spaceCenter for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA)

CoBaLTT Participants

CoBaLTT Professional Development Program

The purpose of the CoBaLTT professional development program was to provide year-long intensive professional development for world language and immersion teachers on content-based instruction (CBI) and the use of technology to support CBI in the classroom. Teachers received graduate credit for their participation in CoBaLTT from the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. CoBaLTT was designed to help teachers:

  • understand the theoretical principles that underlie content-based curriculum development, teaching strategies, and performance-based assessment, and see how these principles fit with national standards.
  • understand and internalize the theoretical principles so that they guide curriculum development and instructional practices.
  • build skills in using technology to create content-based tasks and activities, and be able to ascertain when and how to best use technology in their classes.
  • understand how performance-based assessment needs to align with curriculum and instruction;
  • learn ways of developing formative and summative assessments for classroom use that align with CBI.
  • develop skills linking their curriculum and assessment materials with classroom practice and with national standards.
  • gain hands-on, practical experience utilizing technology to develop and design tasks that incorporate authentic materials and promote meaningful communicative interaction in the classroom with CBI.

Each year, from 1999 through 2004, a cohort of language teachers began the program with a week-long summer institute at the University of Minnesota. This institute enabled participants to understand the theoretical principles that link national standards with CBI curriculum development and CBI teaching strategies, and helped teachers develop practical skills in creating curriculum with these principles in mind. Participants were also exposed to effective uses of technology to enhance their teaching, motivate their students, and enrich classroom instruction.

The outline that follows provides an example of the topics included in the summer institute. In any particular year, the topics might have changed somewhat depending on the needs and experience of the participants.


An Introduction to CBI

National Standards and CBI

An Introduction to the CoBaLTT Unit Template

National Technology Standards

Curriculum Development for CBI
Developing Objectives for CBI lessons

Finding and Organizing Web Resources to Support CBI

Teaching Strategies for CBI

Making Web-Based Activities

More Teaching Strategies for CBI and Formative Assessment

PowerPoint Jeopardy or Making a WebQuest

Pulling It All Together: Aligning Objectives, Lesson Activities, and Assessment

Language Uses of Common Software Applications

After the week-long summer institute, participants returned during the academic year for three 2-day workshops, one in fall, one in winter, and one in spring. These workshops built on the content introduced in the summer institute and provided additional professional development, including new technology applications and information on developing assessments for CBI. Throughout the program participants made use of the online instructional modules developed to support the face-to-face instruction.

During the program, participants worked to create content-based units utilizing an online template while receiving ongoing feedback and guidance from CoBaLTT staff. Staff offered additional feedback via the template between workshops and at “open-lab” Saturdays made available to participants between scheduled workshops. Completed units selected by CoBaLTT staff are available to other language teachers on the CoBaLTT website.

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