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Presentations, Workshops, and Special Events

CARLA sponsors a series of presentations and workshops during the academic year and also offers a number of other special events, such as the CARLA Open House. These presentations are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Locations can be found on the University map website.

Many of the presentations have been recorded and you can find them on the Presentation Recordings webpage.

CARLA Presentation Series

Spring 2018

Language and Education in Aboriginal Australia: What Role for Equity and Ethics?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018
12:00-1:30 p.m. (Note time)
Location: Peik 355 

Indigenous Australians comprise only 3% of the population, but a much greater proportion of the population in some areas. In the more remote areas of this vast country, the language of the community is not English, but there is widespread expectation that the children in these communities will become fluent speakers of English.

The language ecology of the wide range of communities the children are living in is complex, and highly variable.  I will begin by describing the language ecology of several of the communities in central and northern Australia in which I and my students have worked.  Each of these communities differs considerably from the others in terms of its individual language ecology, but that they all share one important condition: in each of these communities the children are growing up in a situation which must be characterized as an English as a Foreign Language environment because English has little place in the community.  They are not spoken to in standard English by caregivers, and have minimal contact with English, except at school, which for most of the children is their first contact with English.

Several issues impact on the context of education for children in remote communities; they have limited, if any, access to bilingual education; there is minimal discussion with communities about their preferences; there tends to be high turnover of teachers who are often not well qualified, particularly in language teaching, and standardized assessments are used regularly.  I will argue that these conditions contribute to a situation which is both ethically problematic, and lacks equity with the broader community. While this presents considerable challenges for governments, education departments and schools, it is crucial that these challenges are met and not exacerbated by the policy that are made.  I explore the concerns that contribute to this situation and offer some options for improvement.

Gillian Wigglesworth 

This presentation is sponsored by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction Diversity Dialogues series. CARLA is a cosponsor of the event.

The Politics of Language Education Policy Development and Implementation: Minnesota (Not So) Nice?

Thursday, April 5, 2018
12:20-1:10 p.m.
Location: Peik 355

Minnesota has a decades-long history of welcoming and resettling refugees, and the state has long supported multilingualism through numerous immersion schools and K-12 world language programs for mainly English speakers. Concomitantly, there exists a longstanding gap in programming for minority language students, and a resultant significant academic achievement (or opportunity) gap between English learners, most of whom are students of color, on the one hand, and English proficient students on the other. To address these educational inequities, the 2014 Learning English for Academic Proficiency and Success (LEAPS) Act was written and passed in the Minnesota state legislature. Drawing on interviews with key policy officials, close analysis of the text of law, and our long-standing professional involvement as consultants and advocates for multilingualism in the state, we examine the development and implementation of the law. Through close analysis of the positioning within narrative accounts, we demonstrate how local culture, in particular what has been termed ‘Minnesota Nice,’ has shaped both the law’s development and implementation path.

Kendall King is Professor of Second Language Education at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the ideological, interactional and policy perspectives on second language learning and bilingualism.
Martha Bigelow is Professor of Second Language Education at the University of Minnesota. Her research spans the fields of education, applied linguistics, and cultural studies.

This presentation is cosponsored by the Second Language Education Program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.


CARLA Fellow Presentation:
Materials Design and Use in a Secondary Spanish Immersion Classroom

Thursday, April 19, 2018
12:20-1:10 p.m.
Location: Peik 355 

The successful integration of content and language is a persistent challenge in content-based language instruction contexts such as dual language and immersion (DLI) classrooms. Although previous scholarship has explored a variety of factors that affect DLI teachers' abilities to integrate content and language in their pedagogy, none of this work has focused on the potential affordances and constraints of the classroom materials that these teachers employ. Moreover, very little classroom-based language learning materials use research has examined the relationship between the design of the materials themselves and how they are used in the classroom. Operating under an overarching question of how language-focused modifications to DLI materials might offer affordances for more frequent and effective content and language integration, this study set out to build a local theory for how the design of DLI materials related to how they were mobilized by the teacher and students in one ninth-grade Spanish immersion social studies classroom. In this presentation, I share findings from classroom observations, teacher interviews and materials analysis that illustrate a possible relationship between materials design and materials use, highlighting in part how materials design features can support or inhibit an intended pedagogical paradigm and/or curriculum. I will also present implications for DLI pedagogy, materials development for content-based instruction and teacher education. 

Corinne (Cory) Mathieu is a PhD student in Second Language Education in the department of Curriculum and Instruction. Her research focuses on materials use and development and content and language integration in secondary Spanish immersion programs. She teaches in the dual language and immersion certificate program and works as the graduate assistant for the K-6 initial licensure program with a focus on dual language and immersion education at the University of Minnesota. 

This presentation is cosponsored by the Second Language Education Program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.


Reading in Mandarin and English: An Examination of Mandarin Immersion Readers’ Strategic Processing 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
12:20-1:10 p.m.
Location: Peik 355

Relatively lower outcomes for Mandarin reading proficiency among immersion learners underscore the challenge of character literacy acquisition and suggest a need to better understand the challenges young immersion learners’ encounter as they make sense of text presented in characters versus letters. This study examines the oral reading behaviors and strategic processing of Grade 4 Mandarin immersion children as they engage with narratives in Mandarin (L2) and English (L1). Using data from during-reading think alouds and post-reading interviews, we identify patterns in the types and frequency of reading errors and strategic processes used by more- and less-proficient readers. Implications for the instruction of bilingual readers of Mandarin and English and the development of biliteracy in the Mandarin immersion classroom will be presented.  

Tara Fortune, Ph.D., is the director of the Research and Professional Development Project at CARLA–University of Minnesota. Recent studies carried out in the early total Mandarin immersion context have included investigations of academic achievement, Mandarin proficiency outcomes, and an in-depth analysis of complexity, accuracy, and fluency in oral learner language.
Zhongkui Ju is a Ph.D. student in the Second Language Education Program at the University of Minnesota. He has served as a research assistant and provided expertise in Mandarin language and literacy for the Immersion Projects at CARLA for the past three years.

This presentation is cosponsored by the Second Language Education Program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.


Mixed Methods Research in Second Language Education

Thursday, May 3, 2018
12:20-1:10 p.m.
Location: Peik 355

Presentation description coming soon!

Cory Mathieu
and Anuradha Gopalakrishnan

This presentation is cosponsored by the Second Language Education Program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Please note: We encourage you to submit ideas for topics and speakers; email Karin Larson at larso205@umn.edu.

Thank you for your support of this program!

Special Events

There are no Special Events planned at this time. 

Graphic link to CARLA Open House 2017 webpage

Learn more about the 2017 CARLA Presentation and Open House including a video of the keynote presentation by Claire Kramsch and information abut research poster session held during the event.

Workshops For Teachers

Please note: Online workshop registration will be turned off at 4 p.m. on the Thursday before the Saturday of each workshop. Register early!

Rate It! Assessing Student Performance in the World Language Classroom

"What we assess communicates to students what we value" - Cherice Montgomery

Back by popular demand - a series of 5 workshops designed to help you assess what your students can DO with the language!  Come learn how to assess student performance in the world language classroom and inspire students to move to the next proficiency level!

These workshops will help you implement world language curriculum based on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Performance Guidelines and the Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA) framework.  During the sessions, we will work with performance goals for language learners of all levels, develop assessments for each mode of communication using backward design (Wiggins & McTighe), and practice using the ACTFL performance rubrics to assess students’ performances.  Ideas on reporting performance-based grades will also be shared.   

This workshop series is a collaboration between Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA), Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Language and Cultures (MCTLC) and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).

The workshop series is open to teachers of all levels and languages and is intended for both immersion and non-immersion teachers and an excellent fit for teachers in dual language or immersion programs intending to measure the language development and proficiency levels of the non-English language of their programs.

Save the dates!

  • December 2, 2017     Session 1 - Assessing what matters using IPAs
  • January 20, 2018*     Session 2 - ACTFL Performance and Proficiency Training
  • February 3, 2018       Session 3 - Assessing the Interpretive Mode
  • February 24, 2018     Session 4 - Assessing the Interpersonal Mode
  • April 14, 2018           Session 5 - Assessing the Presentational Mode

All sessions are from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. with a working lunch

Location: Minnesota Department of Education Conference Center A – Room 14

Presenter: Megan Budke Spanish teacher, Wayzata West Middle School will present Sessions 1, 3, 4, & 5. Megan has extensive experience developing and implementing IPAs. She has also served as the district's world language resource teacher and has led last year’s workshops on using IPAs to revise curriculum to focus on teaching for proficiency.

*Please note: Session 2 (January 20) will be presented by Arnold Bleicher, ACTFL trainer. The location for this session is Conference Center B – Room 15

Learn more and register on the MCTLC website: http://mctlc.org/event-2707041

Please Note: We encourage you to submit ideas for topics and speakers; email Karin Larson at larso205@umn.edu.

Thank you for your support of this program!



Articulation of Language Instruction
Assessment of Second Language
Content-Based Language Instruction
Culture and Language Learning
Immersion Education
Learner Language
Less Commonly Taught Languages
Maximizing Study Abroad
Pragmatics/Speech Acts
Strategies for Language Learning
Technology and Language Learning

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Last Modified: March 12, 2018 at 14:37