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CARLA Update - Electronic Newsletter - top header and logo

Fall 2019
ACTFL Edition

CARLA Staff Photo


  • 2020 CARLA Summer Institute Program
    Registration Opens: January 6, 2020
  • Transitioning to Teaching Language Online
    Spring Semester Online Program

    January 6–April 20, 2020
    Early-Bird Deadline: November 27, 2019
  • 2020 Midwest Association for Language Learning Technology (MWALLT) Conference
    Saturday, February 8, 2020
    Call for Proposals Deadline: December 1, 2019

CARLA Program Updates

  • Foreign Language Literacies Project: Resources and Research

CARLA Resources

  • New CARLA Presentations Available Online

CARLA @ Conferences

  • 2019 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Annual Convention
Announcements - section header
summer institute instructors and participants

Registration Opens January 6, 2020

2020 CARLA Summer Institute Program for Language Teachers

The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota has provided high-quality professional development for language teachers for over two decades. Launched in 1996, this internationally known program reflects CARLA's commitment to link research and theory with practical applications for the classroom. Each institute is highly interactive and includes discussion, hands-on activities, and networking.

CARLA summer institute participants—more than 6,300 to date—have come from every state and from countries all over the world. They have included foreign/world language, ESL/EFL, heritage language, and immersion educators at all levels of instruction, as well as program administrators, curriculum specialists, and language teacher educators.

Join us for the 25th annual CARLA Summer Institute Program in 2020!

Online Institutes

Transitioning to Teaching Language OnlineOnline course
June 22–July 20, 2020
This intensive four-week online course provides language teachers with the experience of being an online learner while exploring the basics of creating a successful online language class.
Presenters: Claudine Boucaud, Ritu Jayakar, Marlene Johnshoy, and Frances Matos

Using the Web for Communicative Language LearningOnline course
June 29–August 2, 2020
In this five-week online course, participants will discover ways to use online tools to promote student language comprehension and production by motivating their participation and collaboration in the target language.
Presenters: Florencia Henshaw and Marlene Johnshoy 

Using Technology in Second Language TeachingF2F course with online option
July 20–24, 2020
Participants will learn how to use technology to facilitate student use of the target language and get hands-on practice in using computers to promote students' interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational communication skills.
Presenters: Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Marlene Johnshoy, and Dan Soneson

Institutes Offered at the University of Minnesota

Secondary Dual Language and Immersion:
Achieving the Promise of Continuation Programs
June 22–24, 2020
During this three-day institute specifically designed for the secondary dual language and immersion context, participants will explore the what, how, and why of secondary continuation programs.
Presenter: Cory Mathieu

Assessing Language Learners' Communication Skills
via Authentic Communicative Performance Tasks

July 13–17, 2020
After learning how to design communicative tasks, develop rubrics, and evaluate student performance on a variety of tasks, participants will develop their own standards-based Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA).
Presenter: Donna Clementi

Creativity in the Language Classroom:
Fostering Student Learning Through Creative Language Experiences

July 13–17, 2020
This fun institute is designed for second language teachers who want to promote creativity in their classroom while simultaneously improving learners' target language proficiency.
Presenters: Anne Cummings Hlas and Amy Young

Foreign Language Literacies:
Using Target Language Texts to Improve Communication

July 13–17, 2020
Participants will learn how to use target language texts (such as movies, infographics, poetry, music videos, magazine articles, and podcasts) to develop students' communicative abilities, critical thinking, intercultural competence, and language awareness.
Presenters: Mandy Menke and Kate Paesani

Using Technology in Second Language TeachingOnline option
July 20–24, 2020
Participants will learn how to use technology to facilitate student use of the target language and get hands-on practice in using computers to promote students' interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational communication skills.
Presenters: Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Marlene Johnshoy, and Dan Soneson

Critical Approaches to Heritage Language Education
July 20–24, 2020
Participants will learn how to create powerful learning environments to support the unique needs of heritage language learners in the classroom.
Presenters: Jenna Cushing-Leubner and J. Eik

Meaningful Portfolio Implementation: Using Goal Setting, Reflection,
and Thinking Routines to Enhance Student Proficiency

July 20–24, 2020
After examining reflective practices and portfolio use in the world language classroom, participants will design their own learning scenarios that promote higher-order cognitive and social engagement for learners.
Presenters: Stephanie Knight and Julie Sykes

Culture as the Core in the Second Language Classroom

July 27–31, 2020
After gaining a deeper understanding of how language-culture-identity informs their teaching, participants will learn how to integrate culture and language learning in their classrooms.
Presenters: Martha Bigelow and Kaishan Kong

Teaching Language Through the Lens of Social JusticeBack by popular demand!
July 27–31, 2020
Participants in this institute will learn how teach for and about social justice in the foreign language classroom.
Presenters: Cassandra Glynn, Beth Wassell, and Pamela Wesely

Teaching World Languages and Cultures in Elementary Settings
July 27–31, 2020
In this institute, participants will gain proficiency-based lesson design and assessment skills necessary to teach world languages and cultures at the elementary level.
Presenter: Leah Shepard-Carey

Information and Registration

The summer institutes are co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development and College of Liberal Arts.


Early-Bird Registration Deadline: November 27, 2019

Transitioning to Teaching Language Online (TTLO)

January 6–April 20, 2020

TTLO Instructors

This unique semester-long professional development program is for experienced classroom language teachers who want to transition to teaching their language class online. Offered completely online, TTLO will give teachers the first-hand experience of being an online learner while focusing on the important elements of a successful online language class, such as creating community, time management strategies for teachers and students, choosing appropriate technology tools for communicative-based activities, and developing a variety of online activity types. In addition to delving into these concepts of online teaching, participants will see them in action by taking part in model online language activities as language learners. By the end of the program, participants will have a portfolio of activities ready to be incorporated into an online language course.

Instructional Team: Marlene Johnshoy, Ritu Jayakar, Frances Matos, and Shannon Spasova

Hurry! Only a few spaces are open for this unique—and affordable—professional development program.

More Information


Call for Proposals Deadline: December 1, 2019

Midwest Association for Language Learning Technology (MWALLT)
2020 Conference

Saturday, February 8, 2020

TTLO Instructors

MWALLT is a regional affiliate of the International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT), a professional organization dedicated to promoting effective uses of media centers for language teaching, learning, and research.

The MWALLT 2020 conference is designed for K–12 and post-secondary language instructors, individuals affiliated with media centers or language labs, and individuals interested in language learning technology. Participants will be able to attend the conference at one of the four host sites, at a nearby hub, or virtually. See sites below.

Conference Host Sites:

  • Michigan State University
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Minnesota

Conference Hub Sites (to date):

  • University of Chicago
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
          Other hub sites are welcome! Learn more and apply

Proposals are sought for sessions on topics relating to the teaching of languages and cultures using technology. Formats include: session presentation (30 minutes), panel presentation/discussion (60 minutes), and lightning talks (15 minutes). Please note that while this conference allows for virtual attendance, all presenters must present in person at one of the four host sites. Proposals must be submitted by December 1, 2019.

More Information

This MWALLT conference is co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts Language Center and CARLA at the University of Minnesota along with Michigan State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Kansas.


Program Updates - section header

Foreign Language Literacies Project

CARLA's Foreign Language Literacies project equips teachers with tools, resources, and experiences that help them effectively apply literacies pedagogy and engage students with target language texts in secondary and post-secondary classrooms.

Target Language Text Resources

To help teachers find engaging target language texts, the Foreign Language Literacies website now includes a repository of online resources to identify authentic written, audio, audiovisual, and visual texts. Resources are provided for multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Spanish, and Vietnamese, as well as for Indigenous and Classical languages. See the full collection on the Target Language Text Resources webpage.

Photo of Kate and Mandy

Foreign Language Literacies Research

Project directors Kate Paesani and Mandy Menke recently published a book chapter that reports on their ongoing research into teacher learning and implementation of literacies pedagogy. "Understanding Teacher Discourse Around Multiliteracies Pedagogy" examines how teachers talk about literacies pedagogy and whether that talk reflects concepts of communicative language teaching. The discourse of the three postsecondary teachers in this study included concepts from both pedagogical approaches, but these concepts were manifested in different ways that reflected the instructors' teaching and learning experiences. The chapter can be found in the latest publication of the American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators (AAUSC), Pathways to Paradigm Change: Critical Examinations of Prevailing Discourses and Ideologies in Second Language Education.


CARLA Resources - section header

CARLA Presentations Available Online

Many of the presentations that CARLA sponsors at the University of Minnesota are recorded and posted on the CARLA website. Check out our growing collection, including the most recent additions from Fall 2019:

Presentation video screenshot
  • Patterns of Student Engagement and Collaboration in Speaking Activities in Upper-Level Literature Courses
  • Emotions and Language Use: Exploring a Student Teacher's Emotion Labor in the Foreign Language Classroom
  • The Role of Social Context in Second Language Acquisition and Use: The Douglas Fir Group
  • Engaging the 6th C: Critical Media Analysis of Latinoamérica by Calle 13
  • Preparing Students for the Global Workplace: Integrating Career Readiness into Language Study

More Information


CARLA @ Conferences - section header

LTE 2019 Logo American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
2019 Annual Convention and World Languages Expo

Check out the following presentations that will be given by CARLA's colleagues from the University of Minnesota.
Click on linked presenter names to learn more about the CARLA summer institutes they will lead in 2020!

Fostering Language Development in Upper-Level Content Courses
        Friday, November 22
        12:00 PM–12:45 PM
        West Overlook
This session offers insights into addressing the language-content divide in upper level content courses through collaborative pedagogical interventions. Presenters discuss collaborations among administrators and instructors, provide examples of activities for Arabic, German, and Spanish courses, and offer suggestions for effective collaborations.
Presenters: Alex Korte, Emily Groepper, and Adolfo Carrillo Cabello (University of Minnesota)

Interlingual Subtitling and Vocabulary Acquisition
        Friday, November 22
        1:30 PM–2:15 PM
        Room 159B
By engaging in the debate on the use of contrastive-analysis-based methods, this presentation addresses the effectiveness of translation in promoting vocabulary acquisition. The presentation highlights the findings of a subtitling study conducted with a group of advanced learners of Arabic and discusses its implications.
Presenter: Hossam Elsherbiny (University of Minnesota)

State Seals of Biliteracy as Language Policy and Language Practice
In ACTFL Research-Oriented Papers on Programs and Policy
        Friday, November 22
        2:45 PM–3:00 PM
        Room 158B
This session examines state seals of biliteracy as language policy. Presenters will report on how language is constructed as an economic, personal, and academic resource, examine administrative and technical challenges, and investigate ways to work towards opening implementational space for all student populations.
Presenters: Maria Schwedhelm and Kendall King (University of Minnesota)

Complexity in Spanish Immersion Students' Writing
In ACTFL Research-Oriented Papers on Language Immersion
        Friday, November 22
        3:00 PM–3:15 PM
        Room 159A
This paper explores a linguistic feature of academic texts, syntactic complexity, in the writing of middle school Spanish immersion students. It reports on changes over time and explores implications for classroom practice.
Presenter: Mandy Menke (University of Minnesota)

Transformative Learning in French and German Sociolinguistics Courses
        Friday, November 22
        5:30 PM–6:15 PM
        Room 145B
This study examines how structured reflections in French and German sociolinguistics courses facilitate students' understanding of linguistic variation, a key course concept. Using transformative learning, the analysis tracks learners' perspective-shifting moments and considers the contributions of linguistics in FL curricula and the humanities.
Presenters: Cori Crane (Duke University) and Brian Barnett (University of Minnesota)

Latinoamérica Through the Lens of Social Justice: A Literacies Perspective
        Saturday, November 23
        8:00 AM–8:45 AM
        Room 147B
This session shares a set of social justice-focused videos and activities certain to captivate today's lower-level learner. Using a thought-provoking and challenging video, Latinoamérica, the presenter will offer step-by-step literacy-based strategies on how to select and scaffold provocative and authentic videos to promote listening proficiency.
Presenter: Sara Finney (University of Minnesota)

Advanced Speaking: Reflections on Classroom Activities and Feedback
        Saturday, November 23
        9:00 AM–9:45 AM
        Room 144B
This session offers adaptable and reproducible models for promoting advanced speaking in upper-level language and literature courses by incorporating activities that engage students in extended discourse. It also offers critical reflection on the effectiveness of the activities and on student feedback.
Presenters: Emily Groepper, Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Alex Korte, and Emily Sumner (University of Minnesota)

Developing Intercultural Competence in Lower-Level Language Courses
        Saturday, November 23
        10:00 AM–10:45 AM
        Room 145B
How can intercultural competence be developed in lower-level language courses? In this session, presenters share an instructional model including schemata activation, interpretive communication, and reflection on cultural practices and perspectives. Resources are provided for improving the teaching of culture and assessment of cultural learning.
Presenters: Heather Willis Allen (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Lauren Goodspeed (University of Minnesota), and Maggie Hughes (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Reading Comprehension: Tasks and Assessments in the Intermediate Japanese Class
In ACTFL Electronic Poster Session 2
        Saturday, November 23
        10:45 AM–11:45 AM
        Exhibit Halls D-E 
How to design tasks and assessments that foster reading comprehension aptitude in lower-intermediate Japanese class with limited grammar and vocabulary? How to prepare students to deal with authentic texts? This presentation will help answer these questions, and discuss the core values of reading comprehension as a pathway to language proficiency.
Presenter: Ayumi Mita (University of Minnesota)

The Postsecondary Language Proficiency Database: Implications for Practice
        Saturday, November 23
        1:30 PM–2:15 PM
        Room 102A
This session describes a database of ACTFL ratings of listening, speaking, and reading proficiency of 9,065 students at all undergraduate levels in 10 language programs at three large universities. Included is information on background experience, language use, and motivation. Learn how the database can inform teaching and improve language programs.
Presenters: Daniel Soneson (University of Minnesota), Susan Gass (Michigan State University), Jane Hacking (University of Utah), and Paula Winke (Michigan State University)

Virtually Possible: Using Virtual Reality to Teach Culture and Proficiency
        Saturday, November 23
        2:30 PM–3:15 PM
        Room 150B
Still images and videos are helpful tools to teach culture but only provide limited personal experience and emotional engagement. This session demonstrates how to use Virtual Reality (VR) technology and other media to provide experiential learning that guides students towards higher cultural understanding and increased language proficiency.
Presenter: Dustin Hemsath (University of Minnesota)

Analyzing Images and Speaking Up: Social Justice in the German Classroom
        Saturday, November 23
        2:30 PM–3:15 PM
        Room 143A
This session highlights activities that develop visual literacies through a social justice focus in introductory to advanced language classes. Analyses of visual material promote empathy, interculturality, and reflection on stereotypes as learners analyze how accepted truths underpinning cultural topics might reveal bias and social inequities.
Presenters: Gisela Hoecherl-Alden (Boston University) and Jennifer Peterson (University of Minnesota)

The following presentations will be given by CARLA's Summer Institute instructors.
Click on the linked presenter names to learn more about the summer institutes they will lead in 2020!

Pre-Convention Workshop: Teaching for Social Justice in the World Language Classroom
Thursday, November 21
        9:00 AM–4:00 PM
        Room 150A
Engage in steps toward creating an inclusive, equitable classroom climate and developing a curriculum that integrates issues of social justice. The first part of the workshop focuses on language-based activities that set the stage for exploring topics of social justice. Learn how the national World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages align with the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards and consider ways in which the 3 Ps of the Cultures Standards (practices, products, and perspectives) overlap with key tenets of teaching for social justice. The second part of the workshop enables participants to develop their own unit overview focused on social justice in their language contexts. This may involve adapting a unit currently taught or creating a new unit. Collaborate and share ideas via online technology throughout the workshop. Leave with plans that are ready to implement in the classroom and across the curriculum.
Presenters: Cassandra Glynn (Concordia College) and Beth Wassell (Rowan University)

Using Extempore and FlipGrid to Create Speaking Projects in Chinese Class
In ACTFL Less Commonly Taught Languages SIG Paper Presentations
        Friday, November 22
        11:00 AM–11:15 AM
        Room 159B
This presentation will focus on two innovative apps, Extempore and FlipGrid, and introduce multiple speaking activities in a Chinese class to foster students' communication skills: interpersonal, interpretive and presentational. The presenter will also share practical tips on students' self-correction and peer scaffolding after completing videos.
Presenter: Kaishan Kong (University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire)

Strengthening Memory: Brain-Based Lesson Design to Increase Communication
        Friday, November 22
        1:30 PM–2:15 PM
        Room 146B
Brain research provides insights and strategies focused on how the components of purposefully constructed lesson plans strengthen long-term memory resulting in increased communication skills and cultural understanding. Learn how culturally rich texts (visual, audio, written) create memorable contexts for communication and cultural understanding.
Presenters: Donna Clementi (Lawrence University) and Laura Terrill (ACTFL)

Publishing Your Research in ACTFL's Foreign Language Annals
        Friday, November 22
        2:30 PM–3:15 PM
        Room 155
Presenters: Julie Sykes (CASLS–University of Oregon), Margaret Malone (ACTFL), and Anne Nerenz (Eastern Michigan University)

Teacher's Toolbox: Designing Tasks for Interaction
        Friday, November 22
        4:30 PM–5:15 PM 
        Room 146C 
Discover specific strategies to design tasks that facilitate interaction in the classroom. Meaningful tasks require learners to use language to work toward specific objectives. A digital handout with fully developed tasks will be provided. Participants will acquire practical knowledge for next week's class.
Presenter: Anne Hlas (University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire)

Backward Design: Creating Learning Progressions to Build Proficiency
        Saturday, November 23
        9:00 AM–9:45 AM
        Room 201
Backward Unit Design begins with clear performance outcomes and then the identification of the building blocks (language functions, related structures, priority vocabulary) needed to achieve the outcomes. The instructor next creates learning progressions to connect practice through the purposeful design of tasks with feedback via formative assessments.
Presenters: Paul Sandrock (ACTFL) and Donna Clementi (Lawrence University)

Social Justice World Language Education for Beginners: Where Do I Start?
        Saturday, November 23
        9:00 AM–9:45 AM
        Room 152A
This session will focus on supporting teachers who are new to social justice education. After an introduction to the basics, we will discuss ways to take the first steps to teaching for social justice, addressing how to support and advocate for the change with students and how to find points of entry in your curriculum.
Presenters: Pam Wesely (University of Iowa), Cassandra Glynn (Concordia College), and Beth Wassell (Rowan University)

Empowering Progress: Developing Learners' and Teachers' Reflective Practice
        Saturday, November 23
        10:00 AM–10:45 AM
        Room 151A
Reflection, goal setting, and self-evaluation promote increased outcomes in any learner. Yet, teachers find it difficult to set aside time for such important practices. Several processes for reflective learning designed to cultivate teachers' professional growth and support them in developing their students' reflective practice will be shared.
Presenters: Stephanie Knight (Center for Applied Second Language Studies) and Thomas Sauer (National Foreign Language Center)

Critical Late-Access Bilingual Education: A Heritage Language Framework
In ACTFL Research-Oriented Papers on Heritage Language Learners I 
        Saturday, November 23
        1:30 PM–1:45 PM
        Room 158B
This paper suggests critical late-access bilingual education as a framework for heritage language education (HLE) and describes components of this model. Drawing on interview and participatory design research studies, it examines who is served by HLE and which curricular/pedagogical components support linguistic and cultural sustainability for HLs.
Presenter: Jenna Cushing-Leubner (University of Wisconsin–Whitewater)

World Language Teachers' Use of Professional Development Conferences
In ACTFL Roundtable Session 7
        Saturday, November 23
        2:30 PM–3:15 PM
        Confer-sation Corner, Exhibit Halls D-E
This roundtable presents a descriptive, qualitative research study of twelve K-12 world language teachers and how they used summer conferences in their professional development and classroom practices. Interview data were analyzed for themes; findings relate to teachers' agency to make changes in the midst of internal and external constraints.
Presenters: Diane Neubauer (University of Iowa) and Pam Wesely (University of Iowa)

Navigating Chaos: Structuring Spontaneous Communication for Learners
        Saturday, November 23
        4:30 PM–5:15 PM 
        Room 144B
The dynamism and chaos of real-time communication can be overwhelming for language learners. This session explores how awareness of the environment (i.e., material objects like handouts and mobile devices) as well as situational dynamics (i.e., social settings and roles) can inspire learners to participate confidently in unrehearsed contexts.
Presenters: Christopher Daradics (University of Oregon) and Stephanie Knight (Center for Applied Second Language Studies)

Teaching for Social Justice Through Content-Based Instruction
In ACTFL Research-Oriented Papers on Innovative Instructional Practices IV
        Sunday, November 24
        8:00 AM–8:45 AM
        Room 158B
This session presents findings from a survey of experienced secondary language teachers describing to what degree they use content-based instruction (CBI) to teach social justice topics. In-depth interviews and observations with 4 focus Spanish teachers illustrate innovative ways in which they build proficiency while teaching social justice topics.
Presenters: Cassandra Glynn (Concordia College), and Allison Spenader (College of St. Benedict)


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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