Teaching Language
Through the Lens of Social Justice

July 17–21, 2017

   Beth Wassell, Pamela Wesely, and Cassandra Glynn

Teaching for and about social justice positively influences all students, yet social justice education can be challenging to integrate into the language classroom. In the first part of this institute, participants will examine the principles of social justice education and identify ways that these principles can support our standards, objectives, and targeted skills in contemporary foreign language education. This discussion and reflection will help teachers to identify their own interests and strengths in becoming language educators for social justice.

Program Schedule (9am-4pm)

Day 1
  • Defining Social Justice Concepts
  • Types of Social Justice Education
  • Building Community and Preparing for Teaching Social Justice
Day 2
  • Points of Entry for Social Justice Teaching 
  • Social Justice Issues and Activities
  • Sample Lessons and Units
  • Brainstorming Ideas for Instruction
Day 3
  • Structuring a Social Justice Unit
  • Incorporating Social Justice in Performance Assessments
  • Creating an Original Unit
Day 4
  • Adapting Materials to Incorporate Social Justice Objectives
  • Adapting and Designing Instructional Materials and Formative Assessments
Day 5
  • Sharing Units/Lessons/Materials
  • Reflection and Self-Assessment in Social Justice Education
  • From Learning to Action

In the second part of the institute, the participants will build on this foundation to adapt, develop, and create learning opportunities for their foreign language students. A collaborative, creative set of experiences will help participants go from big ideas to activities and assessments for their classroom, all while teaching for and about social justice.

You will learn how to:


Cassandra Glynn is assistant professor and director of the Master of Education in World Language Instruction at Concordia College. Prior to working in teacher education, she taught middle and high school German and French in Minnesota and North Dakota.

Beth Wassell is professor in the Department of Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Education at Rowan University in New Jersey. Prior to her work in teacher education, she worked as a Spanish teacher at the high school, elementary and community college levels.

Pamela Wesely is associate professor of Foreign Language and ESL Education at the University of Iowa. Her research addresses the K–12 world language classroom and its stakeholders. She was previously a middle school French teacher for eight years.

Target Audience
: Elementary to postsecondary foreign language teachers, immersion educators, English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers, and teacher educators. This institute is NOT intended for ESL teachers.


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Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA)
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