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The latest from CARLA

May 6, 2017

The latest courses from the good folks at the Center on Advanced Language Research on Language Acquisition. You can sign up for their newsletter here.


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CARLA Update - Electronic Newsletter - top header and logo
News about Second Language Education and Research Activities
at the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition
Spring 2017


  • CARLA Summer Institutes 2017—Early-Bird Deadline is May 26!

CARLA Program Updates

  • STARTALK: Transitioning to Teaching Language Online—Applications due May 15, 2017

CARLA Resources

  • Immersion Strategies Observation Checklist

CARLA @ Conferences

  • 10th Annual Second Language Acquisition Graduate Student Symposium
  • IALLT 2017
Announcements - section header
Summer Institute Montage
CARLA Summer Institutes 2017—Early-Bird Deadline is May 26!

Register Now!Registration is now open for the CARLA summer institute program. This internationally known program reflects CARLA’s commitment to link research and theory with practical applications for the classroom. Each institute is highly interactive and includes discussion, theory-building, hands-on activities, and plenty of networking opportunities.

Join the more than 5,400 foreign language, ESL, and immersion teachers, administrators, curriculum specialists, and language teacher educators who have participated in these institutes. Hurry—many of these institutes fill up quickly!

Summer Institutes for Language Teachers

CARLA offers a range of institutes targeted at foreign language and ESL teachers from a variety of teaching levels and contexts:

CARLAtech: Transitioning to Teaching Language Online (TTLO)3-week intensive online course
June 12-July 2, 2017

Using the Web for Communicative Language Learning and Professional Developmentonline course
July 10-August 13, 2017

Developing Assessments for the Second Language Classroom
July 10-14, 2017

Teaching Heritage Languages and Learners
July 10-14, 2017

Creativity in the Classroom: Fostering Student Learning Through Creative Language Experiences
July 10-14, 2017

Using Technology in Second Language Teaching
July 17-21, 2017

Improving Language Learning: Styles- and Strategies-Based Instruction
Special $100 discount if you register before May 1st!
July 17-21, 2017

Teaching Language Through the Lens of Social Justice
July 17-21, 2017

Beyond Communicative Competence: Using Authentic Materials to Develop 21st Century LiteraciesNEW!
July 17-21, 2017

Content-Based Language Instruction and Curriculum Development 

July 24-28, 2017

Culture as the Core in the Second Language Classroom
July 24-28, 2017

Growing Learner Language: A Hands-On Approach to Developing the Language Learners Produce
Special $100 discount if you register before May 1st!
July 24-28, 2017

Immersion Institute ParticipantsSummer Institutes for Immersion Teachers

CARLA also offers these popular institutes that are designed specifically for immersion educators (K-12) and immersion program leaders:

Immersion 101: An Introduction to Immersion Teaching
July 10-14, 2017

Meeting the Challenges of Immersion Education: Vers une approche intégrée en immersionNEW!
July 17-21, 2017
Information and Registration

The institutes have been developed and are offered with support, in part, from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI Language Resource Center program. The summer institutes are co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development and College of Liberal Arts.


Program Updates - section header
Transitioning to Teaching
Language Online (TTLO)

June 12-July 2, 2017 (3-week, online course) 

This STARTALK program is designed for K-16 teachers of Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, or Urdu who want to teach their language online.

Offered completely online, this 3-week, intensive course will give teacher participants the experience of being an online learner. Course content will focus on many different facets of a successful online language course, such as creating community, time management strategies for teachers and students, choosing appropriate technology tools for communicative-based activities, and developing a variety of online activity types. In addition to exploring these aspects of teaching online, participants will see these concepts in action in model online language activities. By the end of the course, participants will have a portfolio of activities ready to be incorporated in an online course.

Instructional Staff: Xiaowei Hunt (Course Facilitator), Ritu Jayakar (Course Facilitator), Shannon Spasova (Course Facilitator), Alyssa Bonnac (Lead Instructor), Frances Matos-Schultz (Lead Instructor), & Marlene Johnshoy (Program Director).

Applications are due May 15, 2017.

For more information see:

Question MarkInterested in learning how to teach online, but don’t teach a critical language?

Consider applying for the CARLAtech: Transitioning to Teaching Language Online (TTLO) summer institute instead!


CARLA Publications - section header
Immersion Strategies Observation Checklist

The most recent volume of selected papers from the International Language Teacher Education Conference has just been added to CARLA’s treasure trove of free working papers!

ChecklistThe Immersion Teaching Strategies Observation Checklist was initially developed in 2000 during a CARLA summer institute facilitated by Tara Fortune at the University of Minnesota. “Effective Immersion Pedagogy” institute participants included immersion researchers, teachers, curriculum specialists, and administrators.

This collaborative institute document was intended to support pre-service and practicing teachers with their ongoing professional development goals. It can be also used to inform and focus classroom observation for program leaders.

Tara Fortune revised the checklist in 2014 to include recent research findings and practitioner feedback. The most current version of the checklist is now available for free download at:


CARLA @ Conferences - section header
Check out the following presentations by CARLA staff and colleagues at these upcoming conferences!

Northrop Auditorium10th Annual Second Language Acquisition Graduate Student Symposium

Second Language Teaching and Learning: Diversity and Advocacy

April 22-22, 2017
Coffman Memorial Union
University of Minnesota  
Minneapolis, MN

This conference is organized by the University of Minnesota Second Language Education Student Association in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa. The conference seeks to give student researchers and educators the opportunity to present new and future studies that address current issues in SLA.

Offered annually at one of the three campuses, the conference draws a wide spectrum of students interested in language teaching and learning, research, education, and their attendant social, psychological, and linguistic implications. All students are welcome to present their work and meet distinguished researchers in their field at this free, student-run symposium.

Plenary: Rethinking Peer Interaction: Insights on Language Learning Among Refugee-Background Students

Saturday, April 22, 2017
9:10-10:10 am

Second language acquisition research on peer interaction has been dominated by cognitive-interactionist paradigms, with participants who are print-literate language learners, who are carefully matched, and who engage in researcher designed tasks. This research program has been productive for cognitively oriented researchers but also has given socioculturalists a forum for exploring the interactive and sociocultural components of peer learning. Less explored, and deserving more attention is naturally occurring participant structures with new populations of learners in everyday classrooms. Addressing this gap, this presentation explores how participant structures of peer interaction looks among newcomer refugee-background adolescents with limited formal schooling. Contexts of paired and choral reading, textbook-based tasks, and multilingual interactions in social media will be examined through mainstream SLA and alternative paradigms to understand the roles of such classroom interactions for language learning. We will discuss where and how to move the field’s theoretical and practical understanding of peer interaction into new, exciting and unexplored arenas.

Presenters: Martha Bigelow and Kendall King, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Minnesota

Plenary: The Diverse Paths of Foreign Language Teacher Development

Saturday April 22, 2017
1:30-2:30 pm

Much like acquisition of a second language, building expertise in foreign language teaching is a long-term, complex process. Previous research reveals that teachers’ conceptual understanding progresses along a slow, twisting path (e.g., Allen & Dupuy, 2013; Smagorinsky, Cook, & Johnson, 2003), that teachers struggle to apply these understandings to classroom practice (e.g., Paesani, 2013; Rankin & Becker, 2006), and that a range of professional development experiences are needed to facilitate teachers’ understanding and application of concepts related to teaching (e.g., Allen & Negueruela-Azarola, 2009; Brandl, 2000). Moreover, the varied beliefs, experiences, and identities of individual teachers influence how they teach and reflect on their teaching practices (e.g., Angus, 2016; Burton, 2009). In this presentation, I explore these diverse paths of foreign language teacher development, drawing from results of my empirical investigation into teachers’ classroom practices, their professional development experiences, and their reflections on foreign language teaching and learning. I further consider how an understanding of the diverse paths of teacher development informs the work of teacher-educators and supports teacher growth

Presenter: Kate Paesani, Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota

“Congratulatory Remarks” and Ideological Disjuncture at One Tribal School’s Kindergarten Graduation

Friday, April 22, 2017
In Grouped Paper Session #1: 3:15-4:45 am

This paper examines how school stakeholders discursively enact and reimagine the contentious ‘two-worlds’ philosophy within a single event: one Ojibwe kindergarten graduation ceremony. Through critical discourse analysis, I explore the stances enacted through a variety of ideological disjunctures at play in an Indigenous language reclamation program.

Presenter: Mel Engman, University of Minnesota 

Något Som Var Väldigt “Scandalous”: Concordia Language Villages’ Effect on Second Language Learning

Friday, April 22, 2017
In Grouped Paper Session #1: 3:15-4:45 am

This study examines the effect exposure to Concordia Language Villages, a second language learning context not often studied, may have had on the learner language of two advanced speakers of Swedish.

Presenter: Liz Stopka, University of Minnesota

L2 Spanish Motion and Narration: A Learner Language Perspective

Friday, April 22, 2017
In Grouped Paper Session #1: 3:15-4:45 am

This paper proposes to analyze L1 English-L2 Spanish speakers’ use of motion verbs through a learner language perspective.  The L2 language produced by these speakers during video narrations is compared to their overall L2 proficiency as measured through an abbreviated Oral Proficiency Interview.

Presenter: Tripp Strawbridge, University of Minnesota

Sustaining Common Ground and Co-Constructing Meaning in Peer-Peer Novice Learner Interaction

Saturday, April 22, 2017
In Grouped Paper Session #2: 10:15-11:45 am

This self-study on novice peer-peer interaction takes a sociocognitive perspective to analyzing the embodied and social tools that two learners employ in sustaining common ground during video recorded role-play conversations in Mixtec, an Indigenous language. Findings stress the need to move beyond conceptions of negotiation of meaning as repair.

Presenter: Maria Schwedhelm, University of Minnesota 

Translanguaging as a Mechanism for Sense-Making in Discourse

Saturday, April 22, 2017
In Grouped Paper Session #2: 10:15-11:45 am

This study examines translanguaging practices in spontaneous speech data of a proficient speaker of Spanish as a second language and its communicative functions.

Presenter: Celia Bravo Diaz, University of Minnesota 

Investigating Lexical Development of Adult ESL Learners with Nouns and Verbs

Saturday, April 22, 2017
In Grouped Paper Session #2: 10:15-11:45 am

English is a noun-biased language and young children learn nouns more readily than verbs (Gentner, 1982; Goldfield, 2000). This quantitative study examines “Noun Bias” in second language acquisition among adult English language learners. Implications for teaching English as a second language and proficiency assessment will be discussed.

Presenter: Zhongkui Ju, University of Minnesota

“An Appointment with Democracy”: A CAF Analysis on an English Learner’s Audio Journals

Saturday, April 22, 2017
In Grouped Paper Session #3: 3:00-4:30 am

This case study examines the complexity, accuracy, and fluency of an adult English learner’s language in audio journals used in an Intensive English class to explore the role of topic familiarity in a student’s performance.  Results show an increase in CAF and suggest this relationship is quite complex.

Presenter: Shawna Wicker, University of Minnesota 



IALLT Converence Logo - IALLT2017 Go Far with TechnologyInternational Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT) Conference

Go Far with Technology

June 20-23, 2017
Concordia College
Moorhead, Minnesota

Pre-Conference Workshop: Student Language Proficiency Self-Assessment: The BOSSA Protocol

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
8:00-11:00 am

Self-assessment is a tool that can increase learners’ active engagement and agency. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to self-assessment practices, drawing upon examples from the self-assessment protocol at the University of Minnesota. Next, we discuss strategies for the incorporation of self-assessment that align with students’ and programs’ needs. Specifically, we discuss issues with instruments such as content, scoring, and calibration. Participants will evaluate the feasibility of using self-assessments at their institutions.

Presenters: Gabriela Sweet, Anna Olivero-Agney, Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, and Dan Soneson (University of Minnesota)

Pre-Conference Workshop: Transitioning to Teaching Language Online: Strategies and Tools

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
3:00-5:00 pm

Teaching online needs different tools and strategies to help our language students learn in the best ways possible! We will give you examples of 3 face-to-face unit plans targeting the three modes of communication. You will discuss how it might be possible to teach these lessons online and what online tools would be helpful to do this. We will also consider the STARTALK principles, and how they can be applied to teaching online in the context of these lessons. You will leave with “transitioned” lesson plan ideas and suggestions of online tools for each of the three modes.

Presenters: Marlene Johnshoy and Frances Matos-Schultz (University of Minnesota), Shannon Spasova (Michigan State University)

Please check out the IALLT Conference website next week for additional details and updates, including sessions by CARLA staff and U of MN instructors.



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The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota is a Title VI Language Resource Center funded by the U.S. Department of Education to improve the nation’s capacity to teach and learn foreign languages effectively. CARLA supports a number of coordinated programs of research, training, development and dissemination of information relating to second language teaching and learning.

The CARLA Update is a quarterly electronic newsletter designed to give second language teachers and researchers current information on the programs and projects currently operating under the auspices of CARLA. We encourage you to share this newsletter.

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