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CARLA Update - Electronic Newsletter - top header and logo
News about Second Language Education and Research Activities
at the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition
Fall 2016 


  • CARLA's New Director
  • 6th International Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education—Regular Registration Ends September 30!

CARLA Program Updates

  • CARLA Summer Institutes 2016: By the Numbers

CARLA Resources

  • Immersion Research to Action Brief

CARLA @ Conferences

  • 6th International Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education

Announcements - section header
CARLA Director


On August 13, 2016, CARLA staff and colleagues bid a fond farewell to Elaine Tarone who served as CARLA director from 1993–94 and 1996–2016. We thank her for leading the center for over two decades and wish her all the best in her new role as professor emerita.

Kate Paesani began her position as CARLA director and affiliate Associate Professor in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota two weeks later on August 29 and has been busy getting involved in the extensive language programming at the center and across the University.

Kate comes to CARLA and the University of Minnesota from Wayne State University, where she was Associate Professor and Director of Basic French Courses. Her research focuses on literacy-based curriculum and instruction and foreign language teacher development, couched within the frameworks of multiliteracies pedagogy and sociocultural theory. She has published on integrating language and literary-cultural content in curriculum and instruction, applications of multiliteracies pedagogy in collegiate foreign language programs, foreign language program articulation, teacher conceptual development, and high-leverage teaching practices. Read more about Kate's background on her CARLA staff page.

Under Kate's new leadership, CARLA staff look forward to continuing the center's current initiatives and exploring new ways of serving the language education community across the nation.


Sixth International Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education

Hyatt Regency Hotel, Exterior View Hurry! Regular Registration Ends on September 30!

Registration ends Sept 30Sixth International Conference on Immersion & Dual Language Education

Connecting Research and Practice Across Contexts

October 20–22, 2016
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Minneapolis, MN, USA

Immersion and dual language education continue to evolve as highly effective program models for launching students on the road to bi- and multilingualism and intercultural competence. School-based immersion, bilingual, and dual language programs involve a minimum of 50% subject-matter schooling through a second, world, heritage, or indigenous language at the preschool and elementary levels (PreK-5/6). Secondary or post-secondary continuation programs for elementary immersion/dual language graduates include a minimum of two subject courses.

  • One-Way Second/Foreign Language Immersion
  • Co-Official/Regional Language Immersion
  • Two-Way Bilingual Immersion
  • One-Way Developmental Bilingual Education
  • Indigenous Language Immersion

While each model targets distinct sociocultural contexts and educational needs, all embrace language, literacy, and culture development through subject-matter learning with a high degree of language intensity. This conference will bring these models together to engage in research-informed dialogue and professional exchange across languages, levels, learner audiences, and contexts.

This conference features an amazing line-up of 5 plenary speakers from around the world, 7 invited symposia on some of the hottest topics in immersion education, over 120 paper sessions, and 28 pre-conference workshops led by seasoned practitioners and veteran researchers. Don't miss this incredible opportunity to learn and network with others engaged in immersion and dual language education.

Conference Speakers

  • Ellen Bialystok, York University, Toronto, Canada
  • Patricia C. Gándara, University of California – Los Angeles, USA
  • Tina M. Hickey, University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Patsy Lightbown, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
  • Teresa L. McCarty, University of California – Los Angeles, USA

Pre-Conference Workshops

  • Preparing and Working with Assistant Language Teachers from Abroad
  • Time for Formative Assessment: Classroom Observation Checklist Kit
  • Immersion in the Middle Years: Keeping Language on Par with Content
  • Motivating Students to Write Through Digital Writing
  • Recruiting and Serving Diverse Learners in an Immersion Setting
  • Promoting Reading in a Heritage Language
  • Creating a Dynamic Future through Indigenous Language
  • Developing Instructional Frameworks for Early Total Mandarin Chinese Immersion
  • Writing Strategies in Immersion
  • Cultivating Cultural Identity within Hawaiian Medium Education
  • And many, many more!

More Information

Registration Information

Program Information

Conference Co-Chairs: Diane J. Tedick (University of Minnesota) and Roy Lyster (McGill University)


Program Updates - section header
CARLA Summer Institutes 2016: By the Numbers


  • LRC map399 participants engaged in CARLA-sponsored professional development programs this summer:
    • 381 people participated in the CARLA summer institute program
    • 18 teachers of less commonly taught languages participated in the STARTALK online course
  • 16 summer institute programs were sponsored by CARLA in 2016
  • 4 online options were offered this year with a total enrollment of 60 virtual participants
  • Participants hailed from 34 states plus Washington D.C.
  • 15 countries were represented at the institutes this year--Australia, Bahrain, Beijing, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Israel, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Panama, Spain, The Netherlands, and The United Arab Emirates
  • 27 languages were represented at the institutes this year: Akan, Arabic, Armenian, Catalan, Chinese, Dari/Persian, ESL/EFL, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latin, Ojibwe, Portuguese, Potawatomi, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tibetan, Urdu, and Vietnamese

Check out the 2016 CARLA Summer Institutes photo archives.


CARLA Publications - section header
New Immersion Education Resource

Payesteh Brief ScreenshotImmersion Research-to-Action Brief

CARLA's new series of annual Immersion Research-to-Action Briefs provides a readily digestible means of keeping educators informed about ongoing research in the field of language immersion education that has implications for their daily practice.

In the latest Brief, Dr. Bita Payesteh (Texas Woman's University) and Dr. Tara Fortune (University of Minnesota) highlight findings of Payestah's research on heritage language learners in an immersion preschool indicating that 100% Persian-medium education was not detrimental to children's English language development. 

A free copy of Preschool Immersion Education in Persian can be found online at


CARLA @ Conferences - section header

Check out the upcoming presentations by CARLA staff and colleagues at the 6th International Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education!

Lessons from Mandarin Immersion Learner Language

Fri Oct 21 2016, 11:15am–12:15pm

This session briefly examines research findings on the median oral proficiency levels attained by 277 Mandarin immersion students in three early total programs. Presenters will also share their analysis of three students' learner language in terms of complexity, accuracy and fluency and discuss implications for program design and implementation.

Presenters: Tara W. Fortune, CARLA - University of Minnesota and Zhongkui Ju, University of Minnesota

Exploring Teacher Perceptions of Immersion Professional Development Experiences

In Invited Symposium: Educational Innovations in Immersion Teacher Preparation and Development

Fri Oct 21 2016, 3:00pm–5:00pm

Although there is a growing body of research on immersion pedagogy (see Lyster & Tedick, 2014 for discussion), there is a dearth of research on professional development experiences that positively impact immersion teacher practices. This presentation will report on a portion of a larger study focused on exploring immersion teacher perceptions of professional development experiences that have a positive impact on their teaching. Emphasis will be on experiences that are designed to assist teachers in integrating language and content. Data sources included an extensive online survey, individual interviews, and focus groups. Findings point to specific features of high impact assignments and experiences. For example, teachers identified aspects such as authenticity and relevance, awareness-raising potential, and motivation and challenge. They especially extoled experiences that have an immediate yet lasting impact on student learning. The presentation will conclude with implications for designing meaningful and effective professional development experiences.

Presenter: Diane J. Tedick, University of Minnesota

Look-Fors and Ah-has: A Discussion on Observations in the Immersion Classroom

Sat Oct 22 2016, 11:15am–12:15pm

Many school leaders use Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching as a professional tool to improve teaching and learning. In this session we will discuss one district's initiative to embed an immersion-specific lens into three domains of the "Look Fors" document to enhance observation in the immersion classroom.

Presenters: Carmen Henninger, Prince George's County Public Schools, Tara W. Fortune, CARLA- University of Minnesota, Jane M. Ness, Prince George's County Public Schools, Martha Kristy, Prince George's County Public Schools, Shu Ruby Costea, Prince George's County Public Schools

Research-based Guideposts for Intervention Practice

In Invited Symposium: Immersion for ALL: The Suitability of Immersion for ALL Students

Sat Oct 22 2016, 1:45pm–3:45pm

Research from the past decade has shed additional light on our ability to predict and identify second language learners who may be at-risk for reading difficulties earlier (Deacon, Wade-Woolley, & Kirby, 2007; Erdos, Genesee, Savage, & Haigh, 2014; Jared, Cormier, Levy, & Wade-Woolley, 2006). For example, we now know that early literacy measures of certain sub-skills in a Kindergartener's first language can successfully predict second language reading outcomes and difficulties later on, in Grade 2 or 3. From the perspective of the immersion and dual language practitioner this information opens the door to providing early, more timely intervention. However, relatively few studies have examined effective intervention practices for children learning through two or more languages. This presentation will briefly discuss existing findings and offer best practice recommendations for providing meaningful support to immersion and dual language learners with reading difficulties.

Presenter: Tara W. Fortune, CARLA - University of Minnesota 



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The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota is a Title VI Language Resource Center funded by the U.S. Department of Education to improve the nation's capacity to teach and learn foreign languages effectively. CARLA supports a number of coordinated programs of research, training, development and dissemination of information relating to second language teaching and learning.

The CARLA Update is a quarterly electronic newsletter designed to give second language teachers and researchers current information on the programs and projects currently operating under the auspices of CARLA. We encourage you to share this newsletter.

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