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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!