Introducing Kate Paesani

Headshot of Kate Paesani

Meet Kate Paesani, who has worked part-time at the Language Center since 2016. Her current job title is Research and Curriculum Development Specialist, but what does she really do? In this interview, Kate highlights major aspects of her work and shares how she can help you tackle your next project.

Which parts of your current job description should ElsieTalk readers know about? Are there specific services or expertise you offer that readers could take advantage of more than they currently do?

If you’re interested in rethinking the curriculum of a language, literature, or culture course or program, I can help. In my position as Curriculum Development Specialist, I can consult on designing an overall vision for your course/program, creating or revise student learning objectives, crafting an assessment plan, selecting appropriate materials, sequencing content, or evaluating course/program effectiveness. If you’re interested in conducting research related to language teaching and learning, I can help with that, too. As the LC’s Research Specialist, I can consult on every stage of your project, from its design to its publication. This service is available to applied linguists as well as to literature, culture, and other language-related specialists interested in the scholarship of teaching.

Can you briefly describe 2-3 projects you've worked on in the past year?

1. Curriculum Development: Over the summer, I worked with two colleagues from French to help them articulate learning objectives, an assessment plan, and a curriculum map for the new iteration of FREN 1001. This fall, I also helped these colleagues create a mid-semester student survey to help evaluate the effectiveness of the new curriculum.


2. Research: To support research related to social justice in language education, I worked with DLIs from three different language departments to draft an ACTFL Research Priorities Grant proposal. The team was awarded funding this fall and will use the monies to pay for data transcription, participant compensation, and coding software.

What skills and competencies do you bring to your current job from your educational background, positions you have previously held in the Language Center, or from work and relationships with other units at this/other institutions?

Prior to coming to the University of Minnesota, I was a French professor and director of a lower-level language program. In that job, I conducted ongoing curriculum development and program evaluation and also regularly published applied linguistics research. As the director of CARLA at the University of Minnesota, I continue to conduct research and to teach, and I also design and oversee curriculum development and research projects led by faculty and graduate students.

Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you?

There are two things I’d like to share. First, although much of my work is grounded in multiliteracies pedagogy, I have a range of knowledge about language teaching and learning, so I can provide approach-agnostic curriculum consultation. Second, I love to collaborate. It is one of the most rewarding parts of my job because I learn so much from other people. So please don’t hesitate to reach out to consult with me about your curriculum or research--any question, big or small, is welcome!

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