Workshops & Events

Instructors at a workshop
Instructors working together at a workshop

The PD Peer Team schedules a number of events each semester for language instructors. Topics covered by recent workshops include:  teaching with Canvas, using authentic listening texts and options for enhancing online test security. Contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello for more information about the PD Peer Team and professional development events.

Upcoming Events

Please visit our News and Events page to learn about upcoming events.

Archive of Past Events

Spring 2018

PACE Workshop:  Vocabulary learning and language proficiency

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

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


Inclusive Teaching in Canvas Series

In this series, language instructors will learn practical strategies for inclusive teaching within the context of Canvas. You\'ll get a mix of tools and techniques, informed by best practices from the the fields of universal design, accessibility and web usability.

Registration is required since space is limited. Participants can register for one or all of the sessions. You may submit questions in advance that you would like addressed at the sessions.

Session 1:  Building engaging content and delivery options

Wednesday, January 31, 2018
12:20 - 1:10 p.m.
Nolte 140

Session 2:  Individual and group assessments and feedback options

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
12:20 - 1:10 p.m.
Nolte 140

Session 3:  Collaboration options, group work, and managing communications

Session offered twice

Friday, March 23, 2018
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Folwell 8

Friday, March 30, 2018
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Folwell 6

Session 4:  Co-teaching, sharing resources, and creating blueprint courses

Friday, April 6, 2018
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Folwell 116

Session 1-4 Facilitators:
Ann Fandrey, LATIS, Educational Technologist Consultant
Shanna Crosson, LATIS, Educational Technologist Consultant
Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, CLA Language Center, Professional Development Specialist


PACE Presentation:  Can one use Authentic Listening Texts from the First Semester on? Jawohl!

Thursday, April 12, 2018
2:30 - 3:20 p.m.
Nolte Center 140

Over the course of a year the German program created 18 lessons incorporating authentic listening texts into the 1001-1004 curriculum. Each lesson focuses on one authentic audio or videotext and is tied to chapter content. The lessons integrate metacognitive strategies and/or a multiliteracies approach and expose students to a variety of genres across the four-semester curriculum. In this presentation, we will highlight two of the listening lessons and explain why and how we conducted this large-scale project, what we have learned so far (including student and instructor feedback collected), and what we hope to do to strengthen and sustain this project in the future.

Presenters:  Beth Kautz, Helena Ruf and Ginny Steinhagen


PACE Presentation:  Looking back at curricular changes
Success and challenges in SPAN 1004

Monday, April 16, 2018
2:30 - 3:20 p.m.
Nolte 140

In 2016 and 2017, the PACE Project supported curricular revisions for five language programs with the goal of attending to areas that were lagging based on proficiency test results. These areas included speaking and listening. In the case of Spanish, changes to the curriculum focused on the interpretive mode of communication with an emphasis on listening. Now that the changes have been in place since Spring 2017, the presentation will revisit changes made to the course as part of the project, evaluating example activities, reporting student feedback, and sharing the practical challenges of incorporating changes in the multi-section context.

Presenter: Sara Mack, Coordinator of Spanish 1004, Department of Spanish and Portuguese


PACE Demonstration:  Options for enhancing online test security in LC classrooms

Monday, April 23, 2018
2:30 - 3:20 p.m.
Jones 35

This presentation will provide participants with a recommendation for ensuring that students complete tests and quizzes fairly. The session will demonstrate Proctorio, an online security and monitoring service that is integrated into the U\'s implementation of Canvas, to enhance test security measures for use in the Language Center computer classrooms and online. The session will walk instructors through the process of deploying Proctorio within course assignments, and will provide them with general guidelines on practical uses and logistics. Participants will learn about the process for deploying Proctorio, and how to prepare students for taking tests in the computer classrooms.

Join us for a productive afternoon to learn about test security in the LC classrooms. Come and experience Proctorio first-hand! Space is limited, so be sure to register in advance.

Presenter:  Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, CLA Language Center


PACE Presentation and FRIT Lab:  Speaking of Love in French
The Enhancement of a Bilingual French Course in Medieval Literature

Friday, April 27, 2018
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Folwell 108

As the PACE Project comes to a close, the French program in the Department of French and Italian is beginning to discuss the data it has generated. This presentation will begin with an overview of the way the program is interpreting the data concerning French majors and their success in reaching advanced proficiency in all four modalities of language use, including writing, a component assessed with supplementary funding from the Department.

Most of the hour will be devoted to the enhancement of one of the advanced courses for majors and minors, French 3611/3711, Speaking of Love in Medieval France, which is made possible by PACE funding for a TA in Spring 2018.

The challenge this semester is to adapt a large-enrollment, bilingual literature class format so that the French students continue developing as speakers of the target language. This experiment speaks to the following larger issues:

  • Teaching medieval/pre-modern topics in foreign languages effectively
  • Enhancing language proficiency and cultural/literary content in advanced courses
  • Responding to enrollment and staffing pressures, while still enhancing students\' oral skills in the target language

The presentation is cosponsored by the Department of French and Italian and the PACE Project, and is designed to be accessible to professionals of language teaching, specialists of French language and literature, and medievalists and early modernists in other fields. All are welcome! A light lunch will be served.

Presenters:  Mary Franklin-Brown and Ray Balstad, Department of French and Italian Studies


PACE Presentation:  What is the Antidote for improving writing?

Friday, May 4, 2018
12:20 - 1:10 p.m.
Folwell 112

During 2017, the Department of French and Italian received a LATIS Academic Innovation Grant to pilot the correction software Antidote in FR 3015 and FR 3016, the first advanced courses required for the major and minor in French. Antidote has been a boon to students and instructors alike, allowing self-assessment outside of class to be paired with writing workshops in class. Panelists consist of instructors who have piloted the correction software and students who have used it in both courses. Join us for a lively discussion which includes the elements of French style, the differences between a human corrector versus a computerized one, and our plans to expand the use of Antidote through a second grant application in 2018.

Presenters: Lydia Belatèche (Senior Lecturer), Betsy Kerr (Associate Professor), Christopher Ice (Ph.D. Candidate), Miriam Jepsen-Despiegelaere (FREN 3015/16 undergraduate student), Kimberly Bonner (FREN 3015/16 graduate student), Department of French and Italian

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

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

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 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.


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..

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

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

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

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.

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 Cente

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.


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