graduate assistants who are both completing their degrees within days of each other. They brought a collaborative spirit, and a willingness take on new challenges, and unique skills to our department. Please offer your congratulations to the two graduates!
  • Shannon Roach, Graduate Assistant Coordinator is graduating with a Master of Arts in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) for Higher Education. She will be teaching in Wuhan, China again this summer, and is very excited to move to Morocco at the beginning of September to teach at the American Language Center in Fez.
  • Carter Griffith, PACE Assistant Coordinator, is graduating with a Master of Arts in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) for Higher Education. Carter will continue to to work at the Language Center through the summer analyzing the Spring 2017 PACE data.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Summer at the Language Center: We’re Open for You!

The Language Center is open for business over May and Summer Session. Our hours are more limited to reflect the decreased number of classes in session, but our professional and student staff will be here and ready to help!

Computer classrooms: Jones 10, 15, 30 and 35
Bringing your intensive summer class to a technology classroom breaks up and adds diversity to a long day for students (and instructors). It’s not necessary to create new instructional material to use in the classroom; existing lessons can easily be adapted to use technology, and we can help with this.
  • Pair/Group work: The DiLL makes it easy to ensure that all students are communicating, and that pairs/groups are not always the same. You can reform pairs and groups as often as you’d like. The software can also help you to easily deploy and manage conversational tasks to promote interpersonal communication skills.
  • Authentic media integration: Through the DiLL system, instructors can easily send text, audio, and video materials from files or online.
  • Licensed software: The extensive list of software installed in our classrooms offers endless options for students to practice all modes of communication. For example, iMovie could be used to develop projects to practice the presentational mode.
  • Assessment: Whether oral or written, our classrooms offer software that facilitate the evaluation of language production in a secure environment. For example, you can manage individual oral responses with the DiLL system, or conduct oral exchanges. 
Contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello at carri093@umn.edu for ideas on adapting an existing lesson to include classroom technology.

Multimedia Lab: Jones 135
Over the summer the lab is open for general student use, and it’s a great location for students to work or meet up before or after class. We will also host special events or viewings upon request, including international TV programming, films, student cultural events and more.

Contact elsie@umn.edu to request an event at the Multimedia Lab.

TandemPlus
The summer Tandem program is smaller than in fall and spring, but remains vibrant. Students can register at tandem.umn.edu beginning June 12, 2017, to find a language and conversation exchange partner. In addition to a face-to-face matching program, Tandem often co-hosts cultural events for students.

Contact tandem@umn.edu to propose a student event or activity.

Canvas Recommended to Provost as the new Learning Management System

On April 25, 2017, the University Learning Technology Advisors (ULTA), which has been reviewing Learning Management Systems (LMS), recommended to Provost Karen Hanson and Interim Vice President and Chief Information Officer (VPCIO) Bernard Gulachek that the University of Minnesota adopt Canvas as its next LMS. ULTA's recommendation has been shared publicly, but the university's LMS has not yet officially changed.

University of Minnesota Language Programs: Awards, Honors and Kudos

  • Dr. Luis A. Ramos-Garcia, Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese is a 2007 winner of the President's Award for Outstanding Service. This award recognizes faculty and staff who have provided exceptional service to the University, its schools, colleges, departments and service units. Such service must have gone well beyond the regular duties of a faculty or staff member, and demonstrate unusual commitment to the University community. Dr. Ramos-Garcia was recognized for his collaboration with theater and arts groups in Colombia, Cuba, Peru and Spain, his work to raise awareness of political and gender injustice, and his tireless community outreach activities.
  • Chinese Language Students win! On April 14, 2017, five finalists competed in the 2017 Midwest "Chinese Bridge" Speech Contest at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Competition was fierce, but all five University of Minnesota students came away with prizes at their own level! 
    • Andy Columbus - First Prize - Accelerated Level 
    • Maddie Haas - Second Prize - Level 1 
    • Adam Myhand - Third Prize - Level 1
    • Helena Mueller - Third Prize - Level 2
    • Martin Miller - First Prize - Level 4. Martin was selected to represent the US Midwest in the worldwide Chinese Proficiency Contest in China

Language Center Undergraduate Staff Graduations

This week six 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!
  • Sorelle Chekam, Multimedia Lab Attendant, will graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Systems Management with an emphasis in Building Sciences and Technology. She was also involved in a project on Zero Energy Homes with classmates and faculty of the department of Biosystems and Bioproducts Engineering at the school. She is currently looking for a job in the same discipline. She will be returning to school after gaining some real life experiences for a Master's program in Sustainable Design. Her long-term goal is to bring the design of durable homes to Africa.
  • Maya Christensen, Lead Main Office Assistant, will graduate with a Bachelors of Arts in Urban Studies, Youth Studies, and Sustainability. Directly after graduation she will work as part of the University of Minnesota Youth Programs staff. Her long-term goal is outdoor education-based community and nonprofit work.
  • Rachael Falade, Main Office Assistant, will graduate with a Bachelors of Arts in Biology, Society and Environment with a double minor in Public Health and Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. She is currently interested in biology research and public health work. She will be continuing her education in 2018 when she begins a Master's program in Public Health. Her long-term goal is to work in the health field impacting as many people as possible everyday. She wants to love her job and look back on her career with a smile on her face.
  • Chris Michaels, Lead Main Office Assistant, will graduate with a Bachelors of Arts in Asian Languages & Literatures with a minor in Mass Communications. After graduation, he will work in expense management at Plus Relocation in St. Louis Park.
  • Nick Ott, Tandem Assistant, will graduate with both a Bachelors of Science in Business and a Bachelor of the Arts, majoring in Marketing, and German, Scandinavian, and Dutch Studies along with a Spanish minor. He has recently accepted a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant for the coming academic year, and will move to Hessen, Germany in early September. After assistant teaching English in Europe, he hopes to teach English full-time through the Peace Corps, attend graduate school (abroad or in the US), and ultimately become a foreign language professor at the university level. 
  • Anna Sisombat, Classroom Support Student Lead, Testing Assistant, PACE Assistant, and BOSSA Scheduling Assistant, will graduate with both a Bachelors of Arts in French and a Bachelors of Arts in Art with an emphasis on drawing and painting. Anna has recently accepted a full-time position in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy here at the university where she will be working as an Executive Accounts Specialist.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Call for help from the PACE Professional Development (PD) Peer Team

The PACE PD Peer Team will present at the International Association of Language Learning and Technology (IALLT) conference on June 20-23, 2017. The presentation focuses on the successes and challenges of developing and implementing a systematic professional development program that appeals to a diverse group of language instructors.

The PD Peer Team invites language instructors to be part of this project by providing video testimonials describing their experiences with PACE PD events. Specifically, we are interested in collecting stories of successes and challenges.

If you are willing to share your story, please submit a testimonial via Flipgrid by May 31, 2017. You will be asked to provide information about your experiences. We have included four prompts to help you guide your thinking. We ask that you choose one prompt per submission, but you may submit more than one. You may provide your name and language taught, but this is not required.

Your story will help inform future PD events at this university, and help guide PD development for other institutions.

If you have questions about the testimonials or Flipgrid, please contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello at carri093@umn.edu.

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

Jones Hall Elevator Out of Service May 10, 2017

The elevator in Jones Hall will be out of service on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for a critical repair. If you intend to visit the Language Center on that day, and this could present an obstacle, please email elsie@umn.edu.

Language Center Finals Week Hours

During Spring Finals Week, May 8-12, 2017, the Language Center will be open the following hours:

Main Office & Multimedia Lab
Monday, May 8: 7:45 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 9: 7:45 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 10: 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 11: 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday, May 12: 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The computer classrooms will be open for all prearranged classes.

LANG Courseshare for Fall 2017

So far, seven LANG Courseshare courses have opened for Fall 2017 registration:
  • LANG 2011 Accelerated Catalan I
  • LANG 1061 Beginning Persian I
  • LANG 2061 Intermediate Persian I
  • LANG 1071 Beginning Polish I (partially online)
  • LANG 1121 Beginning Vietnamese I - currently full, but the waitlist is open
  • LANG 3503 Traditional Korean Poetry Sijo
The scheduling of many other classes is in progress. Because of the complexities of working between multiple institutions, registration for Courseshare courses usually opens later than traditional courses. Students and advisors who do not see the language or level they are looking for should email Pablo Viedma at elsie@umn.edu to convey their interest.

Minnesota eLearning Summit: Gentle Project Management - Shepherding Pedagogical Change

Thursday, May 4, 2017
2:00-3:00 p.m.
Access via WebEx
Session # = 803 978 258
Password = MNLC@2017

Does it ever feel like your project management experience gets thrown out the door when working in higher education? As instructional designers, project managers, and/or academic technologists we have to be flexible in keeping projects on track; we also have to be sensitive and realize that asking instructors to consider changing how they traditionally teach can present them an overwhelming prospect. On paper, project management, change management, and instructional design may look like fairly straightforward processes: Project management manages the tasks necessary to complete a project. Change management guides the people as they prepare for change, manage change, and reinforce change. Instructional design manages the design and development of an educational experience. In real life, these processes are never quite so straightforward. Additionally, we work in the higher ed environment, which offers us unique challenges and opportunities for managing the tasks and people in our projects. By integrating traditional change management, project management, and instructional design models, we can adapt strategies to our academic environment. We will focus on concrete strategies to support both the tasks AND the people.

Presenters:
Sara Schoen is an Instructional Designer at the University of Minnesota. She works with faculty and staff to develop, design, and transfer course content to online environments in ways that will be most effective for student learning. She is also interested in supporting the professional development of online instructors so that they can support their online students. Sara holds a master's degree in Multicultural College Teaching and Learning with a focus on supporting online learning. She also likes tea, playing sports, and reading.
Annette McNamara is an Instructional Designer for the University of Minnesota's Academic Technology Support Services (ATSS). As an instructional designer, she enjoys collaborating on the integration of academic technology into the design and development of effective, efficient teaching and learning experiences. Her professional interests include learning that is authentic and related to real life, making connections to create lifelong learning networks, the narrative arc of learning design, and using technology for increased efficiency in teaching and learning. She holds a master's degree in education: her research focused on the benefits and challenges of parental involvement in a secondary charter school.

Digital Liberal Arts Workshop For Instructors

May 17-18, 2017
Macalester College
Registration Required

The Spring 2017 DIGITAL LIBERAL ARTS (DLA) Professional Activities Workshop, which will feature significant DLA programming, will be held on Wednesday, May 17 and Thursday, May 18, 2017 at Macalester College. As a cooperative initiative between Macalester College and the University of Minnesota Libraries, with support from the Mellon Foundation, this workshop is open to instructors from both Macalester and the University of Minnesota.

Language Center Undergraduate Position Open for Summer

Students: If you love languages and are registered for Summer 2017, consider working in the Language Center. We are now hiring undergraduate Administrative and Student Support Assistants to work in the main office and multimedia lab. We are looking for students with summer work study funding and daytime availability. Please visit the university’s employment site and search for Job ID 317056 to learn more and apply online.

Language instructors: The Language Center is a great employment option for language students. Please pass the word on to your students taking language courses this summer. We are now hiring undergraduate Administrative and Student Support Assistants to work in the main office and multimedia lab. We are looking for students with summer work study funding and daytime availability. Please visit the university’s employment site and search for Job ID 317056 to learn more and apply online.

Class-to-Class Tandem Exchanges: Instructor Support and Celebration

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Jones 117

You are invited to meet with instructors who have paired their students with language learners around the world for one-on-one Skype conversations through the TandemPlus program! We will share our success stories and discuss how to improve these class-to-class exchanges in the future. If you are curious about how these exchanges work, this is a great opportunity to find out! Cheese, crackers, and fruit will be served. Contact Beth Kautz at tandem@umn.edu with questions.

Monday, April 24, 2017

LANG Courseshare for Fall 2017

So far, the following LANG Courseshare courses have opened for Fall 2017 registration:
  • LANG 2011 Accelerated Catalan I
  • LANG 1061 Beginning Persian I
  • LANG 2061 Intermediate Persian I
  • LANG 1121 Beginning Vietnamese I - currently full, but the waitlist is open
  • LANG 3503 Traditional Korean Poetry Sijo
The scheduling of many other classes is in progress. Because of the complexities of working between multiple institutions, registration for Courseshare courses usually opens later than traditional courses. Students and advisors who do not see the language or level they are looking for should email Pablo Viedma at elsie@umn.edu to convey their interest.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Summer Session Reservation Requests Now Entered

The Language Center is now entering general Summer Session 2017 reservations.

See the Language Center Reservation page for details on policy, and to make an online reservation request. Summer classroom hours are listed below to help you plan your requests.

May Session (May 22 - June 9)
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Summer Session (June 12 - August 4)
Monday: 8:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Late Summer Session (August 7 - September 1)
Monday – Friday: 8:00 – 4:00 p.m.

There is a new checkbox on the reservation request form to be put on a waitlist if the room or resource you request is not available. This waitlist will go into effect with these summer reservation requests. The checkbox is selected by default, but you can deselect it if you prefer not to be placed on a waitlist. If you are on the waitlist, and the room or other resource becomes available, it will be reserved to you automatically and you will receive an email notification.

LANG Courseshare for Fall 2017

To date, two LANG Courseshare courses have opened for Fall 2017 registration:
  • LANG 1121 Beginning Vietnamese I (fully online)
  • LANG 3503 Traditional Korean Poetry Sijo 
The scheduling of many other classes is in progress. Because of the complexities of working between multiple institutions, registration for Courseshare courses usually opens later than traditional courses. Students and advisors who do not see the language or level they are looking for should email Pablo Viedma at elsie@umn.edu to convey their interest.

PACE Roundtable: Ideas for infusing technology into the language classroom

Friday, April 28, 2017
12:20 - 2:00 p.m.
Bruininks Hall 420B
Register Online (required)

Lunch Provided by AfroDeli

Looking for ways to integrate technology into your teaching to enhance students’ learning experience? Please join us for an afternoon full of ideas and great conversation. This roundtable will showcase five projects in a roundtable format. Participants will have a chance to engage in informal, small group conversation with the presenters and learn new ways to incorporate technology into their teaching.


Featured Technologies and Projects: VideoAnt, Radio Ambulante, Flipgrid, Apple Numbers and PlayPosit


Interactive listening with VideoAnt
VideoAnt is a University of Minnesota-created web-based video annotation tool. Its simple interface makes it easy to create discussion board activities directly linked to authentic web-based videos. It has the potential to turn the often solitary experience of at-home listening homework into an interactive, social experience - one in which students can collaboratively work to understand, analyze, and assess second language audiovisual texts. This roundtable presentation will cover the basics of setting up VideoAnt, student reactions to using VideoAnt as outside of class listening practice, and a discussion of pros and cons of the tool from the instructor perspective.

Radio Ambulante in the Spanish classroom
Radio Ambulante is a weekly Spanish language podcast from NPR that "tells Latin American stories from anywhere Spanish is spoken, including the United States.” The unique content, combined with the fact that each episode has an accompanying transcript make this podcast a great tool for the Spanish classroom, from beginning through advanced levels of instruction. This roundtable presentation will show how an instructor used an episode of Radio Ambulante on Peruvian cuisine in her intermediate Spanish class to create a four-day multiliteracy lesson to accompany the textbook chapter on food.

Using Apple’s Numbers app on the iPad to speed up grading with rubrics
With a little investment in setup time, Apple’s iPad spreadsheet application can help speed an instructor through scoring multi-criteria rubrics like those used for oral exams. The Numbers app has a little-used feature called Forms that can make entering and adding all the numbers from a rubric faster and less frustrating than using a calculator (and trying to remember if you just added the score for fluency or task completion, or do you need to start over adding from the beginning again!). This presentation will include a brief reflection on evaluating this technology use via the SAMR model. Interested participants will receive a copy of the Numbers spreadsheet file used by the presenter as well.

Using Flipgrid as a tool to create video discussions
Instructors register for a Flipgrid account and then create a grid for the classroom and can add unlimited discussion topics. Instructors can pose questions or prompts – students can create video responses, watch each others’ videos, and respond to each other. Video responses can be up to three minutes long, so this is a good way to promote sustained speaking. This roundtable presentation will cover the basics of setting up Flipgrid, and discuss practical applications for its use in the beginning and intermediate language classroom both to promote discussion among students and conversations between students and instructors.

Improving the interactivity of listening materials with PlayPosit
Working on listening activities can be a monotonous or tedious exercise for students. Through tools such as PlayPosit, what is traditionally considered passive content can be transformed into an interactive experience for students, with time-embedded activities. In this roundtable, participants will work on their choice of audiovisual materials and use various tools available on PlayPosit to create an interactive exercise with questions targeting specific segments of their material. Examples of time-embedded questions include: Multiple Choice, Free Response, Fill in the Blank, Polling, and several others. Finally, participants will also explore ways to closely monitor the progress their students are making.

Presenters: Stephanie Hernandez and Sara Mack, from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese; Beth Kautz and Ginny Steinhagen from the Department of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch; Sean Killackey from the Department of French and Italian; and Hossam Elsherbiny from the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures

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