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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 2017


  • CARLA Summer Institutes 2018

CARLA Program Updates

  • CARLA Summer Institutes—By the Numbers

CARLA Resources

  • Immersion Research-to-Action Brief—NEW!

CARLA @ Conferences

  • ACTFL 2017—American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

Announcements - section header
Summer Institute Participants

The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota has provided high-quality professional development for language teachers for over two decades. Launched in 1996, this internationally known program reflects CARLA's commitment to link research and theory with practical applications for the classroom. Each institute is highly interactive and includes discussion, theory-building, hands-on activities, and plenty of networking opportunities.

CARLA summer institute participants—more than 5,700 to date—have come from all over the world. They have included foreign language and ESL teachers at all levels of instruction, as well as program administrators, curriculum specialists, and language teacher educators. 

Summer Institutes for Language Teachers

CARLA offers a range of institutes targeted at foreign language and ESL teachers from a variety of teaching levels and contexts:

Using the Web for Communicative Language Learning—five-week online course
July 9–August 12, 2018
Presenters: Marlene Johnshoy and Lauren Rosen
In this five-week online course, participants will discover ways to use online tools to promote student language comprehension and production by motivating their participation and collaboration in the target language.

Language and Culture in Sync: Teaching Linguistic Politeness and Intercultural Awareness—three-week online courseNEW!
July 9–27, 2018
Presenter: Noriko Ishihara
This three-week online course will provide teachers with practical insights on enhancing student learning of linguistic politeness and boosting students' awareness of intercultural differences.

Developing Assessments for the Second Language Classroom

July 9–13, 2018
Presenter: Donna Clementi
After an overview of assessment fundamentals, participants will learn how to create a standards-based performance assessment unit using the principles of Backward Design.

Teaching Heritage Languages and Learners
July 9–13, 2018
Presenters: Jenna Cushing-Leubner and Jennifer Eik
Participants will learn how to create powerful learning environments to support the unique needs of heritage language learners in the classroom.

Culture as the Core in the Second Language Classroom
July 9–13, 2018
Presenters: Martha Bieglow and Kaishan Kong
After gaining a deeper understanding of how language-culture-identity informs their teaching, participants will learn how to integrate culture and language learning in their classrooms.

Using Technology in Second Language Teaching
July 16–20, 2018
Presenters: Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Marlene Johnshoy, and Dan Soneson
Participants will learn how to use technology to facilitate student use of the target language and get hands-on practice in using computers to promote students' interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational communication skills.

Creativity in the Classroom: Fostering Student Learning Through Creative Language Experiences
July 16–20, 2018
Presenters: Anne Cummings Hlas and Amy Young
This fun institute is designed for foreign language and ESL teachers who want to promote creativity in their classroom while simultaneously improving learners' target language proficiency.

Teaching Language Through the Lens of Social Justice
July 16–20, 2018
Presenters: Cassandra Glynn, Beth Wassell, and Pamela Wesely
Participants in this institute will learn how teach for and about social justice in the foreign language classroom.

Using Authentic Materials to Develop 21st Century Literacies
July 23–27, 2018
Presenter: Kate Paesani
Participants in this institute will learn how develop students' 21st century literacies through engagement with authentic written, audio, audiovisual, visual, and digital materials.

Content-Based Language Instruction and Curriculum Development
July 23–27, 2018
Presenter: Laurent Cammarata
During this institute, foreign language teachers will learn how to create content-based instruction materials and tasks to enhance students' language proficiency and content learning.

Growing Learner Language: A Hands-On Approach to Developing the Language Learners Produce July 23–27, 2018
Presenters: LeeAnne Godfrey and Elaine Tarone
The focus of this institute is on the growth and development of the language learners produce, and how that growth may be enhanced by creating engaging, puzzle-solving activities that stimulate growth in learner language.

Immersion Summer Institute Participants

Summer Institutes for Immersion Teachers

CARLA also offers a very popular institute that is designed specifically for new K–12 immersion educators and immersion program leaders:

Immersion 101: An Introduction to Immersion Teaching 

July 16–20, 2018
Presenters: Tara Fortune with Maureen Curran-Dorsano, Kirsten Rue Johnson, and a team of veteran immersion teachers
This institute provides novice immersion teachers with the tools and information they need to survive and thrive in the immersion classroom. The institute offers two teacher sessions simultaneously and an expanded three-day session for administrators of immersion education programs.

Registration opens on January 8, 2018.

More Information

The institutes have been developed and are offered with support, in part, from the U.S. Department of Education's Title VI Language Resource Center program. The summer institutes are co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development and College of Liberal Arts.


Program Updates - section header

CARLA Summer Institutes 2017—By the Numbers

CARLA's 22nd annual summer institute program featured 15 programs, including 12 week-long, face-to-face summer institutes and three online summer institutes, one of which was funded through the STARTALK program for the fifth consecutive year.

As in years past, language teachers from all over the world attended the 2017 CARLA summer institutes–either in person or virtually. Check out these impressive numbers:

  • 393 participants engaged in CARLA-sponsored professional development programs this summer: 364 educators participated in the CARLA summer institute program while 29 teachers of less commonly taught languages were enrolled in the STARTALK program. CARLA's online options had a total enrollment of 77 virtual participants.
  • Participants hailed from 35 states: CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, and WI.
  • 18 countries were represented at the institutes this year: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Oman, Panama, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Venezuela.

Languages Taught by CARLA Summer Institute Participants

Language Taught by ParticipantThis year the CARLA summer institutes served teachers of 28 languages: Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Dakota, Dutch, EFL/ESL, French, German, Greek, Hindi/Urdu, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lakota, Latin, Nakona (Assiniboine), Oromo, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Yoruba.

Forty-four (44%) of the summer institute participants were teachers of Spanish. Many teachers of French (17%) participated this year, in part because of the unique immersion summer institute that was taught in French by Professor Roy Lyster. As usual, the institutes also attracted many teachers of Chinese and other less commonly taught languages (22%) and teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL) (15%).

Level of InstructionLevels of Instruction Represented at the CARLA Summer Institutes

CARLA offers a wide range of opportunities for language teachers from K–12 schools to post-secondary institutions. CARLA's immersion summer institutes are targeted at K–12 teachers, while most of the summer institutes offered for foreign language teachers are targeted at the post-secondary and high school levels of instruction. Taken together, the majority of CARLA summer institute participants in 2017 were K–12 educators (70%) and more than a fourth (28%) were post-secondary level instructors.

Professional Roles of ParticipantsProfessional Roles of CARLA Summer Institute Participants

More than three-fourths of the participants in the 2017 CARLA summer institutes were classroom teachers (76%). The other participants identified their primary role as program administrator (10%), language teacher educator (8%), or other (6%). Roles in the category of other included: curriculum specialist, immersion specialist, and instructional coach.

CARLA Publications - section header

Immersion Research-to-Action Brief–NEW!

ChecklistCARLA's series of 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.

The latest Brief titled Secondary Immersion Teaching and Learning: What Role do Classroom Materials Play? highlights the research of University of Minnesota doctoral student Corinne Mathieu on immersion teacher use of classroom materials in a seventh-grade social studies context. The study shows that materials and the type of thinking skills teachers engaged had an important impact on both the quantity and quality of student language production.

See all of the CARLA Immersion Research-to-Action Briefs at:


CARLA @ Conferences - section header

Browsing products at ACTFLAmerican Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Annual Convention and World Languages Expo

The U.S. Department of Education Language Resource Centers (LRCs) will have an expanded joint pavilion this year in the exhibit hall at the ACTFL convention in Nashville, November 17–19, 2017. Come to booth #1333 to find out more about the resources offered by CARLA and the fifteen other Language Resource Centers funded by the Department of Education.

Presentations at ACTFL

Check out the following presentations by CARLA staff members and/or directly related to CARLA's activities:

Languages Across the Curriculum: Models and Approaches

Friday, November 17
2:30–3:30 PM 

Music City Center, Room 204

This session presents programs that incorporate languages other than English in academic disciplinary study. Representatives of three institutional types discuss institutional models and curricular implementation for Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) and introduce an online materials clearinghouse to support or start a program.
Session Presenters: Deborah Reisinger (Duke University), Cynthia Evans (Skidmore College), Suronda Gonzalez (Binghamton University), and Daniel Soneson (University of Minnesota).

Rethinking Writing Instruction in the Lower-Level French Classroom

Saturday, November 18
11:15 AM–12:15 PM 

Music City Center, Room 104A

This session focuses on how genre-based writing instruction facilitates integration of interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational communication in the lower-level language classroom. Presenters share sample activities and findings from a 2017 study of instructor and learner perspectives on writing in French.
Presenters: Lauren Goodspeed (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Heather Willis Allen (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and Kate Paesani (CARLA, University of Minnesota).

Immersion Education Resources from CARLA: Mini-Presentation at the LRC Pavilion

Saturday, November 18
1:45-1:55 PM
LRC Joint Pavilion #1333

A very quick overview of the many resources for immersion and dual language educators developed by CARLA.
Presenter: Tara Fortune (CARLA, University of Minnesota)

Making Multiliteracies Real: A Tool for Analyzing Instructional Materials

Sunday, November 19
11:15 AM–12:15 PM 

Music City Center, Room 207B

This session focuses on implementation of a tool for analyzing literacy-based teaching materials. Presenters explain the multiliteracies principles underlying the tool's creation, describe its implementation with supporting empirical data, and consider implications for materials creation, curricular change, and teacher development.
Session Presenters: Kate Paesani (CARLA, University of Minnesota) and Mandy Menke (University of Minnesota)


Don't miss the following joint LRC Presentation by several of CARLA's LRC colleagues:

Free Standards-Based Language Teaching Resources from the LRCs

LRC Brochure

Saturday, November 18
8:00–9:00 AM
Music City Center, Room 205B

Come learn about free Standards-based resources for teachers available from 16 Language Resource Centers funded by the Department of Education: no-cost teacher resource guides and manuals, online materials and assessments in specific languages, and more for teachers of all levels and languages. URLs for downloadable resources are provided.
Session Presenters: Mandy Gettler (CASLS, University of Oregon), Carl Blyth, (COERLL, University of Texas at Austin), Joy Campbell (CLEAR, Michigan State University), and Margaret Malone (AELRC/ACTFL).

We also invite you to check out the following presentations by CARLA's University of Minnesota colleagues:

Mission and Achievement: Assessing Higher Education Foreign Language Goals

Friday, November 17
3:45–4:45 PM 

Music City Center, Davidson Ballroom-Salon C2

The session reports on a three-year project administering over 8,000 ACTFL proficiency tests in speaking, reading, and listening at three institutions sponsored by the Language Flagship Proficiency Initiative: ACTFL results, discussion of factors contributing to proficiency, and effects of systematic testing on curriculum and institutional climate.
Session Presenters: Daniel Soneson (University of Minnesota), Susan Gass (Michigan State University), Jane Hacking (University of Utah), Margaret Malone (AELRC/ACTFL), Erwin Tschirner (University of Leipzig), and Paula Winke (Michigan State University)

Reflections on Creating Voc/zes, a University-level Language Podcast

Friday, November 17
3:45–4:45 PM
Music City Center, Room 104A

Presenters will reflect on their first year producing the Spanish and Portuguese language podcast, Voc/zes. This weekly podcast was designed to support language learning, in particular listening, increase cultural awareness, and create a sense of community between the University of Minnesota and the Twin Cities.
Session Presenters: Stephanie Anderson (University of Minnesota) and Liz Lake (University of Minnesota)

No Longer on the Sidelines: Planning for Integrated Listening Instruction

Saturday, November 18
10:00–11:00 AM 

Music City Center, Room 207A

This session shares a curricular project to position listening at the center of the curriculum, from course goals through class activities and homework. The session highlights the impact of systematic listening instruction on student proficiency outcomes, and includes hands-on work with the resulting model to adapt it to attendees' course goals.
Session Presenters: Mandy Menke (University of Minnesota), Stephanie Anderson (University of Minnesota), Angela Carlson-Lombardi (University of Minnesota), and Sara Mack (University of Minnesota)

Developing Intercultural Competence in Teaching Study Abroad Programs

Sunday, November 19
10:00–11:00 AM 

Music City Center, Room 101D

This session presents strategies for integrating language and culture in teaching study abroad programs. Lesson plans and instructional examples of incorporating real world cultural experience will be discussed and analyzed. The presenter will also share how the instructors develop their intercultural competence in an immersive setting.
Session Presenter: Yongling Zhang-Gorke (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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