Transforming the Teaching of Language Online (TTLO)

Tuesday, June 21–Sunday, July 17, 2022
Asynchronous* 4-week intensive online institute

After the experiences of emergency online teaching, language instructors want to expand their knowledge of what really works well online. This institute delves into important elements of a successful online language class, such as online course design guidelines, best practices for online teaching, oral practice and feedback techniques, universal design for learning (UDL), and the analysis of communicative-based online activities and the tools to create them. Best of all, participants will see these principles in action by taking part in online language activities as language learners in this unique institute taught by a team of experienced online instructors.

This highly participatory institute is perfect for teachers who want to transform their online teaching skills as well as for those who are brand-new to teaching online. By the end of the institute, participants will have an e-portfolio of new—or improved—activities ready to be incorporated into their next online language course, along with the learning experience to better support their online students. Teachers will be awarded a certificate of completion (up to 120 hours) upon finishing institute requirements.

Program Schedule
Week 1 Introduction—Getting to Know Each Other and TTLO!
  • Getting to Know the Institute Virtual Classroom and Activity Formats
  • Sharing Successes with Technology
  • Analyzing Readiness
  • Putting UDL and Accessibility Concepts into Practice
Week 2 Online Language Teaching and Learning
  • Analyzing Example Activities, Evaluating Existing Materials
  • Presenting and Scaffolding Vocabulary and Grammar Acquisition Using Authentic Materials
  • Focusing on Oral Production in the Online Course
  • Giving Feedback in a Variety of Ways
  • Assessing Online Learners
Week 3 Course Design Guidelines and Teaching Best Practices
  • Evaluating Online Course Design Using Quality Checklists
  • Applying Best Practices for Teaching Online
  • Creating Online Community and Teacher Presence
  • Designing Online Group Activities
Week 4 Technology for Instruction and Student Engagement
  • Creating Effective Online Activities for the 3 Modes of Communication
  • Using Video for Content Delivery and Feedback
  • Creating an e-Portfolio to Showcase Student Work

After this institute, you will be able to:

  • Use your experiences as an online learner to better support your online students;
  • Apply guidelines, checklists, and best practices to improve your online courses;
  • Create online community with teacher presence and group activities;
  • Review and revise language lesson activities for online teaching;
  • Develop online lessons with authentic materials and oral production;
  • Deliver feedback and assessments in new ways;
  • Write your syllabus and instructions with detail, clarity, and consistency;
  • Use online tools to create activities within the framework of the 3 communicative modes;
  • Make your course site and documents more accessible to all by applying UDL principles; and
  • Use ePortfolios to evaluate and display student work.


Ritu Jayakar (Instructor) is an Adjunct Lecturer of Hindi language and User Experience Analyst of Outreach and Online Education at the Pennsylvania State University. She is interested in language pedagogy and the use of technology for second language acquisition.

Marlene Johnshoy (Program Director) is the Online Education Program Director and Web Manager for CARLA. A former Spanish instructor, she has given numerous workshops across the country on many aspects of web-based language teaching and learning, with a special interest in the professional development of online language teachers.

Frances Matos (Instructor) is a Language Education Consultant. She was formerly a Senior Instructor in Spanish and Portuguese Studies, University of Minnesota. She developed and taught a hybrid Spanish institute at the University of Minnesota that has been offered successfully since 1997 and designed, developed, and revised the fully online first-year Spanish institutes for the University's College of Continuing Education, which she taught for 3 years.

Leslie Plyler (Mentor Teacher/ePortfolios) currently teaches middle school online French and high school online French (levels 1-5) after retiring from the traditional French classroom in 2019 after 30 years. She wrote the curriculum for the online French courses for her district: Iredell-Statesville Schools, North Carolina. Leslie enjoys sharing information about the tech tools and strategies she has learned over the last six years in teaching online. 

Shannon Quinn (Instructor) is an Assistant Professor of Russian and a Technology Specialist at Michigan State University. Her interests include Russian and Soviet science fiction, using technology in language teaching, blended learning, and instructional design.


Target Audience
This institute is designed for foreign language and ESL teachers at the high school and postsecondary levels who are interested in developing and improving online language classes. This institute is not designed for elementary or immersion teachers, but it could be applied with adaptations for a specific context.


  • Time Frame: This intensive 4-week institute is almost entirely asynchronous (not real time) with daily deadlines.
    • You will work on activities according to your own schedule between deadlines, but the daily due times are important as the activities build on each other.
    • There will be 1-2 synchronous activities—one with a partner, maybe a small group. Times will be arranged by the partners/group. There may also be optional  synchronous small group discussions or office hours.
    • "Intensive" means that you can expect 6-8 hours of work per day. You may spend more time on the institute if English is not your first language or if you enjoy digging further into the content. Do not plan to teach or work at the same time as taking this institute!
  • Make sure you can meet the tech requirements for this institute.
Quote MarksRight quote marksTTLO provided an excellent platform for language educators to share best practices of online language teaching. I feel better equipped to design effective online class activities using technology tools. I strongly recommend this class to language educators!
—Hee Ju, 2021 Institute Participant
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Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) • 140 University International Center • 331 - 17th Ave SE • Minneapolis, MN 55414