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Professional Development Workshops & Events

PD Peer Team Schedule of Activities

Spring 2018

PACE Workshop: Vocabulary learning and language proficiency

Friday, January 19, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m
Tate B85
Registration required

Why is teaching vocabulary important? How do we understand and learn the meaning of new vocabulary? How do you select vocabulary for teaching when using authentic texts? How do you embed activities for vocabulary learning in thematic units? How do you work with new vocabulary in each mode of communication?

Join us as we work collaboratively on three selected modules from the series Building Vocabulary: The key to building proficiency, presented by Laura Terrill and developed by ACTFL. In this workshop, we will watch selected content from three modules, complete worksheets, and will develop level-specific activities for vocabulary learning, and will explore strategies for making vocabulary learning an intentional part of instruction. Participants are encouraged to bring a sample authentic text (e.g., text, imagery) to practice integrating ideas presented. Each module will take roughly one hour, and participants are welcome to attend part or all of the workshop. However, everyone planning to attend must register. Refreshments will be provided.

Cecily Brown, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Hossam Elsherbiny, Department of Asian Languages and Literatures
Dan Soneson, CLA Language Center
Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, CLA Language Center

The PACE Project is funded by a grant from The Language Flagship.

Past Events

  Fall 2017

LATIS TEL and Language Center Drop-in TechHub

Friday, September 1, 2017
10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Jones 35

Need last-minute academic tech help before the start of the Fall semester? Whether struggling with a problem or just looking for ideas, we can help! The LATIS Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Team and the Language Center invite you to drop in for one-on-one help during this TechHub event. All four TEL team members as well as Language Center staff will be available to answer your questions related to:

  • Moodle general setup
  • Moodle Gradebook
  • Canvas features and transition information
  • Universal design and your Canvas or Moodle site

If you would like to submit a request for special assistance, please email Adolfo Carrillo Cabello.

All instructors are welcome! Refreshments will be provided. Hope to see many of you!

BOSSA Open Houses

Thursday, September 7, 2017
1:25 - 4:00 p.m.
Jones 35

Friday, September 8, 2017
9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Jones 35

The BOSSA team has been busy this summer preparing for the Fall semester. As we get started for the new semester, we invite you to join us at one of our BOSSA Open Houses to socialize with new and current users and to have your questions answered. Get a behind-the-scenes perspective on self-assessment, and one-on-one training and experience using the speaking self-assessment protocol.

Mark your calendars for the BOSSA Open House, and come share experiences with other users in an informal setting. Refreshments will be served.

PACE: Springboard to Research and Curriculum Design

Friday, September 15, 2017
9:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Folwell 5
Online Registration

Over three years the PACE project has collected data on students of Arabic, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, including proficiency ratings in reading, listening, and speaking, self-assessment ratings, and survey data on language background, use, and motivational factors. Now in in its fourth year, the PACE project invites language instructors to explore and analyze the data collected thus far. Join us for a workshop that will introduce the available data, and provide you with examples of possible research inquiries that can impact your curricular programming and decisions.

Paula Winke, Associate Professor at Michigan State University (MSU), will share what MSU is doing with similar data at that institution and will engage with participants to explore ways to interpret and analyze the Minnesota data. Using Excel, participants will have an opportunity to approach the data with specific questions that can be useful for the relevant language program or for larger questions regarding second language acquisition more generally. In addition, a short introduction to the statistical program ‘R’ will be presented.

Please let us know if you plan to attend by registering for the event, or email carri093@umn.edu. We encourage you to bring a laptop with Excel installed to the event for hands-on experience working with the data. Before Friday’s event, please read the article Setting evidence-based language goals (Goertler, S, Kraemer, A., & Schenker, T., 2016), which illustrates how one German program analyzed test data to fortify and revise their curricular expectations.

A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Check-in starts at 8:30 a.m.

PACE Presentation: Using VoiceThread for Enhancing Speaking Proficiency

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
12:20 - 1:10 p.m.
Nolte Center 140

Providing feedback to each student on the fine points of second language phonetics is often beyond what our packed syllabi and 50-minute class sessions will allow. In this presentation, Sean Killackey will share his experience using VoiceThread to provide students with individual feedback targeting specific features that are taught and practiced in the whole class setting.

Refined over several semesters, Sean has developed an assessment activity that returns extra time back to oral exams and allows the instructor to rewind and listen to specific words for feedback on the targeted phonetics. This activity also decreases the time required for similar assessments using other recording technologies like DiLL or Vocaroo.

Please join us to learn about this assessment activity and brainstorm ways to incorporate similar activities and applications to foster speaking proficiency. Pizza will be served.

Presenter: Sean Killackey, Coordinator of first-semester French, Department of French and Italian

PACE and LATIS Presentation: The cool things you can do with Canvas

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
12:20 - 1:10 p.m.
Nolte Center 140
Register Online

Make the most of your transition to Canvas!

LATIS and the Language Center are teaming up to offer a series of professional development opportunities for language instructors to become familiar with Canvas. At the latest session, on November 29, learn best practices for managing online content, instructional design, and language options for courses and assignments. Refreshments are provided.

PACE Workshop: Preparing and submitting successful conference proposals

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
1:10 - 2:20 p.m.
Jones 35

This workshop will assist participants to navigate the road to submitting a successful conference proposal. Participants will learn strategies for understanding call for proposal guidelines, and how to prepare a proposal using these strategies to increase opportunities for getting accepted. The workshop will focus on proposals for submission to the 2018 ACTFL National Convention.

Join us for a productive afternoon to work on responding to a call for conference proposals. Come and learn about opportunities for potential funding for conference presentations dealing with aspects of the PACE Project. Refreshments will be served.

Presenter: Dr. Kate Paesani, Director, Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA)

  Spring 2017

PACE Workshop:  Applying Adult Learning Principles in the Language Classroom

Friday, February 10, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Morning session: Nicholson 125
Afternoon session: Folwell 6
Registration required

This workshop will present and explore what is known about adult learning as applied to language acquisition. Stacey Johnson will present frameworks such as experiential learning, transformative learning, and problem-based learning to serve as models for lesson planning in language courses as ways of engaging students and fostering intellectual development. Participants will have the opportunity to explore and adapt models for instruction that address adult language learners and promote deep learning and critical thinking. In hands-on application of the principles and models, they will create and present a lesson that both meets course expectations and allows for instructional flexibility.

The workshop is for CLA language instructors. It is geared towards multi-section instructors who teach from standard syllabi. Hands-on activities will allow participants to distinguish class-level and unit-level instruction, as well as linking content and experience. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop, syllabus, and textbook.

Join us for a day full of experiential and transformative learning. The morning session will provide opportunities for theory-driven hands-on activities, and the afternoon session will allow for micro teaching demonstrations and reflection. Lunch will be provided for registered participants.

Facilitator: Stacey Margarita Johnson is the Assistant Director for Educational Technology at the Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt University. She is the author of Adult Learning in the Language Classroom, and Hybrid Language Teaching in Practice: Perceptions, Reactions, and Results.

PACE Workshop: BOSSA at the University of Minnesota:   Looking back, looking forward

Thursday, March 2, 2017
2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Peik Gym G65

Spring 2017 marks the beginning of the fourth year of BOSSA. During this time, the PACE team has worked closely with students, instructors, and programs to learn about the benefits of using self assessment to support language learning.

In this two-part presentation, aggregated results of the three years of operation will be shown. Instructors will provide insights on approaching the inclusion of BOSSA at the course and class levels.

In the first part, Gabriela Sweet and Anna Olivero-Agney will explain how students’ perceptions of their abilities align with program’s expectations. Furthermore, they will show data that summarize learner strategies: what students choose to do in response to the specific challenges they identify through using the BOSSA protocol. In addition, they will look briefly at accuracy, comparing ACTFL performance data from the PACE Project with student self-assessment data from BOSSA, looking at both the individual and aggregate levels, by semester level of instruction.

In the second part, Helena Ruf and Ginny Steinhagen will provide an overview of a longitudinal study they have conducted using the BOSSA speaking and writing self-assessment protocols. They will discuss practical applications, including concrete tips for revisiting students' "strengths / challenges and goals" throughout the semester, as well as implications for course design.

Presenters: Anna Olivero-Agney and Gabriela Sweet from the Language Center, and Helena Ruf and Ginny Steinhagen from German, Scandinavian and Dutch

PACE Conversation: Navigating the road to language testing and proficiency

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
12:20 - 1:15 p.m.
Jones 35

For the past two years, the PACE Project has made available the four-day ACTFL Tester Training Workshop, which assists instructors to better understand the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and Scale. Providing the workshop in the PACE project is meant to help instructors place a greater focus on proficiency and to provide greater opportunities for student success in developing their proficiency.

Past participants of the OPI Tester Training workshop will share their experience with the workshop and afterward, discuss how this experience has shaped their teaching and student learning. Presenters will present challenges and successes of the training and will share ideas for addressing the ACTFL Guidelines and Scale in their teaching. Participants will have a chance to ask questions and provide insights on their own experiences and interests with the ACTFL Guidelines and Scale. A light lunch will be provided.

Presenters: Angela Carlson Lombardi, Anne Hoffman-Gonzalez, and Tripp Strawbridge, from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese; Jacqueline Listemaa from the Department of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch; and Bryce Johnson and Hai Liu from the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures

PACE Roundtable: Ideas for infusing technology into the language classroom

Friday, April 28, 2017
12:20 - 2:00 p.m.
Bruininks Hall 420B
Register Online (required)

Lunch Provided by AfroDeli

Looking for ways to integrate technology into your teaching to enhance students’ learning experience? Please join us for an afternoon full of ideas and great conversation. This roundtable will showcase five projects in a roundtable format. Participants will have a chance to engage in informal, small group conversation with the presenters and learn new ways to incorporate technology into their teaching.

Featured Technologies and Projects: VideoAnt, Radio Ambulante, Flipgrid, Apple Numbers and PlayPosit

Interactive listening with VideoAnt

VideoAnt is a University of Minnesota-created web-based video annotation tool. Its simple interface makes it easy to create discussion board activities directly linked to authentic web-based videos. It has the potential to turn the often solitary experience of at-home listening homework into an interactive, social experience - one in which students can collaboratively work to understand, analyze, and assess second language audiovisual texts. This roundtable presentation will cover the basics of setting up VideoAnt, student reactions to using VideoAnt as outside of class listening practice, and a discussion of pros and cons of the tool from the instructor perspective.

Radio Ambulante in the Spanish classroom

Radio Ambulante is a weekly Spanish language podcast from NPR that "tells Latin American stories from anywhere Spanish is spoken, including the United States.” The unique content, combined with the fact that each episode has an accompanying transcript make this podcast a great tool for the Spanish classroom, from beginning through advanced levels of instruction. This roundtable presentation will show how an instructor used an episode of Radio Ambulante on Peruvian cuisine in her intermediate Spanish class to create a four-day multiliteracy lesson to accompany the textbook chapter on food.

Using Apple’s Numbers app on the iPad to speed up grading with rubrics

With a little investment in setup time, Apple’s iPad spreadsheet application can help speed an instructor through scoring multi-criteria rubrics like those used for oral exams. The Apple Numbers app has a little-used feature called Forms that can make entering and adding all the numbers from a rubric faster and less frustrating than using a calculator (and trying to remember if you just added the score for fluency or task completion, or do you need to start over adding from the beginning again!). This presentation will include a brief reflection on evaluating this technology use via the SAMR model. Interested participants will receive a copy of the Numbers spreadsheet file used by the presenter as well.

Using Flipgrid as a tool to create video discussions

Instructors register for a Flipgrid account and then create a grid for the classroom and can add unlimited discussion topics. Instructors can pose questions or prompts – students can create video responses, watch each others’ videos, and respond to each other. Video responses can be up to three minutes long, so this is a good way to promote sustained speaking. This roundtable presentation will cover the basics of setting up Flipgrid, and discuss practical applications for its use in the beginning and intermediate language classroom both to promote discussion among students and conversations between students and instructors.

Improving the interactivity of listening materials with PlayPosit

Working on listening activities can be a monotonous or tedious exercise for students. Through tools such as PlayPosit, what is traditionally considered passive content can be transformed into an interactive experience for students, with time-embedded activities. In this roundtable, participants will work on their choice of audiovisual materials and use various tools available on PlayPosit to create an interactive exercise with questions targeting specific segments of their material. Examples of time-embedded questions include: Multiple Choice, Free Response, Fill in the Blank, Polling, and several others. Finally, participants will also explore ways to closely monitor the progress their students are making.

Presenters: Stephanie Hernandez and Sara Mack, from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese; Beth Kautz and Ginny Steinhagen from the Department of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch; Sean Killackey from the Department of French and Italian; and Hossam Elsherbiny from the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures

PACE Project: ACTFL OPI Tester Training Workshop, May 2017

The PACE Project in collaboration with the PACE PD Peer Team is sponsoring a four-day ACTFL OPI Tester Training Workshop for up to ten language instructors on May 22-25, 2017. The workshop will be facilitated by an expert ACTFL OPI Tester trainer.

This four-day workshop introduces the ACTFL rating scale, the structure of the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), and techniques of administering and rating the OPI. Participants observe and conduct live practice interviews across all proficiency levels (Novice through Superior). Participants will critique and discuss interview elicitation, structure, and rating. Participation in this workshop can be the first step towards certification as an ACTFL OPI Tester for those who choose to do so. We hope that participation in this workshop will lead to a greater focus on proficiency and to greater opportunities for student success in developing their proficiency.

The workshop is funded by the PACE Project, which covers the cost of the training plus breakfast and lunch during the four days of participation.

If you would like to apply for this opportunity, please register your interest by February 20, 2017.

Priority will be given to instructors who teach languages funded by the PACE grant, those interested in pursuing full tester certification, and those who are able to attend all four days of the workshop in their entirety.

Participants seeking to become ACTFL Certified Testers will be reimbursed for the ACTFL certification application fee upon obtaining certification.

  Fall 2016

PACE Workshop:  Disabilities and Inclusive Design

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Beacon room, RecWell Center
Register online (required)

The PACE Project in collaboration with the Committee on Second Language Education (ComSLE), the Disability Resource Center, the College of Liberal Arts office of Undergraduate Education, and the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) are pleased to invite you to a workshop on Disabilities and Inclusive Design. The workshop is intended to provide meaningful strategies for integrating inclusive design into course curriculum that are closely aligned with current teaching practices of language instructors.

This workshop will take place Wednesday, August 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Recreational and Wellness Center, Beacon room. Lunch will be provided for all attendees. Light breakfast items will be available at 8:00 a.m.

We would like to thank all instructors who have taken the time to complete a survey to gather information about their teaching experiences and practices in connection with with working with students with disabilities, core course assignments, and teaching practices. If you have not completed the survey, we welcome your input.

Click here to complete the survey. You will be able to save your entries and return to complete the survey if necessary.

This event is free and open to the university community. Please register in advance, since lunch is provided. If you are unable to register online, please email elsie@umn.edu.

Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Professional Development, CLA Language Center
Cynthia Fuller, Associate Director, Disabilities Resource Center and Student Access
Angela Bowlus, Assistant Director of Advising, CLA Undergraduate Education

PACE Workshop:   Laying the Textbook to Rest - How we took the curriculum into our own hands

Friday, October 14, 2016
11:00 - 12:00 p.m.
Bruininks Hall 131A
Online Information (registration not required)

Learner-centered methodologies seek to engage students as active participants in learning and co-constructors of knowledge. In the beginning-level language classroom, there must be a balance between content worthy of inquiry and interpretation and attention to the development of language skills, and there must be time allowed for both in the syllabus. In this workshop, Cecily Brown and Stephanie Hernández describe curricular changes they made to beginning Spanish courses (1001-1002), starting with using the textbook as a resource and not as the defining curriculum.

Cecily and Stephanie propose a bottom-up approach to curricular changes that empowers instructors to treat the textbook as a reference. First, they propose an examination of the textbook to identify the most important language tasks and student outcomes for each chapter. Second, they propose a reframing of the textbook chapters to enable the addition of related “authentic” content. Finally, they will demonstrate some sample activities developed to provide students with opportunities for inquiry and interpretation. Participants at the workshop will have time to work individually or in groups to think and discuss ways that one lesson or unit might be modified to use the textbook more as a reference and encourage students to be more active learners. Furthermore, participants will discuss how in-class strategies may result in curricular changes.

This event is open to all languages and levels. Registration is not required. Refreshments will be served.

Presenters: Cecily Brown and Stephanie Hernández, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies

PACE Workshop:   ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines in the Korean Language Curriculum - Focus on Speaking

Friday, November 4, 2016
1:20 - 2:15 p.m.
Bruininks Hall 131A
Online Information (registration not required)

The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines provide descriptions of what language learners can do with language in the four skills in real-world situations, in a spontaneous and unrehearsed context. For years, language instructors have used these guidelines to frame curricular goals and to design lessons and individual activities that can promote language development toward achieving greater proficiency. In the case of Korean we noticed that oral proficiency was lower than expected after the third year of the curriculum. There are also some unique obstacles to teaching and learning Korean: it is an agglutinative language, it has a complex honorific system, and it is a High Context language.

In this workshop, third-year Korean instructor Bryce Johnson describes changes he made to the fifth-semester Advanced Korean curriculum (KOR 3031) to move speaking proficiency towards Intermediate-High/Advanced-Low. Bryce will explain how he uses the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines to set curricular goals, and how backward design principles are used to modify existing units and to develop lessons and activities that provide scaffolding for learners. He will also provide some examples of specific activities that invite learners to use the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines as a tool to inform their own proficiency development. Participants will discuss how the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines correlate with the level they are currently teaching and then consider how changes to activities, lessons, units, or their entire curriculum might be informed by the Guidelines.

Refreshments will be served. This workshop is cosponsored by CARLA and open to all languages and levels.

Presenter: Bryce Johnson, Department of Asian Languages and Literatures

PACE Workshop:   Web-Based Approaches for the Modern Foreign Language Classroom

Friday, November 11, 2016
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Bruininks Hall 131B
Register Online. Please register by Wednesday, November 9.

This hands-on workshop will familiarize participants with the use of web-based resources in the language classroom, providing language teachers with extensive and applied examples they can use to prepare teaching materials, presenting ways to integrate them in their courses, and offering practical exercises on site. Participants will explore the use of Google Trends as a visualization tool for vocabulary, language variation and cultural concepts in a wide variety of languages. Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer will present the most useful online language corpora and show applications of word nets, word clouds, and concordances in the area of grammar, lexis, dialect and register variation as tools for preparation and classroom activities.

Based on the Web as a Corpus approach (Hundt et al. 2007; Diemer 2009), Marie-Louise and Stefan will also introduce memes, blogs, and ads as teaching resources for the intercultural language classroom, with a particular focus on speaking skills and language variation (Brunner & Diemer 2014). Finally, they illustrate how, via the Awakening to Languages approach, similarities between various languages can be used to raise students’ language awareness and motivation, as well as to facilitate language learning.

Participants are highly encouraged to bring their own laptops in order to try out the tools presented.

This event is open to all languages and levels. A light lunch will be provided, so please register to ensure an accurate headcount. If you are not able to register, please email elsie@umn.edu or carri093@umn.edu to let us that you plan to attend.

This workshop is sponsored by the Institute of Linguistics. Cosponsored by the PACE Project and CARLA.


Stefan Diemer is professor of international communication and digital business at Trier University of Applied Sciences and associate professor of linguistics at Saarland University, Germany. He is head of the team compiling CASE, the Corpus of Academic Spoken English, a corpus of international Skype conversations. His research interests include language and the Web, English as a Lingua Franca, and the didactics of English in an online context. His corpus work and his interest in intercultural communication and special-purpose language have also led him to focus on interdisciplinary research fields such as intercomprehension, language and identity, and food discourse.

Marie-Louise Brunner is doctoral researcher and head of the intercultural communication programme at Trier University of Applied Sciences and lecturer in the department of English linguistics at Saarland University, Germany. Her Master's degree is in English, American, and Anglophone Studies (focus: English Linguistics), with a minor in Intercultural Communication. For her PhD thesis, she investigates the negotiation of intercultural communication, specifically discourse strategies in English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) Skype conversations. Her research interests are in the areas of discourse analysis, pragmatics, corpus linguistics, and intercomprehension. She is also interested in the use of online media and corpora, as well as intercultural and multilingual approaches in the foreign language classroom.

PACE Panel Presentation and Discussion of the Curricular Initiative

Friday, December 2, 2016
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Folwell Hall 108
Register Online. (required, register by Wednesday, November 30)

Analysis of proficiency test result data gathered in the first two years of the PACE Project has shed light on some areas in which students lag behind expected proficiency levels set forth by the language programs. Taking into account linguistic variations, methodological approaches, programmatic needs, and areas of weaknesses, the Arabic, French, Korean and Spanish programs have engaged in the process of making curricular revisions that focus on a particular aspect of the language curriculum in a key course sequence. Language instructors and coordinators were also involved in the development and integration of activities that aimed to strengthen specific language modalities. The changes made to the curriculum will be implemented during the 2016-17 academic year.

This panel presentation will showcase the work that six language instructors have undertaken to address specific areas of the curriculum and/or specific modalities that have shown low performance among students. The presenters will facilitate discussions on the implications for curricular changes, as well as plans for implementation and assessment.

Presenters and participating languages and courses:

  • Lydia Belatèche and Déborah Lee-Ferrand, Department of French and Italian Studies, French 3015-3016, will discuss the development of new listening activities for French 3015 and 3016 that were produced in conjunction with proficiency-based learning goals for the third-year French curriculum. The activities allow students to fine-tune their listening proficiency, intercultural competence, and vocabulary building. Backward design was used to set goals for the testing of listening skills. The presenters will share sample listening activities, which have been paired with both literary and non-literary texts.
  • Angela Carlson Lombardi and Stephanie Hernandez, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Spanish 1003, will speak about their work establishing proficiency-based learning goals for third-semester Spanish and revising the curriculum to systematically integrate listening activities to help students develop greater listening proficiency. They will show some of the authentic listening activities and assessments they created with the goals of creating a more seamless connection between content worked with in and out of class and enhancing the real-world applications of course content.
  • Sara Mack, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Spanish 1004, will discuss plans for increasing listening proficiency in the final course of the CLA Language Requirement sequence for learners of Spanish. The curriculum innovations include stronger support for at-home practice, integration of social listening tools, a semester-long trajectory for developing listening skills tied to course goals, and greater integration of listening with content in class assessments.
  • Katrien Vanpee, Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, Arabic 5101-5102, has revised the curriculum for the Advanced Arabic course sequence (fifth and sixth semester) toward greater differentiation to allow for increased attention to each student’s individual strengths and working points. She will focus her discussion on the integration of reflective learning journals in the advanced Arabic classroom. This project builds on previous experiences with coaching in the use of learning strategies, self-assessment and journaling projects.

This presentation is cosponsored by CARLA and is open to all language instructors. A light lunch is provided. Please register in advance to help us determine food orders.

PACE Open Hours:   Experience the BOSSA App

Thursday, December 15, 2016
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Jones 35

As you gear up for the Spring semester, the PACE Project team invites you to experience the new BOSSA app. The App allows for integrated, timed recordings, which significantly reduces the burden on instructors. A few instructors kindly piloted the app this semester and report that the ease of delivery allows them more time to focus on pair and group discussions.

Using the app, BOSSA delivery is easy...all you do is direct your students to wait or go ahead a couple of times, and the rest of it – recording and all! – is done for you. Now that we've worked out a few bugs in the program, it's time to invite everyone to try it out.

Join us and experience it first-hand! If you like it, you can sign up for this easy, new delivery format for your Spring BOSSA sessions!

Take some time from your busy schedule and come and explore the new BOSSA app. Coffee will be served.

PACE Open Conversation:  Understanding course evaluations as public documents

Thursday, December 15, 2016
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Jones 35

After several years of requests from the Minnesota Student Organization, the University of Minnesota agreed in 2014 to release data from student course evaluations to the public. These include the more general student responses to courses regarding understanding of content, successful use of educational technology, clear grading standards, stimulation of interest, and recommendation of the course to others. The Minnesota Daily summarized the results on November 16, 2016.

In light of this information, the PACE Project will hold an open conversation to reflect on how best to interpret and utilize student course evaluations. Faculty, supervisors, and course instructors from all language departments are invited to share their reactions to the release of this data, and also to consider ways in which we can use student evaluations as a tool to aid in the tasks of course design and professional development.


Angela Bowlus, Assistant Director of Advising, CLA Undergraduate Education
Helena Ruf, Director of Language Instruction, Department of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch
Mandy Menke, Director of Language Instruction, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Frances Matos-Schultz, Coordinator of Spanish 1022, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

  Spring 2016

PACE PD Event: Intercultural Competence Conference (Day 1)

Friday, January 22, 2016
10:00 a.m. - 7:15 p.m. (CST)
Folwell 104

-- Register Online (required) --

The PACE Project and CARLA are hosting a livestream of the keynote, plenaries, and selected breakout sessions of the Conference on Intercultural Competence presented by CERCLL (a Language Resource Center like CARLA) at the University of Arizona.

Since lunch will be provided, please register in advance.

You may plan to attend any of the sessions listed below.

  • 10:00-12:00 p.m., Session 1
  • 12:15-1:30 p.m., Keynote Presentation
    Fred Dervin (University of Helsinki, Finland)
    How Current Understandings of Language and Culture (Should) Inform L2 Pedagogy
  • 3:00-5:00 p.m., Session 5
  • 5:15-7:15 p.m., Session 9

This event is open to all CLA language instructors. Registration is required. Lunch is provided.

PACE PD Event: Intercultural Competence Conference (Day 2)

Saturday, January 23, 2016
10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (CST)
Jones 35

-- Register Online (required) --

The PACE Project and CARLA are hosting a livestream of the symposium, plenaries, and selected breakout sessions of the Conference on Intercultural Competence presented by CERCLL (a Language Resource Center like CARLA) at the University of Arizona.

Since lunch will be provided, please register in advance.

You may plan to attend any of the sessions listed below.

  • 10:00-11:00 p.m., Plenary Presentation
    Paige Ware (Southern Methodist University)
    Intercultural Competence Inside Digital Contact Zones: Spaces of Reification, Negotiation, and Suspense
  • 11:30-1:30 p.m., Session 13 / Symposium

This event is open to all CLA language instructors. Registration is required. Lunch is provided.

LC / LATIS Open Technology Exploration Day

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Jones 35

-- Online Information (registration not required) --

Join LATIS and the CLA Language Center for a walk-in professional development session of technology exploration.

LATIS and Language Center staff members will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to help you explore solutions to your technology questions in support of the teaching and learning of language.

Drop in anytime during the day with your questions. Here is an overview of the best times to receive help on some particular topics:

All day Moodle: general questions, Gradebook
Google Docs
Flipped classroom general
Learning analytics
9 am -10:30 am VoiceThread
Canvas (course management)
Gameful design
10:30 am - 12 pmGameful design
12 pm - 2 pmMoodle and website usability & accessibility
Flipped classroom screencast / desktop recording best practices
Instructional materials design
LATIS equipment checkout
Adobe CC Software
Media in teaching and learning & assignments
Video Production, studios, video editing
Digital Storytelling
Audio/Video installation in gallery spaces
2 pm - 4 pmGameful design
Moodle and website usability & accessibility
Flipped classroom screencast / desktop recording best practices
Instructional materials design
LATIS equipment checkout
Adobe CC Software
Video Production, studios, video editing
Digital Content Library (DCL)
Audio/Video installation in gallery spaces

This event is open to all language instructors. Registration is not required and coffee will be served.

Incorporating Authentic Texts into the Language Classrooms

Friday, February 19, 2016
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Nicholson 35

The issue of authenticity has received much attention in recent years. In the case of foreign language learning and teaching, different types of naturalistic methods have focused on authenticity of acquisition processes and in the area of use. A content-based curriculum typically adheres to three principles:   subject-matter core, authentic language and texts, and appropriateness to learner needs. The "core materials" such as texts, videos, realia, recordings, and visual aids, "should be selected primarily (but not exclusively) from those produced for native speakers of the language. The learning activities should be both expository and experiential in nature and focus on conveying real message and accomplishing specific tasks" (Leaver and Stryker, 1989, 271). This lecture will focus on the process of incorporating authentic materials into the language classroom and provide effective teaching strategies to maximize students’ learning.

Dr. Abdalla is an Associate Professor at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He has taught courses and lectured extensively in the areas of linguistics, Arabic media, and Arabic language in several universities in Egypt, Europe, and the USA.

PACE Swap Shop:
Authentic Listening Activities into Practice - Where, What, Why, and How

Thursday, March 3, 2016
10:10 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Bruininks Hall 512-A

Presenters:   Stephanie Hernandez & Ana Anderson, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies

Maybe you’ve heard that "authentic texts" are a hot topic in language teaching and learning, but are wondering:

  • What constitutes an authentic text?
  • Why should I use authentic listening texts, especially if my textbook comes with recordings?

Perhaps you are considering using authentic listening activities in your classroom, but wonder:

  • Where do I begin searching for authentic texts?
  • How much time will this search take?
  • How can I tell what will make a good listening text?
  • What if my students can't understand everything in the text?
  • And, what about using videos?

If you’re confident about finding texts:

  • How do you create level-appropriate activities for a given text?
  • Can texts be reused at multiple levels?

While we don’t claim to have all the answers, we're excited to share the processes and experiences we have in answering these questions for our own classrooms with you and to facilitate conversations on this topic among language instructors.

We will focus both on finding appropriate and engaging recordings as well as on things to keep in mind as you tailor these activities to meet your course and students' needs. Bring your experiences, intuitions, and questions about this topic (and your laptop) to our interactive swap shop!

PACE Project & CARLA Workshop:
Language Learning and Disabilities

Friday, March 25, 2016
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Bruininks Hall, 131A

Presenters:   Dr. Kristi Liu and Dr. Martha Thurlow, National Center on Educational Outcomes, University of Minnesota

How do we distinguish a learning disability from other challenges in second language learning? What role does culture play in this distinction? How might an instructor’s individual teaching style support or hinder students with learning disabilities? How can language instructors best help students with disabilities?

In this interactive workshop, Dr. Kristi Liu and Dr. Martha Thurlow from the National Center on Educational Outcomes on our campus will guide us to explore answers to these questions and identify institutional and community resources. Drawing upon specific second language learners’ profiles, they will illustrate ways to overcome instructional challenges such as dealing with test anxiety, cultural expectations, and undiagnosed learning disabilities.

Please join us to ask questions, learn more, and share your experiences. When you register for this free event, you’ll have the opportunity to submit a question or concern you would like to have addressed at the workshop.

Register Online (required, free)

This event is cosponsored by CARLA. It is open to the university community. Middle Eastern desserts and beverages will be served.

PACE Swap Shop:
BOSSA in the Language Classroom

Tuesday, April 5, 2016
12:00 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.
Nolte Hall 140

Facilitators:   Gabriela Sweet and Anna Olivero-Agney, CLA Language Center

Panelists:   Frances Matos-Schultz (Spanish), Kathleen Rider (Italian), Ginny Steinhagen (German), and Rasha El Helw (Arabic)

BOSSA, the Basic Outcomes Student Self-Assessment, is a language learner-centered protocol that has been used by eight CLA language programs for the past two years, reaching nearly 6,000 students. You may be an experienced BOSSA instructor or you may have heard about BOSSA from other colleagues.

If you are a current user of BOSSA, what has your experience been thus far? How have your students reacted to the BOSSA protocol? Has BOSSA had an impact on your teaching practices? Have you tried any follow-up activities in class that you would like to share with others?

If BOSSA is not part of your syllabus (yet!), come and join us for a conversation about the learning opportunities BOSSA offers to your students.

In this swap shop, four experienced language instructors will share with us how they are supporting students in taking charge of their learning and making plans to achieve their goals. Furthermore, the panelists will discuss their take and implementation of BOSSA in current and future courses. Join this swap shop to help us gather ideas and suggestions for improving the students’ self-assessment practices.

This event is open to CLA language instructors. Come early and meet other BOSSA users. Session starts at 12:20. Pizza will be served at 12:00 p.m.

Register Online (required, free)

If you would like to present and share your experiences and projects, please contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello.

PACE Workshop:
Incorporating Online Corpora & Concordances for Contextualized Vocabulary Acquisition

Friday, April 22, 2016
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Bruininks 131A

Presenter:   Dr. Nader Morkus, Assistant Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University, Bloomington, and Director of the Arabic Language Program.

How do we effectively incorporate online corpora and concordances into intermediate and advanced language classes? How do we create concordance-based activities and assignments to enhance learners’ accurate and contextualized use of newly acquired vocabulary items? How do we provide feedback and facilitate in-class discussions to help students reach a better understanding of the accurate use of the new vocabulary? How can we introduce the concepts of collocation, colligation, semantic prosody, and register to our students, and also design vocabulary activities that are focused on these concepts?

In this interactive workshop, Dr. Nader Morkus, will guide us through these questions. He will present a number of online concordances in different languages, discuss their various features, and will provide examples on how they can be effectively incorporated in intermediate and advanced language classes. He will share concordance-based activities and assignments he has developed for his classes and give a framework for creating such assignments and activities to enhance students’ acquisition of new vocabulary items. Participants will explore online concordances and create sample activities based on these collections in order to begin the process of incorporating them in their language classes to enhance students’ contextualized use of newly acquired vocabulary.

This event is open to the university community. Please bring your laptop to explore the concordances demonstrated and to create sample activities. Refreshments will be provided.

Curriculum Design through a Principled Approach to Listening: A Hands-On Workshop

Friday, May 20, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Jones 35

The PACE Project will facilitate an all-day event on May 20 for language instructors and coordinators to examine the role of listening in the language curriculum, to determine guiding principles for attending to listening, and to begin the process of revising the curriculum to integrate listening systematically, based on these principles.

The workshop will begin with a discussion of principles for the integration of listening in the curriculum. Participants will generate a list of principles meant to develop student listening proficiency. They will apply these principles to their own curriculum. They will locate appropriate materials and develop activities to guide students through them. At the end of the day, participants will demonstrate one activity that serves as an example of the principled approach to listening proficiency and that will represent a start toward a more comprehensive systematic attention to listening in a revised curriculum.

  Fall 2015

Welcome Week Workshops - Thursday, September 3, 2015

All language instructors are invited!

Part 1:   Oral Proficiency at the Advanced Level
Speaker:   Judith Liskin-Gasparro, Associate Professor, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, University of Iowa
Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

This workshop focuses on targeting oral proficiency at the advanced level, especially in courses not focused on language development.

This will be an opportunity for graduate students, P&A instructors, and faculty to mingle and talk about the workshop and the PACE project.
Time: 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Part 2:   Creating Communities of Practice
Speaker:   Kris Gorman, Center for Educational Innovation (CEI)
Time: 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

The goal of this workshop is to provide a space where instructors can brainstorm areas for investigation and inquiry regarding the practice of language teaching, and to create “Communities of Practice” around specific themes. The groups will set expectations and schedules for pursuing their common interest throughout the year.

Location: Northrop Theatre, Founder's Room

Friday, September 25, 2015

PACE: Teaching Listening and Reading

Presented by:   Erwin Tschirner, Professor at the Herder-Institut in Germany & ACTFL test developer.

Dr. Tschirner is co-author of the beginning German textbook Kontakte: A Communicative Approach, and has been involved in proficiency-based test development and implementation. He is conducting a large scale study on ACTFL listening and reading tests in a variety of languages, and in this presentation/workshop will provide suggestions for addressing listening and reading in the language curriculum and helping students improve their proficiency in these modalities.

Registration / Breakfast:   8:30 am
Workshop:   9:00 am - 11:00 am

Location:   Nicholson 35

Friday, October 30, 2015

Using Images as a Cultural Product and for Critical Analysis

Presented by:   Gwen Barnes-Karol & Maggie Broner, St. Olaf College.

This workshop will include an overview of theoretical considerations that can guide foreign language instructors in curricular planning, as well as a selection of activities using images as a point of departure towards greater student understanding of the target culture.

The presenters will share materials they have created and used successfully with their own students.

Time:   1:30pm - 4:40pm

Location:   Recreation and Wellness Center, Beacon Room

Register online by October 23, 2015.

Incorporating Critical Thinking Activities in Your Language Class

Monday, November 16, 2015
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Jones 35

In this follow-up to the October 30, 2015 Using Images to Promote Critical Thinking workshop, participants will engage in a conversation about how to incorporate critical thinking through culture in their classroom. Participants are encouraged to bring ideas of how they could implement this in their classroom, as well as the challenges and questions they may encounter in doing so. Warm cookies from Insomnia Cookies and coffee will be served.

PACE End of Semester Event and Swap Shop

Monday, December 14, 2015
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Nicholson 135

Practices of Developing Intercultural Competence through Online Exchange Programs
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Pablo Viedma (Spanish), Carlotta Dradi (Italian), and Sean Killackey (French) will share how they are using online exchange programs in their classes to develop students’ intercultural competence.

Pizza and Success Stories
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

You are invited to an informal gathering for language instructors. Stop by to share stories from the Fall 2015 semester and enjoy Mesa pizza!

  Spring 2015

Language Technology - Tips & Tricks

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Jones 35

Do you have any cool, classroom-enhancing technology tricks? Are you looking to add some to your collection? Have you ever accidentally stumbled across something cool that you've been wanting to share with your colleagues?

Join language instructors from around the college for an exchange of handy, easy to implement tech tips and tricks to add some pizzazz to your classroom!

Swap Shops are short, informal opportunities for language instructors from all departments to share activities and learn from one another.

PACE PD Peer Team Spring Celebration!

Friday, May 8, 2015
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Nicholson 135

The PACE Professional Development Peer Team will be hosting a final get together for all CLA language instructors for a coffee and doughnut hour and/or pizza and soda lunch on May 8.

Coffee and doughnuts will be served 9:30-11:00 a.m. and pizza and soda will be served 12:00-1:30 p.m. Please come and join us for a quick bite and to reminisce about this past academic year.

We hope this will be a chance to take a quick break from your grading and wish each other well before our summer extravaganzas.

  Fall 2014

What is "Proficiency"? What is "Acquisition"?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Under the guidance of CARLA Director and Professor Elaine Tarone, participants considered samples of learner language to gauge language proficiency development in terms of dimensions used by second language acquisition researchers. Of particular importance was the interplay among three crucial areas of focus: Accuracy, Fluency, and Complexity. Approximately 100 language instructors representing a variety of language programs were in attendance.

PACE Kick Off and Orientation

Friday, September 12, 2014
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Nicholson 155

All instructors, students and staff are invited to an opening reception and presentation of the PACE project to learn more about PACE and ask questions.

Using Cognitively Demanding Oral Tasks in Exploratory Practice

Friday, October 3, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Commons Hotel, Room TBA, 615 Washington Ave SE (East Bank)

This event is open to all CLA Language instructors as a PACE professional development opportunity. Please register online and email elsie@umn.edu with questions.

Elaine Tarone is the Director of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) and a professor in the Second Language Studies Program at the University of Minnesota. Her research publications focus on the impact of social context on learner language and second language acquisition. She has published research on oral second-language processing by low-literacy learners, interlanguage variation, interaction in immersion classrooms, language play, and genre analysis. A member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, she is a recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.

Special Halloween Edition

Thursday, October 30, 2014
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Folwell 105

Can we bring our good ideas back from the dead?

Language instructors: you know that feeling when the activity you plan just doesn't take off? Join fellow instructors from throughout CLA in a reflective look at lessons in need of reviving!

Special guests Sean Killackey from French and Italian and Beth Kautz from German, Scandinavian and Dutch will share from their experiences and start the conversation.

There will be open-mic time at the end if you desire to bring out your dead!

All language instructors are invited to attend.

Turnin' Up the Heat with In-Class Activities

Monday, December 1, 2014

On December 1, 2014, the PACE Professional Development (PD) Peer Team held a second Swap Shop event. Swap Shops are short, informal opportunities for language instructors from all departments to share activities and learn from one another. The most recent event included instructors from Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The event began with Rasha El Helw, instructor of Beginning and Intermediate Arabic, presenting the curricular idea of a "Gallery Walk." In a gallery walk, instructors set up different stations around the room with discussion prompts which students explore and and respond to as they alternate between stations. This can serve as a good tool for for prompting discussion about readings, movies, or other class materials, while allowing students to remain active physically.

Next Minori Inada, instructor of Beginning Japanese, and Ayumi Mita, instructor of Beginning and Intermediate Japanese, presented their newly created Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA). IPAs are a type of assessment which gives students the opportunity to show their ability to use language skills in real-life situations. As a part of this IPA, students were asked to identify key pieces of information from Japanese event posters, discuss the event with a partner, and propose alternatives to attending that specific event. This allowed students to put their knowledge of Japanese vocabulary and grammar into practice and accurately showcase their understanding of the language.

Participants discussed these practices and how they could be further developed and applied. Thanks to those who were able to attend and collaborate! Stay tuned for more information about Swap Shops in Spring 2015!