Creativity in the Classroom:

Fostering Student Learning Through Creative Language Experiences

July 10–14, 2017

Amy Young and Anne Cummings Hlas

Creativity is a way of thinking about learning and teaching that emphasizes collaboration, problem-solving, intrinsic motivation, discovery, and an openness to new ideas. This workshop will examine the connection between multilingualism and creativity, and explore strategies to increase engagement in the classroom. This institute is designed for foreign language and ESL teachers who want to promote creativity in their classroom while simultaneously improving learner's target language proficiency. Strategies will emphasize auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and tactile learning through novel student-centered projects, targeting language objectives at each student's interest and readiness level. Teachers will also learn how to inspire creativity in their students and integrate it meaningfully into daily lesson plans.

Program Schedule (9am-4pm)

Day 1 Connections: Creativity and Language Learning
  • Creativity and 21st Century Skills
  • Multilingualism and Creativity
  • Collaboration and Creative Problem Solving
Day 2 Promoting Creativity: Auditory Tasks
  • Vocabulary Development with Poetry and Music
  • Communicative Functions through Games
  • Peer Interaction and Puzzles
Day 3 Promoting Creativity: Kinesthetic and Tactile Tools
  • Improvisational Techniques and Humor
  • Tactile Learning and Information Gap Activities
  • Creative Assessment Tools
Day 4 Promoting Creativity through Visual Tools
  • Acquisition-Rich Environments
  • Literacy Development
  • Film in the Classroom
Day 5 Promoting Creativity through Technology
  • Technology for Creativity and Collaboration
  • Reflection and Lessons to Take Home

After this institute, you will be able to:

CARLA Globe"This institute had my creative juices flowing all week! I cannot wait to bring all that I learned into my own classroom!"
— Creativity Institute Participant


Amy Young, Ph.D., is a principal in a linguistically diverse elementary school in Owatonna, MN. She worked at New York University in their Multilingual Multicultural Studies program, and lived for over 15 years in Mexico, during which time she founded and was the national director of a creative problem-solving organization. Her research interests include strategies for facilitating learning in multilingual settings through collaborative dialogue, peer interaction, and integrated language and content.

Anne Cummings Hlas is professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where she teaches methods courses for future language teachers and Spanish language courses. A veteran teacher, she regularly incorporates improvisation and creative thinking techniques in her classes to promote interpersonal communication and collaboration. Her research interests include high-leverage teaching practices, brain-based learning, and technology.

Target Audience: Elementary to postsecondary foreign language and ESL teachers.


YouTube Facebook
Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA)
140 University International Center • 331 17th Ave SE • Minneapolis, MN 55414 | Contact CARLA