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

Winter/Spring 2022

The CARLA Presentations Series will be held online via Zoom during the winter and spring. Registration is free!

Developing Primary Foreign Language Teachers’ Literacy Skills:  A Transnational Project in Poland, Slovenia, and Spain

Wednesday, February 9, 2022
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Register here for the Zoom link

This presentation will focus on Lit4Clil, a transnational project centered around the development of literacy teaching skills of foreign language (FL) and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) teachers working with young language learners (ages 8-11) in primary school (grades 3-5). The project was carried out in three diverse foreign language teaching contexts—Poland, Slovenia, and Spain. The first part of the presentation will highlight research findings of the needs analysis study, which was conducted to establish teachers' perceptions, needs, and classroom practices in developing their students' FL literacy skills. The second part of the presentation will explore the project outcomes including teacher professional development and teacher training materials. The presentation will conclude with suggestions for incorporating literacy and its applications in the classroom into teacher education curricula and in-service teacher training. Lit4Clil is a collaborative project between the University of Warsaw, the University of Ljubljana, the University of Alcala, and six partner schools from Poland, Slovenia, and Spain. It was co-financed by an Erasmus+ grant.

Katarzyna Brzosko-Barratt is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Warsaw in Poland. She completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include language teacher education, CLIL, and literacy development in primary contexts. She was the project coordinator of the Lit4CLIL Erasmus+ project and serves as a studies director for Graduate Programme in Teaching English to Young Learners at the University of Warsaw.

This presentation is cosponsored by the Second Language Education Program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Creating Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers of Less Commonly Taught Languages: Case Study of a Tamil Community School

Wednesday, February 16, 2022
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Register here for the Zoom link

Professional development for teachers of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) can be challenging for several ideological, logistical, and language-specific reasons. Despite tremendous interest and motivation in receiving professional training, LCTL instructors rarely have access to appropriate opportunities or necessary resources. This presentation explores how one community school, where Tamil is taught as a heritage language, is striving to overcome these challenges in innovative ways. Over the past few years, the Minnesota Tamil School has taken up several short- and long-term initiatives to train its teachers through state and national level collaborations, partnerships with researchers, and diversification of teaching and learning platforms. The presenters trace the school’s decade-long journey in offering teacher support, their ongoing challenges, and future plans in continuing to promote and sustain the Tamil language. 

Anuradha Gopalakrishnan is a language researcher and educator with over fifteen years of experience teaching multiple languages including German, English, and Tamil. Her research interests lie in the intersection of teacher education and multilingual pedagogies. Her recent work has focused on working with heritage language teachers, particularly with those teaching Less Commonly Taught Languages. 
Siva Mariyappan founded the Minnesota Tamil School in 2008 and has been serving as its Course Director for over a decade. He was one of the founders of the American Tamil Academy as well as the American Tamil Teachers Association where he currently serves as its Communication Director. He has been leading the nationwide effort to draft the National Tamil Standards since 2018. His mission is to help all Tamil teachers working voluntarily in over 300 independent, nonprofit community schools throughout the U.S.

This presentation is cosponsored by the Second Language Education Program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones: Chinese Teachers’ Perspectives and Integration of Social Justice in Teaching

Tuesday, March 1, 2022
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Register here for the Zoom link

Recent global social unrest has called for more attention from language teachers to address and integrate social justice in classrooms. It is important to explore what social justice looks like in world language classrooms (Wassell, Wesely & Glynn, 2019; Wesely & Thenoux, 2021), and investigate teachers’ positioning in justice-orientation work (Maddamsetti, 2021; Marlatt & Barnes, 2021). To this end and building on recent work on teacher agency (Pantić, 2015;  Peña-Pincheira & De Costa, 2021), this project investigated Chinese language teachers’ understanding of social justice, and instructional approach to integrating social justice in the classroom. The presenter will highlight research findings on teacher participants’ perspectives and practices, share discussion themes, and offer implications for language teaching and teacher education.

Kaishan Kong is an Associate Professor of Chinese at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Her research interests include language and culture education, intercultural communication and teacher education.

This presentation is cosponsored by the Second Language Education Program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.


Exploring Language Socialization and Language Identity of Migrant Nepali High School Students in the United States

Wednesday, March 16, 2022
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Register here for the Zoom link

Nepali migrant students often experience language and identity shifts as they negotiate their sense of self within their new cultural and linguistic landscape in the United States. This presentation explores the results of a research study looking at ways in which how Nepali migrant students perceive their initial experiences of the English language at schools in their new country. It also showcases how these students explain their relationship with their heritage language and the shifts that they have experienced. The findings of this study highlight how such experiences shape how they perceive their identities.

Blanca Caldas Chumbes is an Assistant Professor in Second Language Education and Elementary Education at the University of Minnesota. Her areas of interest are bilingual education, minoritized language practices and pedagogies, critical pedagogy, critical discourse analysis, and critical (performance) ethnography.
Mabindra Regmi is a Ph.D. student in Second Language Education at the University of Minnesota. He is interested in exploring the language socialization of the Nepali migrant community in the United States.

This presentation is cosponsored by the Second Language Education Program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

The Effects of Guided Strategic Planning on Intermediate and Advanced Spanish Heritage Speakers’ Written Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency

Thursday, March 31, 2022
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Register here for the Zoom link

Previous research about the effects of strategic or pre-task planning on second language accuracy have reported mixed and inconclusive results (i.e. Crookes, 1989; Yuan and Ellis, 2003; Kawauchi, 2005) and the impact on bilinguals such as Spanish heritage speakers of varying proficiency levels has not been explored. This presentation analyzes the interaction between strategic planning and proficiency on the written complexity, accuracy, and fluency of second-generation Spanish heritage speakers. Implications for the instruction of Spanish heritage speakers will be discussed.

Vivian H. Franco Díaz is a Ph.D. candidate in Hispanic Linguistics in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the acquisition of Spanish as a second and heritage language, specifically academic writing development; language ideologies; and Spanish heritage language education.

This presentation is cosponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese 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!

Check out these Saturday workshops offered to language educators during the winter and spring:

See: Registration and Refund Information

Note: All of CARLA's workshops will be offered online via Zoom in 2021–2022.

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!

TTLO Live! Building on Online Teaching Experience

Most teachers now have some experience with teaching online, but many are looking for ways to build on current knowledge to improve their online courses. Each of the TTLO Live! topics in the series are drawn from the popular summer asynchronous CARLA Summer Institute Transforming the Teaching of Language Online (TTLO). Taught by the TTLO instructors, each standalone workshop will address applications for both synchronous and asynchronous delivery formats. These workshops are designed for language educators who teach at the secondary or postsecondary level.

Final workshop in the series:

All Are Welcome in Language Class: UDL from Principles to Practice

Saturday, January 29, 2022
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Online via Zoom
Cost: $30 - Register online with a credit card!

Engage in discussion about the basic Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and how they can be included in the language classroom. Participants will have hands-on practice to adopt some of the UDL practices in course activities and curriculum development.

Ritu Jayakar
, Adjunct Lecturer of Hindi, Asian Studies Department, Penn State University

Fostering Interpretive Communication with Online Tools

Saturday, February 12, 2022
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Central Time)

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

This interactive workshop is designed to help language educators create and implement web-based activities that will help their learners develop their interpretive communication skills. After discussing some key aspects of interpretive reading and listening, as well as general strategies to select the right texts, the presenter will focus on technology-enhanced ideas for every phase of an interpretive lesson: before, during, and after engaging with the text. Examples of activities for novice, intermediate, and advanced learners will be provided.

After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • recognize the importance of interpretive communication for language development;
  • create activities that support students’ comprehension and interpretation of texts; and
  • incorporate online tools that enhance interpretive communication lessons.

Florencia Henshaw has a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she is now the Director of Advanced Spanish. She has designed eight online courses and has extensive experience with technology-enhanced second language and heritage language instruction. 

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for language educators who teach at the secondary or postsecondary level.


Integrating Social Justice Instruction and Proficiency Development in the Advanced-Level Language Classroom

Saturday, March 26, 2022
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Central Time)

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

How can we focus in our classrooms on teaching for social justice and on proficiency development at the same time? In this interactive workshop, participants will deepen their understanding of the compatibility of social justice and proficiency-oriented approaches to foreign language teaching. After reviewing examples developed by the presenter, participants will practice adapting course units to align with both approaches simultaneously. They will also explore assessments and activities that support students’ growth as language users and as engaged members of their local and global communities.

The ACTFL proficiency guidelines, “5 Cs” of the World Readiness Standards, and principles of backward design will provide a framework for the workshop. Examples presented will be in Arabic, but teachers of all languages are invited to attend.

After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • describe the essential components of a social justice approach to foreign language teaching;
  • explain the compatibility of social justice and proficiency approaches in the foreign language classroom;
  • formulate meaningful essential questions for course units focused on social justice; and
  • develop or adapt activities or assessments to suit a curriculum that works on social justice and proficiency development at once.

Katrien Vanpee (Ph.D., Georgetown University) is the Director of Arabic Language Instruction at the University of Minnesota. Her interests include language program direction and curriculum design, social justice pedagogy, the development of reflective and lifelong learning skills, and the less commonly taught Arabic dialects.

Target Audience: This workshop is designed specifically for secondary and postsecondary foreign language instructors who teach at the advanced level. While teachers of all languages are welcome to participate, teachers of less commonly taught languages are especially encouraged to attend.

This workshop is not appropriate for those who teach Novice/beginning levels. It is also not designed for DLI or elementary/middle school teachers.

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 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