LRC Activities 2014-2018

The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota was launched as a U.S. Department of Education Title VI Language Resource Center in 1993. During the center’s seventh round of LRC funding, CARLA staff and faculty focused on the following projects:

Language Immersion Education
To increase language immersion practitioners’ understanding of research-based practice, and expand the research base supporting immersion, CARLA 1) offered three summer institutes annually designed for K-12 immersion practitioners; 2) hosted the biennial International Conference on Immersion Education in 2016; 3) published Research-to-Practice Briefs targeting topics of critical interest to immersion educators; and 4) carried out a multi-year program of research on instructional strategies and student learning outcomes for language and literacy in early total Mandarin immersion programs.

Advanced Proficiency in Academic Environments
To create and support curricular innovations that target higher levels of proficiency by integrating language and content across the disciplines, CARLA: 1) constructed a national repository of exemplary Languages Across the Curriculum syllabi; 2) developed a summer institute for teachers on incorporating authentic environmental sustainability content into language courses and hosted an academic seminar in Spring 2016 on the environmental humanities for both literature and language faculty; and 3) field- tested an innovative multilingual curricular unit using social media to focus on culture and identity for high school heritage language learners.

Online Education
To improve language teachers’ understanding of new online teaching methods and effective technology integration in developing online proficiency-based language courses, CARLA: 1) offered an experiential online course on teaching language online on an annual basis; and 2) supported a growing network of online language teachers. CARLA also offered two annual summer institutes and a series of annual local/remote audience workshops for teachers on effective integration of online tools in language instruction.

Language Teacher Education
To provide a forum for language teacher educators to share research and best practice, CARLA hosted the popular biennial Language Teacher Education Conference in May 2015, and assisted the National Heritage Language Resource Center (NHLRC) in hosting the conference in Spring 2017 in Los Angeles.

Learner Language
To help teachers better understand their students’ second language acquisition processes, CARLA created new multimedia materials on learner language produced by foreign language and heritage language learners of Spanish.

Dissemination of Resources and Activities
To expand K-16 teachers’ national access to CARLA resources and professional development, CARLA: 1) expanded its popular annual summer institute program with new topics and local/remote delivery methods; and 2) further developed the CARLA website to maintain its status as the “go-to” website for foreign language teachers, immersion teachers, and language teacher educators.


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Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) • 140 University International Center • 331 - 17th Ave SE • Minneapolis, MN 55414