Planning Social Justice Lessons:
Critical Pedagogies in Action—New!

June 25–27, 2024
3-day in-person summer institute

Social Justice Instructors
Kate Paesani, Mandy Menke,
Helena Ruf and Lauren Goodspeed

This institute focuses on how to create social justice lesson plans that integrate language and content and foster students’ critical thinking abilities using a planning template created for CARLA’s Social Justice in Language Education initiative.

Participants will first learn about the critical pedagogies that frame this template and how it develops students’ language proficiency, cultural understanding, and critical thinking. Next, participants will examine model lessons created by experienced teachers for novice, intermediate, and advanced learners in multiple languages. Finally, participants will use the template to create a lesson plan with materials they bring to the institute. This institute is appropriate for novice and experienced social justice language educators, as well as for those teaching language, culture, literature, linguistics, and other disciplinary content in secondary and postsecondary language programs. 

Program Schedule (9am–4pm)
Day 1 Building Conceptual Understanding: Social Justice, Critical Pedagogies, and Language-Content Integration
Day 2 Working with Social Justice Lesson Plans: Materials, Activities, and Student Learning Outcomes
Day 3 Teaching for Social Justice: Materials Creation, Reflection, and Future Goals 
After this institute, participants will be able to:
  • Identify and describe principles from the critical pedagogies that support social justice in language education;

  • Examine social justice instructional materials and their relevance to their instructional context; and

  • Create instructional activities and lesson plans that center social justice and develop students’ language proficiency, cultural understanding, and critical thinking.


Lauren Goodspeed is the Director of the French Language Program and Teaching Faculty in the Department of French & Italian at the University of Minnesota. She has expertise in language pedagogy and over a decade of experience working with novice and experienced teachers on applying literacies-based pedagogies in classroom practice.
Mandy Menke is an Associate Professor of Hispanic Linguistics and the Director of Language Programs for the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota. She is a specialist in Spanish language acquisition by both child and adult learners and has worked with teachers at all levels–from elementary immersion teachers to university faculty–to advanced language learning and teaching. 
Kate Paesani is the Director of CARLA and Associate Professor in the Department of French & Italian at the University of Minnesota. She has delivered workshops and lectures across the United States on topics related to text-based teaching and learning, multiliteracies and critical pedagogies, social justice in language education, and teacher professional learning.
Helena Ruf is Teaching Faculty and the Director of Language Instruction in the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch at the University of Minnesota. She has experience working with both novice and experienced teachers in developing curricula using literacies-based pedagogies and social justice principles.

Target Audience
This institute is designed for world language and ESL/EFL teachers at the middle school through the postsecondary level, as well as for teacher educators, curriculum coordinators, and language program directors.

Priority Teacher Professional Development Scholarship Program

Logo - PriorityThe Priority Teacher Professional Development Scholarship program is designed to promote equity and access to affordable professional development for world language educators who are currently teaching at a Community College, Minority Serving Institution, or Historically Black College/University in the United States and/or are currently teaching a Less Commonly Taught Language in the United States. The program provides funding for selected teachers in these categories to attend a CARLA Summer Institute for no charge.

Learn more and apply on the Priority Teacher Professional Development Scholarship website.

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