Presentations, Workshops, and Special Events

CARLA sponsors a series of presentations and workshops during the academic year and occasionally offers other special events, such as the CARLA Open House. These presentations are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

CARLA Presentation Series

Most of the CARLA Presentations Series will be offered via Zoom in Winter/Spring 2023. A few presentations will be offered in person at the University International Center. See details in the schedule below.

Winter/Spring 2023 

Please join for any/all of the CARLA Presentations offered in Winter/Spring 2023.

Understanding Advancedness in L2 Spanish Writing: Pedagogical Implications of Using Measures of Complexity and Accuracy 

Thursday, March 30, 2023
12:20–1:10 p.m. (Central Time) NOTE TIME
Register now for the Zoom link

This project compares the writing of L2 learners of Spanish at different proficiency levels in order to identify linguistic features unique to the Advanced level. Forty writing samples from ACTFL's Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) comprise the data of this project; 20 from the Intermediate-High proficiency level and 20 from the Advanced-Low. Measures of complexity (lexical and syntactic) and accuracy were used to analyze the written texts. Results reveal implications for the L2 Spanish classroom and what advancedness entails in L2 learners. 

Marie Mangold is a PhD student in Hispanic Linguistics in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies where she teaches undergraduate Spanish courses. Her research interests include second language acquisition and pedagogy, language teacher preparation and certification, curriculum analysis and design, and language assessment. She was selected to be a CARLA Fellow for 2022–2023.

This presentation is cosponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies.

Language, Culture, and Career Readiness: Community-Engagement Projects for Advanced Chinese Courses 

Wednesday, April 12, 2023
12:00–1:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Register now for the Zoom link

This presentation will demonstrate how to use the Project-Based Language Learning framework to guide students to identify real-world problems and create public products with authentic purposes. The presenter will showcase several community engagement projects developed in college advanced-level Chinese courses, discuss the benefits and challenges of collaborating with community partners, and strategies for implementing such community engagement projects in language classes.  

Yao Tu is the Associate Director of the Chinese Flagship Program at the University of Minnesota. She is also a certified OPI tester, WPT rater, AAPPL rater, and AP Chinese reader.

This presentation is cosponsored by the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

Past Presentations

Please note: We encourage you to submit ideas for topics and speakers; email Karin Larson at

Thank you for your support of this program!

Workshops For Teachers

Please note: Online workshop registration will be turned off at 4 p.m. on the Thursday before the Saturday of each workshop. Register early!

CARLA offers a series of online Saturday workshops for language educators each fall and spring. These low-cost workshops are designed with the practitioner in mind. See the specific target audience for each workshop:

See: Registration and Refund Information

Note: All of CARLA's workshops will be offered online via Zoom in 2022–2023.

The workshops are cosponsored by the Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures and the World Languages Division of the Minnesota Department of Education.

Register soonCARLA Workshops for Teachers fill up quickly!

Winter/Spring 2023 Workshops

Balance in the Assessment of World Languages:
ncreasing Learner Motivation and Proficiency

Saturday, March 25, 2023
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Central Time)

Online via Zoom
Cost: $30
Register now with a credit card!

How can “balanced assessment” increase motivation among learners and ultimately increase proficiency? How are the World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages reflected through the four types of classroom assessments: pre-assessment, formative, interim, and summative? In this workshop, participants will define and examine examples of a balanced approach to assessment. They will then create learning progressions showing how learners can demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the target culture(s) and use the target language in real-world situations.   Finally, participants will explore examples of  self- assessments that allow learners to reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses and make improvements.

After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • describe the characteristics of balanced assessment and how balance increases learner motivation and language proficiency;
  • give examples of the interconnectedness of the  four types of classroom assessments:  pre-assessment, formative, interim, and summative
  • create learning progressions where learners use the target language in real-world situations; and
  • provide examples of learner self-assessments that monitor progress towards greater proficiency.

Donna Clementi, PhD, is the co-author of Keys to Planning for Learning (ACTFL 2017) and is a well-known consultant and national speaker on curriculum and assessment development.  She currently teaches a World Languages methods course at Lawrence University and leads the popular CARLA Summer Institute Assessing Language Learners' Communication Skills via Authentic Communicative Performance Tasks.

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for world language teachers in elementary,  secondary,  and post-secondary programs.  

NOTE: This workshop is not appropriate for immersion teachers.  

Creative Language Teaching at the Post-Secondary Level

Saturday, April 22, 2023
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Central Time)

Online via Zoom
Cost: $30
Register now with a credit card!

In this workshop, participants will explore how creativity can increase the quality of language instruction at the post-secondary level. This session will focus on how creativity elevates relationships, rigor, and retention in the language classroom. In this workshop, participants will engage with specific practices, various instructional moves, and multimodal strategies to improve their learner’s target language proficiency and to support creative thinking and learning.

After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • identify key ideas to support the use of creativity to promote learning and language development at the post-secondary level;
  • describe meaningful strategies to promote relationship building that leads to increased risk taking by students and allows for differentiation for diverse learners;
  • recognize literacy strategies that support increased rigor and “leveling up” for all students in the language classroom; and
  • list strategies focused on retention of form and functional language through multimodal supports (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile).

Anne Cummings Hlas is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where she teaches methods courses for future language teachers and Spanish language courses. A veteran teacher, she regularly incorporates improvisation and creative thinking techniques in her classes to promote interpersonal communication and collaboration. She is the author of Practical Creativity: Activities and Ideas for your Language Classroom (2019).

Amy Young is the English Language Specialist for School Support at the Minnesota Department of Education. Previously she was the EL/Migrant Education Coordinator and a principal in Owatonna, MN. Dr. Young worked at New York University in their Multilingual Multicultural Studies program, and lived for over 15 years in Mexico where she founded and was the national director of a creative problem-solving organization. Her research interests include strategies for facilitating learning in multilingual settings through collaborative dialogue, peer interaction, and integrating language and content.

Anne and Amy co-teach the CARLA Summer Institute titled Creativity in the Language Classroom. This year, the institute will be offered in person at the University of Minnesota.

Target Audience: This workshop is specially designed for teachers in post-secondary, adult basic education, and collegiate international programs.

Teachers in secondary programs may participate with the understanding that the workshop is not targeted at their level and they may need to stretch to make the content and examples relevant for their context.

CARLA Workshop Registration and Refund Information

Registration Details: Registration closes at noon (Central Time) on the Thursday prior to the workshop–or as soon as the workshop fills. Space is limited–register early!

Confirmation and Zoom Link:

  • Registrants will be sent a system-generated confirmation receipt immediately upon registering. Check your SPAM folder if you don't see it right away.
  • The Zoom link will be sent by the CARLA office by the Thursday prior to the workshop. If you have not received the email with the link from CARLA by Thursday, please check your SPAM folder.
  • Questions? Email by noon (Central Time) on the Friday before the workshop.

Refund Policy: The CARLA workshop registration fee is non-refundable. The University of Minnesota reserves the right to cancel the workshop if necessary and will grant a full refund if the workshop is not held.

Note: Registered participants who are not able to attend may transfer their registration to a colleague, provided that they email the CARLA office two days prior to the event:

Please note: If you have ideas for topics and speakers, contact Karin Larson at

Special Events

There are no special events scheduled at this time.

We invite you to check out some of our past events!

CARLA Fall Kick-Off and Celebration, 2022

This presentation was for a special fall kick-off for the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) to help us celebrate our recent Language Resource Center (LRC) grant award. Learn about the seven new LRC initiatives and how they fit into CARLA’s current and past work of improving language teaching and learning. Attendees also learned how to get involved with the Center through the CARLA Fellows Program, workshops and presentations, CARLA/LC Summer Institute scholarship program, and more.

Lauren Goodspeed is a Lecturer in the Department of French and Italian and Director of the French Language Program. She is a co-leader of the LRC initiative: Social Justice in Language Education.
Kendall King is a Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and is the co-leader of the LRC initiative: Equity & Access to State Seals of Biliteracy.
Kate Paesani is the Director of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) and an Associate Professor in the Department of French and Italian.
Helena Ruf is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Language Instruction in the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic and Dutch. She is a co-leader of the LRC initiative: Social Justice in Language Education.

CARLA Celebration Open House, 2018

Open House 2018 CARLA Director, Kate Paesani, speaks to the Open House attendees

CARLA sends a big "thank you" to all those who attended the CARLA Celebration Open House held on Thursday, November, 2018, at the University International Center. The event provided an opportunity to celebrate CARLA and spend time with colleagues from units all across campus.

Associate Vice President and Dean of International Programs Meredith McQuaid and CARLA Director Kate Paesani gave a set of brief remarks acknowledging those who have given their time, talent, and financial resources to further CARLA's goal of improving language teaching and learning. Special thanks were given to the following units and individuals: Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost; Global Programs and Strategy Alliance; Office of the Vice President for Research; College of Education and Human Development; College of Liberal Arts CLA Language Center; Former CARLA Director, Elaine Tarone; CARLA Executive Committee members; CARLA Advisory Board members; and Carole and Jim Hynes. Kate also provided a brief outline of CARLA's current initiatives and plans for the future, which were described in greater detail on posters created for the event.

CARLA Presentation & Open House, 2017

Graphic link to CARLA Open House 2017 webpage

Learn more about the 2017 CARLA Presentation and Open House including a video of the keynote presentation by Claire Kramsch and information about research poster sessions held during the event.

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