Beyond Communicative Competence:
Using Authentic Materials to Develop 21st Century Literacies

July 17–21, 2017

Kate Paesani

Preparing students for participation in the globalized communities of the 21st century entails out-of-the-box thinking on the part of foreign language teachers. How do we move beyond preparing students to order coffee or buy train tickets, and instead encourage them to be reflective, culturally aware language users? To answer this question, this institute focuses on how to develop students' 21st century literacies through engagement with authentic written, audio, audiovisual, visual, and digital materials.

Using conceptual and pedagogical understandings gained during the institute, participants will collaboratively evaluate and analyze existing materials. They will then create learning objectives, select authentic materials, and design lessons and assessments that develop students' communicative abilities, encourage cross-cultural connections, foster critical thinking and problem solving, and facilitate engagement with the world outside of the classroom.

Program Schedule (9am-4pm)

Day 1 Determining Goals for 21st Century Language Programs
  • Building Conceptual Understanding
  • Considering Standards and Frameworks
Day 2 Developing 21st Century Literacies through Authentic Materials
  • Backward Design Planning
  • Defining and Selecting Authentic Materials
Day 3 Rethinking Classroom Communication: Instructional Practices
  • Experiencing, Conceptualizing, Analyzing, and Applying the Content of Authentic Materials
  • Integrating Language, Content, and 21st Century Literacies
Day 4 Putting it All Together
  • Designing Lessons and Assessment Tools
  • Connecting Objectives, Assessments, and Instructional Practices
Day 5 Looking Beyond the Classroom
  • Considering Course, Curricular, and Institutional Goals and Implications
  • Sharing Materials, Resources, and Reflections

You will learn how to:



Kate Paesani is Director of CARLA and affiliate associate professor in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. A former French professor and language program director, she has delivered workshops and lectures on a range of topics related to text-based teaching and learning, foreign language literacy development, and teacher professionalization across the United States.

Target Audience: Middle school to postsecondary foreign language teachers and teacher educators. The institute is not intended for ESL or immersion teachers.


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