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.

Teaching Roundtable:
Ideas from the CARLA Summer Institutes

Thursday, February 2, 2023
12:00–1:00 p.m. (Central Time)
University International Center 101

The Roundtable will be offered only in person.

Please RSVP.
 A light lunch will be provided to all who RSVPed by January 27, 2023.
If you did not RSVP by that date, we cannot guarantee food for you, but you are still welcome to attend! Feel free to bring your own lunch.

This roundtable will feature seven University of Minnesota language instructors who will showcase a wide range of practical teaching ideas that they gleaned from taking a CARLA Summer Institute.

Each presenter will give an informal, three-minute presentation about something that inspired them during the institute that they hope to incorporate into their language classroom. After this brief introduction to all of the teaching ideas, attendees will exchange further ideas with presenters individually or in small groups. 

Roundtable Presenters

Reimagining Portfolios in the Language Classroom
Stephanie Anderson
, Senior Teaching Specialist of Spanish and Portuguese in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies 

Summer Institute Attended: Implementing Reflective Practices and Portfolios in the Language Classroom

Some Pedagogical Practices for Heritage Learners of Languages 
Collin S. Diver
, Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies 

Summer Institute Attended: Critical Approaches to Heritage Language Education

German Language Teaching in the Age of Technology
Rachel Dodson
, Graduate Instructor of German and PhD student in the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic, and Dutch

Summer Institute Attended: Using the Web for Communicative Language Learning

Gender Inclusive Language in French Through a Social Justice Lens
Chloe Mais Hagen
, Adjunct French Instructor, St. Olaf College

Summer Institute Attended: Teaching Language Through the Lens of Social Justice

Protests and Resistance: Advanced French Through a Social Justice Lens
Sally Kessler, Graduate Instructor of French and PhD student in the Department of French and Italian
Summer Institute Attended: Teaching Language Through the Lens of Social Justice

Take a Break from Breakout Rooms: Using Gather for the Language Classroom
Kyle Korynta
, Lecturer of Norwegian in the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic, and Dutch

Summer Institute Attended: Using the Web for Communicative Language Learning

Memes As a Way to Raise Pragmatic Awareness
Leiry Warren
, Graduate Instructor of Spanish and PhD student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies 

Summer Institute Attended: Teaching Linguistic Politeness and Intercultural Awareness

The Roundtable presenters were recipients of a scholarship offered through a special partnership between the University of Minnesota's Language Center and CARLA. The CARLA Summer Institute Scholarship Program for UMN P&A Language Instructors and Graduate Students was created to support professional development for University of Minnesota language instructors through the CARLA Summer Institute program.

This presentation is co-sponsored by the Language Center.

Amplifying Asian Voices in Curriculum Design and Instruction  

Thursday, February 9, 2023
12:00–12:45 p.m. (Central Time)
Register for the Zoom link

This webinar will introduce the topic of integrating Asian Voices into world language education. The presenter will begin with some research findings from a recent publication on teaching for social justice in Chinese language education and will then describe a framework to inspire world language teachers to consider when and how to amplify Asian Voices in curriculum design and instruction. The webinar will end with some suggestions for educators to continue diversifying Asian Voices in the landscape of world language education.

Note: This webinar will be recorded and posted on CARLA's Social Justice in Language Education website.

Kaishan Kong is an Associate Professor of Chinese at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. For over ten years, she has taught a course focused on culture as part of the STARTALK program and CARLA Summer Institute program. She was recognized as a Wisconsin Teaching Fellow in 2015 and a Fulbright Scholar in 2020. 

“Russian is Not My Ex, We are Just Estranged”: A Language Learning Journey as a Love Affair 

Wednesday, February 15, 2023
12:00–1:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Register for the Zoom link

The idea of language learning as identity construction, a process engaging one's mind, body, and emotions, has been consistently theorized and explored by researchers since the early 2000s (e.g., Block 2007; Kramsch 2009; Pavlenko 2005), and empirical studies focusing on the emotional aspect of language learning are increasing in number. This talk will present the results of a longitudinal (2015–2020) case study of one Russian language learner's journey. During the study, Alyosha, the main participant, graduated from a university with a major in Russian, went to law school, and eventually became a history teacher. The data include multiple interviews, social media feeds, journal entries, notes, class assignments, poetry, and photos that together document language learning in a university classroom, a study abroad trip, and postgraduate studies, and capture the pivotal moments of the process. Using a narrative approach and following the participant’s view of his Russian learning, I will tell a story of a love affair, from the moment of falling in love with learning Russian to the eventual separation, when the participant had to discontinue his studies due to personal reasons, and discuss the impact that it had, and continues to have, on his life.

Irina Zaykovskaya is a Lecturer at the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic, and Dutch at the University of Minnesota where she teaches Russian and World Englishes. Her areas of expertise are second language learning and language ideologies, and she studies how beliefs and attitudes affect one’s language learning journey.

Inclusivity in Romance Languages: Grammars of Society and Second Language Acquisition 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023
2:30–3:15 p.m. (Central Time) NOTE TIME
Liberal Arts Engagement Hub, 120 Pillsbury Hall
Register for the Zoom link

Language is neither neutral nor impartial, especially when we consider gender. Inclusivity can be understood as the drive to extend rights and participation in a system or activity to as many subjects as possible. Communicating in an inclusive way, therefore, embraces different spheres of our social life, including gender and sexual orientation, ethnicity and race, age, ability status, religion, and socio-economic conditions. From a linguistic standpoint, the Romance languages present various grammatical obstacles that make them particularly rigid in the face of a more inclusive use of language, not declined nor defined by gender. Language textbooks, classroom practices, and activities often conflate binary grammatical gender (e.g., “masculine” or “feminine”) with the gender identity of speakers, thus excluding the place of non-binary and gender-diverse people, who should not be forced to adhere to the normative exclusionary logic of binary grammatical systems.

This presentation will highlight the work of the Gender Diversity Committee at the University of Michigan’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, which was founded in 2019 with the objective of breaking down linguistic and cultural barriers to more inclusive practices of language teaching. Responding to Kris Kinsey’s call for “gender-just language pedagogies,” for the Gender Diversity Committee it has been a matter of re-imagining research, materials, and pedagogies of language education with the goal of making the language classroom welcoming to non-binary students.

Michela Russo (PhD) is a Lecturer in the Italian and Spanish programs in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. She is among the founding members of the department’s Gender Diversity Committee and spearheads the committee’s work with respect to Italian language materials and resources. At the University of Michigan, Michela teaches classes for majors and minors in Spanish on cinema, political studies (particularly on dictatorship, post-dictatorship, and democratization processes in Latin America), and gender and sexuality issues in the Hispanic world.

This presentation is sponsored by CARLA, the Department of French and Italian, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, and the Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life.

Affordance or Constraint? Exploring Shifts in L2 Pronunciation, Reported Ideologies, and Actual Teaching Practices in the Classroom Ecology 

Wednesday, March 15, 2023
12:20–1:10 p.m. (Central Time) NOTE TIME
Register for the Zoom link

Applying an ecological approach to classroom-based research (Guerrettaz & Johnston, 2013; van Lier, 2004), this study investigates the impact of International Teaching Assistant (ITA) programs on students’ reported ideologies and English pronunciation patterns, and the extent to which these students transfer what they had learned from their ITA course to their actual teaching contexts. A multi-method case study design is used to explore how ITAs describe their teaching ideologies and the impact of the ITA program, as well as the extent to which these ideologies and demonstrated changes in L2 English pronunciation are evident in their actual instructional contexts.

Darren LaScotte is a PhD candidate in Second Language Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and a Teaching Specialist in the Minnesota English Language Program. Within the broader scope of applied linguistics, his research focuses on second language acquisition and use, and on the resulting implications for teaching and learning. He was selected to be a CARLA Fellow for 2022–2023.


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.

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.

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

Building Raciolinguistic Justice with Critical Consciousness in Dual Language Bilingual Education: Embracing Discomfort and Interrogating Power to Develop Equity

Saturday, February 4, 2023
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Central Time)

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

Well-implemented dual language programs are effective at supporting the education of racialized, minoritized bilingual students. Yet programs are shaped by colonial and racist histories; there is mounting evidence that dual language programs need to focus explicitly and consistently on equity. This workshop will focus on “engaging with discomfort” and “interrogating power” as tools for promoting raciolinguistic justice. Participants will come away with greater skills to identify where and how to focus on equity in dual language bilingual education.

After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • define critical consciousness;
  • explain the importance of embracing discomfort and interrogating power;
  • identify opportunities for embracing discomfort and interrogating power in their context;
  • plan for questioning and interrupting current inequitable practices; and
  • develop action steps for moving toward critical consciousness in their program.

Deb Palmer is a Professor in Equity, Bilingualism and Biliteracy at the University of Colorado Boulder. She was previously a two-way dual language bilingual teacher in Redwood City, CA, and received her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. She conducts qualitative research in culturally and linguistically diverse settings.
Liliana Rodriguez is a highly experienced Dual Language Immersion Program Coordinator with Minneapolis Public Schools. She has a Certificate in Immersion and Dual Language from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) from Hamline University.
Manny Godoy is a proud first-generation, bilingual, Peruvian American who was born and raised on the north side of Chicago, IL. He is currently the Associate Director of Equity at Beloved Community, in New Orleans, LA. Manny has also worked for the past 12 years in Milwaukee, WI as a teacher, coach, and Assistant Principal.
Amy Young is the EL Education Specialist for School and Educator Support at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). Previously she has worked as a building principal, Director of Teaching and Learning, District EL Coordinator, and ESL, dual language, and Spanish teacher.

Target Audience: This workshop is targeted for K-12 educators and administrators in one-way, two-way, developmental bilingual, and indigenous dual language programs.

This webinar was designed in part from a project made possible by a grant from the Spencer Foundation (#202200124), though the views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Spencer Foundation.

At a FrEEEmium:
Engaging Easy Apps to Enhance Language Learning

Saturday, February 4, 2023
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Central Time)

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

Engage students with a variety of “freemium” web tools: tools that are free with optional premium features (for a reasonable fee). During the workshop, participants will experience and explore web tools that provide opportunities for students to have both quick practice and extended interactions with the target language. Participants will discuss the challenges and advantages of each app presented.  Participants will have time to create their own activities with tools of their choice, share their ideas for using a particular tool, and exchange feedback on activities created.

After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • choose web tools that are free and/or have a reasonable fee for premium features and are appropriate to their teaching contexts;
  • create activities that provide students with quick practice and extended interactions with the target language; and
  • share ideas and get/give feedback on activities created with the web tools presented.

Leslie Plyler has been teaching online French in North Carolina since 2014. She wrote the French curriculum for the online courses in her district and was the district’s 2022 Virtual Teacher of the Year.  Leslie is passionate about sharing online resources with other World Language teachers. She is also a member of the teaching team for the CARLA Summer Institute Transforming the Teaching of Language Online (TTLO). 

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for middle, high school, and post secondary world language and English as a Second Language educators.

Note: Elementary teachers (4-5th grades) could possibly use these tools for their students.  Younger students may not be able to read and follow the directions for these tools, but teachers could certainly adapt the tools to suit their needs. 


Wellbeing for Language Teachers:
A Workshop on Learning to Thrive in the Profession

Saturday, February 11, 2023
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Central Time)

Why a workshop on language teacher wellbeing? When teachers are in a positive state, it is likely that they will be more creative, innovative, and mindful of their students’ needs. Moreover, research has confirmed that teacher wellbeing is closely associated with students’ achievements. Being a teacher can be a highly emotional and often stressful experience; additionally, there can be specific stressors involved in teaching a second language. In this workshop language educators are invited to learn how to enhance their wellbeing in order to thrive in their teaching profession. 

After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • recognize the importance of language teacher wellbeing;
  • identify factors that influence language teacher wellbeing;
  • use a variety of exercises designed to enhance wellbeing; and
  • plan a course of action to increase their wellbeing.

María Matilde Olivero holds a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition from the University of South Florida. She is a second language teacher educator and researcher at Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto, Argentina. Her main research interests include affective factors, language teacher wellbeing, positive psychology, and peacebuilding approaches in language education.

Tammy Gregersen is a Professor of TESOL at the American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Tammy has published extensively on individual differences, teacher education, nonverbal communication in language classrooms, positive psychology, and language teacher wellbeing.

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for language educators at K-12 through postsecondary levels. The workshop is also a great fit for language teacher educators.


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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