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CARLA Update - Electronic Newsletter - top header and logo

Fall 2020

CARLA Staff Photo


  • CARLA Presentations and Workshops
    Register Now!
  • Second Language Research & Practice
    Call for Papers

CARLA Program Updates

  • 25th Annual CARLA Summer Institute Program

CARLA Resources

  • Language Program Direction Self-Study Modules
    Module 1 Now Online
  • Maximizing Study Abroad Students' Guide
    Online Edition Now Available

CARLA @ Conferences

  • Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures Virtual Conference

Announcements - section header

CARLA Presentations and Workshops for Fall 2020

This fall, CARLA is offering several free online presentations and two low-cost online workshops to all who are interested.


Global Perspectives of Work and Careers:
A Critical Approach to Career Readiness in Second Language Classrooms

Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Noon–1 p.m. (Central Time)

Presenter: Sara Mack

Widening the View: Using Swivl Technology to Enhance Teacher Candidates’ Reflections

Thursday, October 8, 2020
Noon–1 p.m. (Central Time)

Presenters: Dustin J. Hemsath and Karla Stone

Teaching Idea Roundtable

Thursday, October 15, 2020
Noon–1 p.m. (Central Time)

Presenters: Celia Bravo Díaz, Vivian Hirlandy Franco Díaz, Chloe Mais Hagen, Sally Kessler, Hai Liu, James Ramsburg, and Katrien Vanpee

Praxis and Ideology: Analyzing Teacher Learning in Translanguaging Professional Development

Thursday, October 29, 2020
Noon–1 p.m. (Central Time)

Presenters: Amanda Swearingen and Samuel David

Expanding Arabic Colloquial Instruction through Online Course Design

Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Noon–1 p.m. (Central Time)

Presenter: Katrien Vanpee

More Information
Learn more about each free presentation and register for the Zoom links on the CARLA Presentations webpage.


Improv for Engagement and Language Acquisition in an Online World

Learn about and experience best practices for integrating improvisation activities into online and in-person settings to increase student engagement, language use, and overall creativity. No previous improv experience is necessary.

Saturday, October 24, 2020
9 a.m.–Noon (Central Time)
Cost: $30

Presenter: Brian Hodge-Rice
Target Audience: This workshop is appropriate for K-Postsecondary teachers of all languages and levels.

Teaching Writing Through Reading to Promote Learner Success

Discover how reading can be leveraged to support learner performance in presentational writing. After an introduction to genre-based pedagogy, learn how to develop reading-to-write instructional materials for the FL classroom. 

Saturday, November 14, 2020
9 a.m.–Noon (Central Time)
Cost: $30

Presenter: Lauren Goodspeed
Target Audience: This workshop is designed specifically for secondary and postsecondary foreign language instructors.

More Information
Learn more about these low-cost workshops and register to attend on the CARLA Workshops webpage.

CASLS summer institute logo

Second Language Research & Practice—Call for Papers

The American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators (AAUSC) is pleased to announce its new open-access, refereed journal, Second Language Research & Practice. Published annually in the fall, the journal's aim is to address postsecondary language education from theoretical, empirical, and practical perspectives through the publication of research papers and reports. CARLA Director Kate Paesani is one of the journal’s co-editors along with Johanna Watzinger-Tharp from the University of Utah.

Volume 1, to appear in October 2020, will celebrate 30 years of AAUSC publications with pieces from past editors and a special feature on language teaching and learning during the COVID-19 crisis.

The editors are now accepting submissions for Volume 2, to appear in Fall 2021! Research articles and reports received by January 15, 2021 will be considered for publication in this volume; manuscripts submitted after that date will be considered for Volume 3 (2022). Submission details are available on the journal’s website.


Program Updates - section header

25th Annual CARLA Summer Institute Program

CARLA Summer Institute 25th Anniversary logo

CARLA’s annual Summer Institute Program had its best year ever in 2020! CARLA offered 14 institutes and had over 400 participants–more than any year since the program was launched in 1996.

When the pandemic hit and it became clear that there would be no in-person programming, all of CARLA’s institute instructors agreed to make the shift to online delivery. Much to our surprise (and delight), the program had a surge in registration in late spring. Demand was so great for Transitioning to Teaching Language Online and Using the Web for Communicative Language Learning that additional sections were added and nearly all of the institutes filled to capacity. What a wonderful way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the CARLA Summer Institutes!

By the Numbers

Check out these impressive statistics:

  • 403 participants engaged in the fully online program.
  • Participants hailed from 39 states, DC, and Puerto Rico.
  • 7 countries were represented at the institutes this year: Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Spain.
  • screenshot of literacies video
  • The summer programs served teachers of 26 languages: Arabic, ASL, Chinese, EFL/ESL, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hmong, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lakota, Latin, Navajo, Persian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Yoruba.

Fun Fact: Over the past 25 years, CARLA has offered 258 summer institutes to a total of 6,718 teachers from all 50 states and 71 countries/US territories.


Program Updates - section header

Language Program Direction Self-Study Modules

The Language Program Direction project seeks to equip new and future postsecondary language program directors (LPDs) with the knowledge and skills necessary to support their daily work. The job of the LPD typically requires a wide range of knowledge and skills related to curriculum design, assessment, program evaluation, materials development, teacher supervision and professionalization, scheduling, and troubleshooting. Many LPDs are also active scholars and serve as mentors to graduate students.

To support the complex work of the LPD, CARLA Director Kate Paesani is working with a team of experts to create a series of seven online self-study modules, each addressing a different topic related to directing lower-level language programs in postsecondary language departments:

  • Module 1: Understanding the Roles and Work of Language Program DirectorsNow Online!
  • Module 2: Conceptualizing and Creating the Syllabus
  • Module 3: Program Evaluation and Improvement
  • Module 4: The Methods Course and Ongoing Teacher Professional Development
  • Module 5: Preparing to Teach Beyond the Lower-Level Curriculum
  • Module 6: Open Educational Resources in Language Program Direction
  • Module 7: The Language Program Director as Scholar

The introductory LPD module for the project is now posted online. The remaining modules will be made available sometime in 2021.

More Information

Maximizing Study Abroad: Student Guide - Book Cover

Maximizing Study Abroad: A Students’ Guide to Strategies for Language and Culture Learning and Use

Aimed at students who want to make the most of their study abroad experience, this flexible and user-friendly guide helps students identify and use a wide variety of language and culture learning strategies. The Students' Guide begins with three inventories designed to help students be more aware of how they currently learn language and culture. The following sections of the guide provide students with tools and creative activities that they can use to enhance their favored learning strategies and try out unfamiliar ones. Students can use this guide as they prepare for study abroad, during their experience, and once they return.

New! An online edition of this classic book is now available on Amazon.

More Information


CARLA @ Conferences - section header
MCTLC conference logo

MCTLC (Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures)
Fall Virtual Conference: Proficiency Possible

November 7–8, 2020

Don’t miss this fully virtual event filled with interactive sessions and community building opportunities. The conference keynote speaker Leslie Grahn, a veteran teacher and co-author of the ACTFL publication The Keys to Strategies for Language Instruction, will show how embracing proficiency-based instruction is a “Mission Possible.”

The conference offers two days of live and on-demand sessions and 15 two-hour workshops organized around conference strands focused on Elementary Language Teaching and Learning, Heritage Language Teaching and Learning, Performance Assessments, Teaching for Proficiency, and a new strand dedicated to Immigrant & BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Voices and Narratives. The MCTLC Virtual Conference is designed to be affordable and accessible—all conference materials will remain available to participants for one full year!

CARLA Director Kate Paesani will lead the following workshop:

Making the Most of your Textbook: Analyzing and Adapting Interpretive Communication Activities

Sunday, November 8, 2020
10:30 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.

In this workshop, you will learn about the activity types that comprise multiliteracies pedagogy, a novel approach for engaging your students with authentic written, audio, and audiovisual texts and developing their interpretive communication abilities. After an introduction to the pedagogy, you will work with existing interpretive communication activities from your textbook (or other resources) to evaluate their effectiveness and to revise them following multiliteracies principles. Please bring one or two reading, listening, or viewing activities from your current textbook (or a text-based activity of your own creation) that you wish to refresh and retool.

CARLA colleagues will present the following sessions:

Adjusting Your Aim: Shooting for Effective Online World Language Pedagogy
Dustin Hemsath (University of Minnesota)

L’enseignement du français à distance: les bonnes pratiques 
Patricia Mougel (University of Minnesota)

Teaching Spanish and Culture through Typical Dishes
Monica Nichols (University of Minnesota)

Proficiency Beyond Graduation: Teaching Lifelong Learning Skills
Katrien Vanpee (University of Minnesota)

Youth Participatory Action Research Transforming Heritage Language Classes
Pang Yang (Park Center IB High School), Valerie Neri (Park Center IB High School), and Jenna Cushing-Leubner (University of Wisconsin, Whitewater)

Information and Registration

  • More information about the conference will soon be available on the MCTLC website.
  • Register by the Early Bird Deadline: October 6


Improving language teaching and learning


The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota is a research and resource center devoted to improving 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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