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 the line-up for the
2024 CARLA Summer Institute program

Register by June 7 to avoid late fees.


Who Participates in the CARLA Summer Institutes?

CARLA summer institute participants—more than 7,700 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.

2023 CARLA Summer Institute Program

In 2023, CARLA offered fifteen online and in-person summer institutes for language educators. Over 290 language educators from across the globe participated in the 28th annual CARLA Summer Institute programCheck out the impressive statistics below.

By the Numbers

  • 15 summer institutes offered: 5 asynchronous and 4 synchronous online institutes, and 6 in-person institutes held at the University of Minnesota.
  • 331 language educators engaged in the program in 2023: 293 participants and 38 instructors/guest presenters.
  • Participants hailed from 35 states, Washington DC, and 9 countries outside of the U.S.: Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Instructors represented 10 states and 2 countries outside of the U.S.: Canada and Japan.
  • Teachers of 24 languages attended the institutes: Arabic, ASL, Cherokee, Chinese, EFL/ESL, French, German, Hindi, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Latin, Mohawk, Ojibwe, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Turkish, Vietnamese, and Yup'ik/Yugtun.
  • CARLA offered a total of 36 summer institute scholarships to language educators: 22 Priority Teacher Professional Development Scholarships, 7 Teaching Excellence in Action in Minnesota (TEAM) K-12 Scholarships, and 7 UMN P&A Language Instructor and Graduate Student Scholarships.

Fun Fact: Over the past 28 years, CARLA has offered 302 summer institutes to a total of 7,705 language educators from all 50 states and 72 countries/US territories.

CARLA attendees by state and country

CARLA Summer Institute Participation by Location (2007–2023)


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 2023:

Asynchronous Institutes

  • The Culture as Core course through CARLA has given me practical tools that I can apply in my classroom. Many of the concepts that we studied during this course have helped to reshape my thinking about how I develop and implement unit plans in my classes. I am excited to take what I have learned and make my curriculum more culture-centered. The best part will be seeing how my students engage with these lessons. I can't wait!
         –Caitlin Mahoney (Culture as the Core in the Second Language Classroom)
  • I would highly recommend this CARLA Summer Institute to any language educator. It fit every language and provided an excellent balance of research and ways to apply this information to our specific teaching contexts.
         –Maggie Rutkowski (Language and Culture in Sync: Teaching Linguistic Politeness and Intercultural Awareness)
  • The workshop provided me with valuable insights and knowledge on program evaluation from various dimensions. It served as a strong starting point and laid a solid foundation for my further development in this field. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and expand my understanding through this workshop.
         (Practical Program Evaluation for Instructors of Less Commonly Taught Languages)
  • This course has helped me learn many new tech tools that I didn't know before. I also created an ePortfolio that includes all the artifacts that I created. I can't wait to share them with my team this school year! The learning in this course has better prepared me to teach language online in the future.
         –Angela Cruz Alvarado (TTLO–Transitioning to Teaching Language Online)
  • It stretched me to try new technology and get out of my comfort zone. I learned about some new tools, was reminded of some that I had forgotten about and am excited to try them out with my students this fall. I'm really excited to say that I submitted an article for publication because of this class! Thank you for helping me grow.
         –Robyn Clifton (Using the Web: Engaged Learning for Today’s Students)

Synchronous Institutes

  • This workshop has expanded what I see is possible in education, in the FL classroom, and has provided a compelling vision for education as the practice of freedom, as a place to cultivate joy and celebrate humanity!
         (Content-Based Language Instruction and Curriculum Development)
  • This institute has provided me with invaluable insights and inspired me to engage in meaningful discussions with my colleagues regarding the integration of career readiness activities into our courses. Through this experience, I have come to realize that the courses I teach already encompass essential career readiness competencies. Equipped with this understanding, I feel empowered to advocate for the indispensability of language courses.
         (Integrating Career Readiness into Language Programs)
  • This summer institute gave me the tools and knowledge I need to be an effective DLI teacher. We learned about instructional methods, the "why" of these methods, and how to apply them to our own classrooms. I cannot recommend this institute enough!
         –Corinne Roe (Introduction to Dual Language Immersion)
  • The CARLA institute on Teaching for Proficiency this summer was very useful for my current role. It helped deepen my understanding of familiar concepts and build my knowledge of less familiar tools and ideas. I appreciated the resources shared, the discussion, small group work time and the expertise of the instructors. Once again, taking time out of my summer for a CARLA course was well worth it.
         –Kaari Rodriguez (Teaching for Proficiency in Dual Language Immersion)

In-person Institutes

  • Donna is a rockstar! I would take this institute over and over again and encourage all language teachers to take this course.
         –Kelsey Walz (Assessing Language Learners' Communication Skills via Authentic Communicative Performance Tasks)
  • This was by far the most beneficial, practical, inspiring conference I have ever attended as an educator. There were so many easy to apply activities, strategies and ideas presented. The best part was our instructors were willing to allow us to work together, modify and make our own the aforementioned things and not be so rigid.
         –Brad Major (Creativity in the Language Classroom)
  • Through this institute I gained more confidence, motivation, and knowledge to teach my Heritage Learners course.
         –Stacey Kinsella (Critical Approaches to Heritage Language Education)
  • This institute was such a valuable experience. The information was relevant and immediately useful at the school and district level, as we work to design effective secondary DLI pathways. I truly appreciate the focus on equity and social justice, and the opportunities to self-reflect and set goals for ourselves and our programs through those lenses.
         –Laura Macartney (Secondary Dual Language and Immersion: Achieving the Promise of Continuation Programs)
  • The CARLA Summer Institute "Teaching Language Through the Lens of Social Justice" is a well-structured course that prepares language educators with diverse experiences to both understand and implement social justice principles into the language classroom. The organization and content has prepared me to begin the next semester with new, pedagogically-sound ideas rooted in themes of social justice.
         (Teaching Language Through the Lens of Social Justice)
  • I would highly recommend this institute to colleagues and other professionals in the field. It, like other CARLA Institutes I have taken, provided me with so many new things to try and a sense of energy as I look towards next school year.
         –Jason Bush (Using Target Language Texts to Support Students' Literacies Development)

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