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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.