A Language Resource Center

The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition at the University of Minnesota is one of several Language Resource Centers (LRC), whose role is to improve the nation's capacity to teach and learn foreign languages effectively. Through United States Department of Education (USDE) Title VI Language Resource Center program funding, CARLA has sponsored a number of research and action initiatives designed to advance the quality of second language teaching, learning, and assessment.

Projects funded by the LRC

In 1993, CARLA was established as a Language Resource Center at the University of Minnesota with funding from the USDE. Since that time CARLA has received a total of seven LRC grants and is currently funded through 2018.

Recent LRC Projects

CARLA focused on the following initiatives during its seventh LRC cycle (2014Ð2018):

Language Immersion Education: To increase language immersion practitioners’ understanding of research-based practice, and expand the research base supporting immersion, CARLA will 1) offer three summer institutes annually designed for K-12 immersion practitioners; 2) host the biennial International Conference on Immersion Education in 2016; 3) publish Research-to-Practice Briefs targeting topics of critical interest to immersion educators; and 4) carry 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 will: 1) construct a national repository of exemplary Languages Across the Curriculum syllabi; 2) develop a summer institute for teachers on incorporating authentic environmental sustainability content into language courses and host an academic seminar in Spring 2016 on the environmental humanities for both literature and language faculty; and 3) field-test 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 will: 1) offer an experiential online course on teaching language online on an annual basis; and 2) support a growing network of online language teachers. CARLA will also offer 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 will host the popular biennial Language Teacher Education Conference in May 2015, and assist the National Heritage Language Resource Center (NHLRC) in hosting the conference in Spring 2017 in Los Angeles.

Less Commonly Taught Languages Database: To help prospective learners locate and evaluate the characteristics of LCTL programs in the nation, CARLA will continue to update and maintain its comprehensive LCTL database showing where LCTLs are offered throughout North America, with up-to-date information on grade levels, instructional levels, proficiency targets, time frames, and most recently, interactive maps.

Learner Language: To help teachers better understand their students’ second language acquisition processes, CARLA will create 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 will: 1) expand its popular annual summer institute program with new topics and local/remote delivery methods; 2) offer two webinars a year to extend the reach of CARLA-based initiatives; and 3) further develop the CARLA website to ensure that it remains the “go-to” website for foreign language teachers, immersion teachers, and language teacher educators.

Past LRC Projects

The CARLA projects funded as part of the LRC for the periods between 1993–1996, 1996–1999, 1999–2002, 2002–2006, 2006–2010, and 2010–2014 are:

Immersion Education and Research
Less Commonly Taught Language
(1993-2012 with continuation funding for 2013-4 from National Security Ed Program)
Language Teacher Education Conference
(1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
Second Language Assessment
Web-Based Grammar Strategy Instruction for Spanish
Pragmatics/Speech Acts
Content-Based Language Teaching with Technology
Culture and Language Learning
Second Language Learning Strategies
(1993-1996, 1999-2002)
Technology Project




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