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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
ACTFL Edition


  • CARLA Summer Institutes 2017
  • Advanced Practices in Second Language Teaching Certificate

CARLA Program Updates

  • 6th International Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education—a wonderful success!

CARLA Resources

  • Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) Clearinghouse
  • Second and Foreign Language Pragmatics Wiki

CARLA @ Conferences

  • ACTFL 2016—American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

Announcements - section header
CARLA Summer Institutes 2017
Summer Institute Montage

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 5,400 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. 

LRC mapSummer 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 and Professional Development—online course
July 10–August 13, 2017
Presenter: Marlene Johnshoy
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.

Developing Assessments for the Second Language Classroom
July 10–14, 2017
Presenters: Donna Clementi with Ursula Lentz
Focusing on the alignment of standards-based curriculum and assessment, this institute includes an overview of assessment fundamentals and practical step-by-step guidance in creating a standards-based performance assessment unit for classroom using Backward Design.

Teaching Heritage Languages and Learners
July 10–14, 2017
Presenter: 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.

Creativity in the Classroom: Fostering Student Learning Through Creative Language Experiences
July 10–14, 2017
Presenters: Amy Young and Anne Cummings Hlas
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.

Using Technology in Second Language Teaching
July 17–21, 2017
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.  Online attendance option.

Improving Language Learning: Styles- and Strategies-Based Instruction
July 17–21, 2017
Presenter: Martha Nyikos
This summer institute is designed to help language teachers maximize students' ability to learn a foreign/second language through styles- and strategies-based instruction.

Teaching Language Through the Lens of Social Justice
July 17–21, 2017
Presenters: Pamela Wesely, Cassandra Glynn, and Beth Wassell
Participants in this institute will learn how teach for and about social justice in the foreign language classroom.

Beyond Communicative Competence: Using Authentic Materials to Develop 21st Century LiteraciesNEW!
July 17–21, 2017
Presenter: Kate Paesani
Participants in this exciting new 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 24–28, 2017
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.

Culture as the Core in the Second Language Classroom
July 24–28, 2017
Presenters: Wendy Allen and Francine Klein
Weaving together theory and practice, this interactive institute will help teachers develop instructional strategies and practical tools for integrating language learning with a systematic culture curriculum.

Growing Learner Language: A Hands-On Approach to Developing the Language Learners Produce
July 24–28, 2017
Presenters: Elaine Tarone and Maggie Broner
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 Institute ParticipantsSummer Institutes for Immersion Teachers

CARLA also offers these popular institutes that are designed specifically for immersion educators (K–12) and immersion program leaders:

Immersion 101: An Introduction to Immersion Teaching
July 10–14, 2017
Presenters: Tara Fortune 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 program is differentiated, offering a 3-day session for administrators of immersion education programs and two simultaneous sessions for teachers during the final three days of the institute.

Meeting the Challenges of Immersion Education: Vers une approche intégrée en immersionNEW!
July 17–21, 2017
Presenter: Roy Lyster
Ce nouvel institut vise à outiller les enseignants à mettre de l'avant—par une approche intégrée et des exemples pratiques—l'apprentissage de la langue française et l'enseignement de contenus disciplinaires en classe d'immersion. NOTE: This institute will be offered entirely in French.

Character Literacy Development in Mandarin Immersion
July 24–28, 2017
Presenters: Tara Fortune and Haomin Zhang
Participants in this new institute will learn research-based methods of moving their Mandarin immersion learners towards more fluent character processing and text comprehension.

More information is available on the CARLA website at:

Registration will open on January 9, 2017.
To request a copy of a print brochure email the CARLA office at:

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.


Advanced Practices in Second Language Teaching Certificate
Teacher with her certificate This certificate offered by the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development provides an exciting opportunity for teachers of foreign languages and English as a second/foreign language to showcase their professional development work through the CARLA summer institute program by taking the institutes for graduate level credit.

More information can be found at:


Program Updates - section header
6th Int’l Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education
Immersion Conference Montage

The 6th International Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education: Connecting Research and Practice Across Contexts held October 20-22, 2016 in Minneapolis was a roaring success!  

The conference brought together immersion teachers, researchers and administrators to share research and best practices in one-way world language immersion, co-official/regional language immersion, two-way bilingual immersion, one-way developmental bilingual education, and indigenous language immersion. As with past immersion conferences sponsored by CARLA, the conference program was very international and represented a wide variety of languages and immersion education contexts. Final counts show that nearly 1,000 signed up to attend the conference from 39 states and Washington D.C., and 20 countries in addition to the United States including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Central African Republic, China (Hong Kong and Mainland), Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Honduras, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Panama, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom (England and Scotland).

The conference program offered depth and breadth of programming for all branches of immersion education and was packed with options for participants: an optional pre-conference visit to one of nine immersion schools; a selection of 26 pre-conference workshops covering a wide variety of topics for immersion and dual language educators; and a full conference program including five thought-provoking plenaries by internationally known presenters, six invited symposia, and 120 paper/discussion sessions.

New this year was a laptop poster session for graduate student research, and a teacher SwapShop where teachers were able to share lesson plans and practical resources with one another. Attendees also had the opportunity to talk with exhibitors from 16 different companies that provide resources for immersion and dual language educators.

Another exciting new feature of the conference was the inaugural CARLA Immersion and Dual Language Education Awards given to a teacher and a scholar who have distinguished themselves in this growing international field. The Distinguished Teacher Award went to Maureen Curran Dorsano, French Immersion Teacher Emerita (Normandale French Immersion School, Edina, Minnesota) and the Distinguished Scholar Award went to Merrill Swain, Professor Emerita (University of Toronto).

The next International Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education is scheduled to take place in 2018. Watch the CARLA Update for information on location and dates.


CARLA Publications - section header
Calls for Contributions to New Collections of Teaching Materials

CLAC (Culture and Languages Across the Curriculum) Materials Clearinghouse

The Clearinghouse is an interactive collection of peer-reviewed CLAC materials curated by CARLA and the Consortium for Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum.

The CLAC Clearinghouse is currently seeking CLAC-oriented materials including syllabi, training materials for instructors, specific activities for students, descriptions of CLAC programs and implemented models. In addition, to encourage a living presence, the newly established Clearinghouse provides an online discussion forum.

Second and Foreign Language Pragmatics Wiki

An important area in the field of second/foreign language teaching and learning is pragmatics—the ability to deal with meaning as communicated by a speaker/writer and interpreted by a listener/reader and to interpret people's intended meanings, their assumptions, their purposes or goals, and the kinds of actions that they are performing when they speak or write. Pragmatics includes among other things politeness/impoliteness, speech acts (greetings, thanks, requests, compliments, apologies, complaints, etc.), humor, sarcasm, and conversational style.

While the use of pragmatics is critical to appropriate communication, it is often not explicitly taught in the second/foreign language classroom, and there are not many materials available to teachers who wish to incorporate the instruction of pragmatics into their various teaching contexts. To address these issues, the newly launched Second and Foreign Language Pragmatics Wiki is currently soliciting a wide range of practical teaching materials and advice from language teachers and researchers who have successfully taught pragmatics to their students. 

Ideas for Contributions

  • Videos or recordings of natural discourse
  • Examples of speech acts and/or how to teach them
  • Examples of the incorporation of technology into lessons
  • Ideas for assessing pragmatic performance
  • Examples of conversational management/mismanagement by learners

More information about the project can be found at:

The development of the wiki is led by Andrew D. Cohen (Prof. Emeritus, University of Minnesota), and is monitored by Megan DiBartolomeo (Graduate Student, Indiana University). The wiki extends the resources available on CARLA's Pragmatics and Speech Acts website:


CARLA @ Conferences - section header

Publications in the CARLA boothAmerican Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Annual Conference

The U.S. Department of Education Language Resource Centers (LRCs) will have booths together (#2427-2431/ #2527-2530) in the exhibit hall at the ACTFL convention in Boston, November 18–20, 2016. Come and visit CARLA's booth #2427 to register for a drawing for a free CARLA Summer Institute.

Presentations at ACTFL

Several faculty and staff members within the CARLA network will be presenting at ACTFL this year. We invite all ACTFL participants to attend these sessions!

Exploring French-Speaking North America Through Transformative Learning

Presented During: ACTFL Roundtable Presentations I

Friday, November 18
11:00 PM–12:00 PM 
Boston Convention Center, Exhibit Hall A and B1

During this roundtable, the presenter will briefly outline an undergraduate class focusing on New England and Louisiana. Then, student-created qualitative data (i.e., four journal reflections and culminating one-on-one interview) will be shared to showcase learners’ transformative knowledge of the Francophone communities in the United States.

Session Presenter: C. Brian Barnett (University of Minnesota)

Enhancing Students' Chinese Language and Cultural Competence in Study Abroad

Friday, November 18
2:30 PM–3:30 PM 
Westin Boston Waterfront, Commonwealth Ballroom A

The session focuses on enhancing students’ language and culture competence through the U.S. State Department sponsored study abroad program, National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y).

Session Presenters: Yongling Zhang-Gorke, (Confucius Institute, University of Minnesota) and John Rindone (Regis High School)

LRC brochure coverFree Standards-Based Language Teaching Resources from the LRCs

Friday, November 18
3:45 PM–4:45 PM
Boston Convention Center, Room 102A

Come learn about free standards-based resources for teachers available from 16 Language Resource Centers funded by the U.S. 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: Carl Blyth, (COERLL, University of Texas at Austin) 
Joy Campbell (CLEAR, Michigan State University), and Karin Larson (CARLA, University of Minnesota), Margaret Malone, (AELRC, Georgetown University), Julie Sykes (CASLS, University of Oregon)

Large-Scale Implementation of ACTFL Computerized Proficiency Testing

Saturday, November 19
8:00–9:00 AM 

Boston Convention Center, Room 258A

This session reports results from administering over 6,000 ACTFL listening, reading, and speaking proficiency tests at three institutions through grants acquired from the NSEP Language Proficiency Flagship Initiative. Reported are test outcomes and their relationships to student backgrounds, motivation, study abroad, and target-language use.

Session Presenters: Susan Gass (Michigan State University), Jane Hacking (University of Utah), Margaret Malone (AELRC/ACTFL), Fernando Rubio (University of Utah), Dan Soneson (University of Minnesota), Erwin Tschirner (University of Leipzig), Paula Winke (Michigan State University)

ACTFL Plenary III: Language Immersion: Research on Teachers’ Ideologies and Perspectives

Saturday, November 19
10:00–11:00 AM 

Boston Convention Center, Room 201C

Two researchers from this year's Research Priorities initiative will describe key results of their research on immersion in the area of immersion teacher ideologies in relation to their teaching practice and their role as mediators of two cultural contexts in immersion settings. An immersion specialist will be the respondent and will situate panelists’ comments within current research on immersion teaching.

Session Presenters: Richard Donato (University of Pittsburgh), Kelle Keating Marshall (Pepperdine University), Francis Troyan (The Ohio State University), Mandy Menke (University of Minnesota)

High-Leverage Teaching Practices Among Experienced French Graduate Teaching Assistants

Presented During: Research Priorities Areas: Foreign Language Teacher Development, High-Performing Language Programs

Saturday, November 19
2:00–3:00 PM 

Boston Convention Center, Room 211

This presentation reports on the results of a study investigating perceptions and use of high-leverage teaching practices (HLTPs) among French graduate teaching assistants at two universities. The study addresses: What HLTPs do participants prioritize?, Are these HLTPs manifested in teaching?, and Do these HLTPs align with pedagogical approach(es)?

Session Presenters: Kate Paesani (CARLA, University of Minnesota) and Heather Willis Allen (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Using Self-Assessment to Strengthen Students’ Writing Skills in German

Presented During: German for the Liberal Arts and Beyond

Saturday, November 19
5:15–6:15 PM 

Boston Convention Center, Room 156 C

This paper explores developments in L2 writing over a semester among second- and fourth-semester German students. Specifically it presents preliminary results of a study looking at students’ initial and final writing responses to see what gains they made and how these gains were moderated by additional coaching and self-reflection.

Session Presenters: Helena Ruf (University of Minnesota) and Virginia Steinhagen (University of Minnesota)

Developing Communicative Resilience in Language Learners

Presented During: ACTFL Paper Presentations on Instructional Strategies IV

Sunday, November 20
11:15–12:15 PM 

Boston Convention Center, Room 158

An overview of activities that were used to train learners in developing their communicative resilience will be presented. Using text and audio clips, results of the study and participants’ feedback in interviews will be shared. Implications of the study for teachers and suggestions on adapting the approach for different contexts will be discussed.

Session Presenter: Beth Kautz (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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