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. Locations can be found on the University map website.

CARLA Presentation Series

Fall 2021

The CARLA Presentations Series will be held online via Zoom during the fall semester. In the future, we plan to offer presentations in-person and online in accordance with CDC and University guidelines.

Bringing Social Justice into Language Classes: Templates to Guide Instructional Planning

Tuesday, September 28, 2021
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Zoom Link TBD

This presentation describes the process of developing research-based curricular unit and lesson plan templates that support language instructors in the teaching of social justice themes. The templates merge frameworks grounded in multiliteracies (Kalantzis et al., 2016), social justice (Hackman, 2005; Learning for Justice, 2018), and career readiness (Regents of the University of Minnesota, 2018), to promote development of students’ language proficiency, intercultural understanding, and career competencies. Presenters will explain the collaborative and iterative process that informed this work, including affordances and constraints encountered during the template-creation process. Next, they will introduce the templates and illustrate how they are being used to create intermediate-level curricular units in nine languages. Finally, presenters will address implications of this social justice project, including its national dissemination plan and its contribution to the professional development of teachers across languages and institutional contexts.

Lauren Goodspeed is a Lecturer in the Department of French and Italian and Director of the French Language Program. Her research centers on applications of multiliteracies pedagogy for the foreign language classroom, particularly in regard to second language writing.
Mandy Menke is an Assistant Professor and Director of Language Programs in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies. She is currently involved in projects related to the development of syntactic and lexical complexity in written second language Spanish and teacher learning around multiliteracies pedagogy.
Kate Paesani is Director of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) and affiliate Associate Professor in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on literacies-oriented curriculum and instruction and language teacher development, couched within the frameworks of multiliteracies pedagogy and sociocultural theory.
Helena Ruf is a Senior Lecturer and the Director of Language Instruction in the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic and Dutch. Current and past research projects focus on implementation of multiliteracies pedagogies and second language writing.

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!

Check out these Saturday morning workshops offered for Fall 2021! All of CARLA's workshops will be offered online via Zoom in 2021-2022.

Integrating Peacebuilding into the Language Classroom

Saturday, September 25, 2021
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Central Time)

Online via Zoom (Link will be sent to all registrants)
Cost: $30: Register online with a credit card!

In this hands-on workshop, language educators are invited to recognize themselves and their students as potential peacebuilders who work to create harmony out of difference. Participants will learn how to use a multidimensional peace model to incorporate innovative peacebuilding activities into the language classroom. The activities presented at the workshop will feature language used to reflect, express and/or expand peace in any of six dimensions, including inner, interpersonal, intergroup, international, intercultural, and ecological. While some of the activities involve nonverbal forms of communication, many others can be used to practice language skills in any second or foreign language. In addition, the workshop activities include adaptations for integrating peace teaching into language classes for students at different levels, including elementary, secondary, and postsecondary.
During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to experience and reflect on sample peacebuilding activities; they will also receive ideas, suggestions, and a recommended bibliography. In closing, the presenters and participants will share reflections on achieving learning outcomes and on the importance of creating a community of practice where teachers can share their peacebuilding strategies in the field of language education.

After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • recognize the paramount role language educators have in building positive peace;
  • use a multidimensional peace model to incorporate innovative peacebuilding activities into the language classroom;
  • reflect critically on the value of using peacebuilding activities in the language classroom; and
  • identify ways of adapting peacebuilding activities for their language teaching context.

María Matilde Olivero holds a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition from the University of South Florida, U.S.A. She is a second language teacher educator and researcher at Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto, Argentina. Her main research interests include affective factors in second language teaching, peacebuilding approaches in language (teacher) education, and teacher wellbeing. 
Rebecca L. Oxford, Ph.D. (Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, Professor Emerita, University of Maryland) is an educator, psychologist, and speaker who has worked in 43 countries. Of her 15 books, five concern peace and spirituality with a focus on peace language, peace cultures, peacebuilding in language education, ecological peace, and spiritual research paradigms. She co-edits two book series: Spirituality, Religion, and Education (Palgrave) and Transforming Education for the Future (Information Age). 

Drs. Olivero and Oxford are co-editors of the exciting new book Peacebuilding in Language Education: Innovations in Theory and Practice published by Multilingual Matters in 2021.

Target Audience: This workshop is appropriate for language teachers of any language at the elementary through the postsecondary level as well as language teacher educators.


Introduction to Creativity in Language Teaching:
Using Visuals in the Language Classroom

Saturday, October 9, 2021
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Central Time)

Online via Zoom (Link will be sent to all registrants)
Cost: $30: Register online with a credit card!

Explore ways of improving language teaching through the lens of creativity. Creativity is a way of thinking about learning and teaching that emphasizes collaboration, problem-solving, intrinsic motivation, discovery, and an openness to new ideas. In this workshop, participants will engage with specific visual techniques and supports to create acquisition-rich environments in the language classroom. Multimodal strategies that include visuals and film will be integrated into plans to improve the 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;
  • implement meaningful visual strategies to support creativity in the language classroom; and
  • enhance lessons with interactive activities requiring creative thinking skills.

Anne Cummings Hlas is 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) and has published in many national and international journals. Her research interests focus on high-leverage teaching practices, teacher development, and teacher language use.  
Amy Young is the English Language Specialist for School Support at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). Dr. Young has also worked as an EL and Spanish teacher, a principal in a linguistically diverse Elementary school, a University Spanish Instructor, and Visiting Assistant Professor at New York University in their Multilingual Multicultural Studies program. She 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

Drs. Hlas and Young created the CARLA Summer Institute titled Creativity in the Language Classroom in 2015 and will co-teach this popular institute for the eighth time in 2022.

Target Audience: This workshop is appropriate for language teachers of any language at the elementary through the postsecondary level as well as language teacher educators.

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 (CT) 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 Celebration Open House

Thursday, November 8, 2018
3:30–5:00 p.m.
University International Center 101

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.

From CARLA's special event in 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