CARLA Summer Institutes

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 25 years. 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.

Check out CARLA's 2023 Summer Institute Program schedule.    

Registration is now open!


Who Participates in the CARLA Summer Institutes?

CARLA summer institute participants—more than 7,400 to date—have come from every state and 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.

2022 CARLA Summer Institute Program

This year, CARLA offered four institutes in person for the first time in three years. CARLA also offered ten online summer institutes in order to continue the Center's commitment to providing access to high-quality professional development for language educators across the globe.Check out the impressive statistics below.

By the Numbers

  • 351 language educators engaged in the program in 2022: 323 participants and 28 instructors/guest presenters.
  • Participants hailed from 39 states and DC and from 12 countries outside the U.S.: Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, France, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Norway, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Instructors came from 14 states and 3 countries outside of the U.S.: Argentina, Canada, and Japan.
  • The summer programs served teachers of 23 languages: Arabic, ASL, Chinese, EFL/ESL, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hocąk, Italian, Japanese, Karen, Korean, Mohawk, Norwegian, Ojibwe, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Fun Fact: Over the past 27 years, CARLA has offered 287 summer institutes to a total of 7,412 teachers from all 50 states and 72 countries/US territories.


What Participants Say About the CARLA Summer Institutes

It is clear from reading the institute evaluations that these professional development opportunities make a significant difference for language teachers and their students. Comments by participants show that CARLA is seen as the “go-to” center for resources and support for language instruction, and they greatly appreciate that our instructors are some of the best in the field.

Read some of the quotable quotes from 2022:

Asynchronous Institutes

  • I highly recommend this summer institute! I learned so much and had a lot of fun thinking as a student. The professor was excellent–one of the best I have ever had. It is great that a place like CARLA exists, since it is really important for FL educators to keep learning and be up to date on what is happening in our field. I plan on taking CARLA summer institutes every summer!! (Culture as the Core in the Second Language Classroom)
  • This CARLA institute provided me with practical strategies to implement in my classroom and provided a space for me to get feedback on my ideas from knowledgeable instructors and dedicated educators. The adaptive nature of the assignments allowed me to create what I needed for my specific context. Julie and Stephanie are incredibly knowledgeable in the areas of reflective practices and thinking routines.—Christy Dietz (Implementing Reflective Practices and Portfolios in the Language Classroom) 
  • The course introduced the significance and practicality of pragmatic teaching, which will be very useful for my future teaching of pragmatics. I also benefited from the positive feedback on my answers and the frequent interaction between the participants. (Language and Culture in Sync: Teaching Linguistic Politeness and Intercultural Awareness)
  • I loved this institute! I felt like I grew so much as an educator (both online and in-person) through the thoughtful, thought-provoking units of these four weeks. The instructors were warm and created a collegial environment, and it gave me the necessary opportunity to reflect on online teaching from past experience as I look forward to continuing in the future. You'll leave with lots of great resources, reflections, and a whole network of colleagues. (TTLO–Transitioning to Teaching Language Online)
  • This CARLA summer institute was an excellent development program that helped me as a student-teacher broaden my knowledge on using technology in my EFL teaching. I was introduced to new tools and articles that will be useful for me as an educator. The asynchronous course and structure of the program allows you to manage alongside other commitments.—Andreas Berg (Using the Web for Communicative Language Learning)

Synchronous Institutes

  • I'm very excited because this class changed the way I will plan my advanced Spanish classes. I recommend this class to anyone looking for more critical learning where the language is more than a list of vocabulary and one specific grammar content.—Susana Zaragoza (Content-Based Language Instruction and Curriculum Development)
  • This workshop was incredibly beneficial for integrating creativity into the classroom. Very few PDs address engagement and language.  I'm thankful to have these tools for next fall!—Mary Zoubek-Xiong (Creativity in the Language Classroom)
  • The summer institute on integrating career readiness into second language programs was extremely informative and timely. As second language educators continue to face questions about the value of our disciplines, career readiness provides a philosophy and a vocabulary that can help us to advocate for our students and ourselves.—Erin Edgington (Integrating Career Readiness into Language Programs)
  • This summer institute is a MUST for anyone who wants to incorporate and build peace into their educational approaches and their entire life!—Joy Peyton (Integrating Peacebuilding into Language Education)
  • This was an excellent three-day workshop. Immersion teachers had a valuable opportunity to see how proficiency standards could be integrated with literacy based immersion models, as well as how to boost student engagement in language classrooms. We came away with concrete strategies and resources for developing our skills as immersion teachers regardless of our professional context. (Teaching for Proficiency in Dual Language Immersion)

Face-to-Face Institutes

  • Never has a week so packed with learning and work flown by so quickly for me! I am so grateful I had the opportunity to attend this Summer Institute.  There is nothing invigorating in quite the same way as being in a room of people who share the same professional passion and being given the chance to talk, question, and collaborate together.—Sara White (Assessing Language Learners' Communication Skills via Authentic Communicative Performance Tasks)
  • CARLA is doing very important work and they have selected excellent experts to run their classes. Critical Approaches to Heritage Language Education is no exception. I came into this week nervous and feeling unprepared to teach the one Heritage class I will have next year. Now I feel I have the blueprint for how to develop an entire two-year program for Spanish-speaking students, from my theoretical approach to day-to-day lessons. I also feel ready to advocate for ethnic studies and heritage classes for my students.—Jeannie M. LaPlatney (Critical Approaches to Heritage Language Education)
  • The institute provided a wonderful bridge between theory and practice and provided space for both novice and experienced educators to identify ways to strengthen their programs to improve outcomes for all DLI learners.—Lynn Fulton (Secondary Dual Language and Immersion: Achieving the Promise of Continuation Programs)
  • The CARLA Institute, Teaching Language Through the Lens of Social Justice, was a great way not only to become energized about embarking on this work, but also to acquire the know-how necessary to make it a reality. I learned that I do not need to start over in writing a new curriculum. I can make small adjustments to what I already teach to engage students in addressing injustices and taking action.—Joseph Westerfield (Teaching Language Through the Lens of Social Justice)

Check out a few of the photos and "quotable quotes" from past summer institute program participants:

See a list of all the summer institutes CARLA has offered since the program began in 1996.

The institutes have been developed and are supported, in part, by the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI Language Resource Center program. The summer institutes are co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development and College of Liberal Arts.


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