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Fall 2021

CARLA Staff Photo


  • CARLA Workshops for Teachers: Fall 2021
    Register now!

CARLA Program Updates

  • 2021 CARLA Summer Institute Program
    Another successful summer of online institutes
  • 2020-2021 CARLA Program Stats Infographic
    A recap of a full year of professional development at CARLA

CARLA Resources

  • Dual Language and Immersion Family Education
    Online resources now available

CARLA @ Conferences

  • CARLA Online Presentation Series: Fall 2021
    Register now for any or all of these free presentations!
  • Symposium on Language Pedagogy in Higher Education (SOLPHE)
    Check out the session on CARLA's Language Program Direction project


CARLA Workshops for Teachers: Fall 2021

This fall, CARLA is offering three low-cost online workshops for language educators. All three workshops are appropriate for teachers of any language at the elementary through the postsecondary level as well as for language teacher educators.

Register soonCARLA Workshops for Teachers fill up quickly!

Integrating Peacebuilding into the Language Classroom

Saturday, September 25, 2021
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Online via Zoom (Link will be sent to all registrants)
Cost: $30 Register online with a credit card!

In this hands-on workshop, language educators are invited to recognize themselves and their students as potential peacebuilders who work to create harmony out of difference. Participants will learn how to use a multidimensional peace model to incorporate innovative peacebuilding activities into the language classroom. The activities presented at the workshop will feature language used to reflect, express, and/or expand peace in any of six dimensions, including inner, interpersonal, intergroup, international, intercultural, and ecological. While some of the activities involve nonverbal forms of communication, many others can be used to practice language skills in any second or foreign language. In addition, the workshop activities include adaptations for integrating peace teaching into language classes for students at different levels, including elementary, secondary, and postsecondary.

During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to experience and reflect on sample peacebuilding activities; they will also receive ideas, suggestions, and a recommended bibliography. In closing, the presenters and participants will share reflections on achieving learning outcomes and on the importance of creating a community of practice where teachers can share their peacebuilding strategies in the field of language education.

María Matilde Olivero
, Teacher Educator and Researcher, Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto, Argentina
Rebecca L. Oxford, Professor Emerita, University of Maryland

Introduction to Creativity in Language Teaching: 
Using Visuals in the Language Classroom

Saturday, October 9, 2021
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Central Time)

Online via Zoom (Link will be sent to all registrants)
Cost: $30 Register online with a credit card!

Explore ways of improving language teaching through the lens of creativity. Creativity is a way of thinking about learning and teaching that emphasizes collaboration, problem-solving, intrinsic motivation, discovery, and an openness to new ideas. In this workshop, participants will engage with specific visual techniques and supports to create acquisition-rich environments in the language classroom. Multimodal strategies that include visuals and film will be integrated into plans to improve the learner’s target language proficiency and to support creative thinking and learning.

Anne Cummings Hlas, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Amy Young, English Language Specialist for School Support, Minnesota Department of Education

Interweaving Culture into the Language Classroom: Planning, Delivering, Assessing

Saturday, November 13, 2021
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Central Time)

Online via Zoom (Link will be sent to all registrants)
Cost: $30 Register online with a credit card!

Integrating culture in language teaching does not mean simply filling the last 10 minutes of a class with a cultural activity or embedding a “Culture Day” in the syllabus. Impactful learning occurs when culture is intentionally and thoughtfully interwoven into language teaching through a complete process, from lesson planning to delivering and assessing. In this interactive workshop, participants will experience this process with specific supports (guidelines, examples, templates) to see what a culture-as-center language class looks like. A variety of activities will be modeled in this workshop, enabling participants to engage as learners and reflect as teachers.

Kaishan Kong, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Additional Information


CARLA Program Updates

Screenshot of summer institute online group faces

2021 CARLA Summer Institute Program

CARLA’s annual Summer Institute Program had another banner year in 2021. For the second consecutive summer, CARLA offered all of its institutes online because of the ongoing pandemic. This year, over 400 language educators participated in fifteen summer institutes. Check out the impressive statistics below.

By the Numbers

  • 407 language educators engaged in the fully online program in 2021: 371 participants and 36 instructors/guest presenters.
  • Participants hailed from 43 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico.
  • 15 countries outside of the U.S. were represented at the institutes this year: Algeria, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Norway, Spain, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.
  • Teachers of 27 languages attended the institutes: Arabic, ASL, Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, EFL/ESL, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Navajo, Ojibwe, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Fun Fact: Over the past 26 years, CARLA has offered 273 summer institutes to a total of 7,089 teachers from all 50 states and 72 countries/US territories.

2020–2021 CARLA Program Stats Infographic

Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic during the past academic year, CARLA provided a wide range of professional development opportunities for language educators. Check out this recap of CARLA’s activities from the past year:

for a text list of CARLA 2020-2021 stats, click the image

CARLA Resources

Dual Language and Immersion Family Education

Logo: DLI Family Education: Educate, Empower, EngageThe Dual Language and Immersion (DLI) Family Education program was designed to expand the skills, strategies, and knowledge of parents and families to enhance their engagement and support their children's learning in DLI programs. The newly launched DLI Family Education website includes resources for family education professionals to implement the program in their own schools/districts and additional resources for DLI families.

Family Education Program Guidelines and Materials support the delivery of four face-to-face sessions for Grade K–5 DLI families and two face-to-face sessions for Grade 6–12 DLI families. Materials to support these interactive sessions include PowerPoint presentations and handouts, facilitator scripts, interactive activities, and parent surveys. K–5 materials are available in Spanish, Hmong, and English, and 6–12 materials in Spanish and English. Designed to be facilitated by bilingual educators, the sessions cover the following four topics:

  • Dual Language and Immersion Basics
  • Bilingualism and Biliteracy
  • Challenges of Dual Language and Immersion Education
  • College and Career Opportunities

All materials may be modified to reflect local contexts.

DLI Family Resources offers an online repository of videos and links that provide a deeper understanding of DLI. Additional resources are available in Spanish and Hmong.

The DLI Family Education program was developed and piloted by a team of DLI educators from the University of Minnesota and teacher contributors from surrounding school districts with the support of a United States Department of Education grant from the Office of English Language Acquisition.

Additional Information


CARLA Presentations at Conferences

Logo: CARLA Presentation Series: Improving language teaching and learning by sharing research and resources

CARLA Online Presentation Series:
Fall 2021

Each semester, CARLA offers a series of presentations on research taking place at the University of Minnesota. Register to attend one or all of the free presentations listed below:

Bringing Social Justice into Language Classes: Templates to Guide Instructional Planning

Tuesday, September 28, 2021
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. (Central Time)

Register here for the Zoom link

This presentation describes the process of developing research-based curricular unit and lesson plan templates that support language instructors in the teaching of social justice themes. The templates merge frameworks grounded in multiliteracies (Kalantzis et al., 2016), social justice (Hackman, 2005; Learning for Justice, 2018), and career readiness (Regents of the University of Minnesota, 2018), to promote development of students’ language proficiency, intercultural understanding, and career competencies. Presenters will explain the collaborative and iterative process that informed this work, including affordances and constraints encountered during the template-creation process. Next, they will introduce the templates and illustrate how they are being used to create intermediate-level curricular units in nine languages. Finally, presenters will address implications of this social justice project, including its national dissemination plan and its contribution to the professional development of teachers across languages and institutional contexts.

Lauren Goodspeed, Lecturer in the Department of French and Italian and Director of the French Language Program, University of Minnesota
Mandy Menke, Assistant Professor and Director of Language Programs in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies, University of Minnesota
Kate Paesani, Director of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) and affiliate Associate Professor in the College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota
Helena Ruf, Senior Lecturer and Director of Language Instruction in the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic, and Dutch, University of Minnesota

Educating, Engaging, and Empowering DLI Parents and Families: Materials and Resources for Families and Parent Educators

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Register here for the Zoom link

Parent or family engagement has been identified as one of the most crucial aspects influencing student achievement in schools (e.g., Henderson & Mapp, 2002). Educators working in well-implemented dual language and immersion (DLI) programs ensure that families are informed and engaged and play integral roles in their children’s education (Howard et al., 2018). Yet DLI programs need well-developed materials to educate families to ensure that they are able to play key roles in their children’s learning. To this end, we developed a DLI family education program specifically for two-way bilingual immersion programs, which can be modified for one-way and indigenous programs. Modules and interactive activities designed for face-to-face workshops for parents and families span four key topics: DLI Basics, Bilingualism & Biliteracy, The Challenges of DLI, and College & Career Opportunities. In this session, we will showcase samples of the materials and share program participant perspectives. We will also unveil a website (with materials in English, Spanish, and Hmong) that provides all the materials for the DLI family education workshops as well as additional support and information for DLI parents and parent educators.

Maureen Curran-Dorsano, retired French immersion teacher from Edina Public Schools and Coordinator of the Dual Language and Immersion Family Education project
Diane (Dee) Tedick, Professor in the Second Language Education program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Minnesota 

Acquisition of Discourse Markers and Fillers in L2 Spanish and Their Usage in Spontaneous Conversation

Thursday, October 28, 2021
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Register here for the Zoom link

Do advanced learners utilize discourse markers and fillers in a similar frequency as native speakers? What factors contribute to the more native-like usage of discourse markers and fillers in second language acquisition? The purpose of this study is to determine how native English speakers acquire the use of discourse markers and fillers in their L2 Spanish, as well as observe their spontaneous conversations in order to linguistically analyze communicative strategies among English-Spanish bilingual speakers.

James Ramsburg, PhD student and instructor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies, University of Minnesota
Yoko Hama, PhD student in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies, University of Minnesota

Harm and Hope: Reflexive Conflicts and Transformations in White Pre-Service Teachers’ Developing Critical Cultural Awareness

Thursday, November 11, 2021
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Register here for the Zoom link

English language teaching continues to define the “intercultural” from narrow social scientific and positivist perspectives where intercultural competencies derive from conceptualizations of culture from a nationalist lens (Kubota, 2004; R’boul, 2020), and pre-service teachers (PSTs) are most commonly apprenticed into viewing their roles from positions that sanitize the act of teaching English and reduce intercultural understandings to essentializing praxis. As such, PSTs struggle when challenged to confront critical reframings of interculturality that foreground the sociohistorical shaping of cultured ways of being in classrooms that emerge from the unequal distribution of power and dominance in which culture becomes a site of struggle (Kubota & Miller, 2017; Moon, 1996; Motha, 2006). This qualitative study drew on Critical Cultural Awareness (Guilherme, 2002) and Critical Whiteness Studies in teacher education (DiAngelo, 2012; Marx, 2006; Picower, 2009; Sleeter, 2008; White, 2012) in analyzing PSTs’ weekly written reflections during a semester of TESL undergraduate coursework. Findings offer insights into the identity, ideological, and emotional conflicts white PSTs navigated when reflecting on critical intercultural worldviews that often clashed with their prior lived experiences and expectations for becoming English language teachers. PSTs’ engagement in self-reflexivity revealed the delicate and complex intersection of harm and hope as they reimagined their future classrooms as critical intercultural spaces.

Amanda J. Swearingen, PhD student in the Second Language Education program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Minnesota
Samuel David, Assistant Professor in the Second Language Education program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Minnesota

Additional Information


Logo: Symposium on Language Pedagogy in Higher Education

Symposium on Language Pedagogy in Higher Education (SOLPHE)

October 1-2, 2021

The Language Program Direction Project: Online Professional Development Modules

This presentation outlines the process of conceptualizing and preparing web-based modules on topics related to language program direction. The modules provide much-needed professional development to new and aspiring language program directors by situating each topic in current research, presenting implementation tips, and providing testimonials from practicing language program directors.

Presenters: Kate Paesani, University of Minnesota and Chantelle Warner, University of Arizona

AAUSC Business Meeting and Reception

This meeting is open to current and potential new members of the American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators (AAUSC). In addition to informing the membership of the association's activities, the meeting will feature presentations from authors of the second issue of Second Language Research & Practice, the AAUSC's open-access journal.

Additional Information


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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