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Social Justice in Language Education

CARLA’s Social Justice in Language Education initiative aims to improve teachers’ understanding and application of critical pedagogies as they teach social justice themes. The initiative has three components: research, resources, and professional development.


Initiative Background

The Social Justice in Language Education initiative was developed to address the important need for professional development and instructional materials anchored in social justice and critical pedagogies.


To understand teacher and student learning in social justice-oriented language classrooms, the Social Justice in Language Education initiative leaders are conducting two research studies, one on teacher understanding and enactment of social justice approaches, and one on students’ language development and social justice takeaways.

Resources for Teachers

Professional Development

  • Free Webinar:
    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

  • Free Workshop:
    Be Like Water: Amplifying Asian Voices in Language Education with Flexibility and Resilience 
       Friday, February 17, 2023
        10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. (Central Time)
        Online via Zoom
        See registration details below.

    This workshop develops skills to integrate and amplify Asian Voices in world language education. Participants will co-construct the definition and constituents of Asian Voices, and navigate when, where, what, who and how to strengthen Asian representation in teaching. The presenter will discuss research findings in recent publications to address some concerns and challenges encountered by world language teachers, and then share a framework to inspire language teachers to enhance Asian representation with pedagogical flexibility and emotional resilience. Participants will be engaged by examining examples and developing their own teaching plans using backward design.

    After this workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Describe challenges and concerns when amplifying Asian Voices in language education;
    • Integrate and enhance Asian representation in lesson planning through backward design; and
    • Adapt meaningful activities to apply in their specific language teaching.

    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. Her workshop on integrating culture in teaching was voted as the best session at the 2022 MCTLC conference.

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

    Registration Details:

    • This workshop will be offered free of charge to language educators within the target audience (see above) on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited.
    • Fill out this simple registration form if you meet the target audience criteria and wish to attend the workshop.

CARLA Summer Institutes for Language Teachers

Each summer CARLA offers a wide array of professional development opportunities for K-16 language teachers.

CARLA Bibliography

The CARLA bibliography contains more information on publications and presentations by faculty and staff involved in the Social Justice in Language Education project.


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