News & Events

Recent News

TandemPlus Spanish Learner Volunteer Opportunity – Summer Mexico Exchange

Calling all Spanish learners! TandemPlus invites you to volunteer for a Spanish-English exchange with Spanish speakers in Mexico through the US Department of State’s English Access Microscholarship Program. There are approximately 100 students in this program throughout Mexico that will participate in three English-Spanish sessions between the dates of July 13 and August 13, 2020.

CourseShare for Fall 2020: Now Online and with New Opportunities!

For Fall 2020, all received CourseShare courses at the University of Minnesota will be offered exclusively online. Students will connect individually, rather than meet together as a group in Jones Hall. Based on the mostly very positive feedback we received from students last spring when CourseShare classes unexpectedly went online, we expect that this planned online experience will provide a more engaging and interactive experience than is generally possible with room-to-room video conferencing exchanges.

Using Breakout Rooms to Break It Up: Lessons from an Intensive Summer French Class

When Brian Barnett (Director of Language Instruction in French) and Fidele Tchoffo Tsasse (Graduate Student in French) planned their intensive online Intermediate French class during a pandemic, they were faced with a challenge: keeping a relatively large group of students engaged and learning French for multiple hours of instruction, five days a week for five weeks.

Many Opportunities to Learn New Technology (and Connect)

The Center for Education Innovation (CEI), Academic Technology Support Services (ATSS) and other units are continuing to schedule useful workshops throughout June on a variety of topics related to teaching online. Consider signing up for some of them! It’s a great opportunity to learn something new and connect with your colleagues at the university. To ensure that you receive a Zoom link in time, and because enrollment in many of these opportunities is limited, please register as soon as you can. The good news is that many of the workshops are being offered more than once, or offer both a live and a recorded/self-paced option. If the workshops listed below do not fit your schedule, or do not address your needs, please email the Language Center at to set up an individual online office hour or request training. We would be happy to work with you.

TandemPlus Transitions to Summer, Register Now!

The summer Face-to-Face program of TandemPlus has traditionally served a smaller, vibrant group of participants relative to the fall and spring semesters. This summer many more will participate, because those participants who choose to continue participation from the spring semester will remain in the matching pool. We strongly encourage students enrolled in summer classes to register for TandemPlus to meet other language and culture enthusiasts, make friends, and bridge the social distance!

ElsieTalk to Continue through Summer

As a way of retaining connection, the Language Center will continue to send ElsieTalk messages most weeks throughout the summer. We recognize that during this challenging time, the type of information we provide may not seem the most urgent or relevant to your life. However, we think it is important to help inform the language community about training opportunities and other events. Right now, instructors interested in learning more about teaching at a distance have a wealth of options available. Most of these workshops and sessions are short and require no preparation, and they are all online. They are also opportunities to connect with your colleagues at the university and see familiar faces. If none work into your schedule, or do not address your needs, you can always email the Language Center at to set up an individual online office hour. We are thinking of you and hope that you are safe and well.

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