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Multiliteracies Pedagogy Workshop Series

A Two-Part Spring 2021 Workshop Series
January 13, 2021
This two-part series of workshops on multiliteracies pedagogy for postsecondary language educators is jointly sponsored by the Language Center at the University of Minnesota and the Language Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The workshops will be led by Kate Paesani, University of Minnesota, and Heather Willis-Allen, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Participants are encouraged to attend both workshops but are not required to do so.
Rethinking Interpretative Communication –  A Multiliteracies Approach

Friday, February 19, 2021
2:00 -3:30 pm
Register Online

This workshop will provide a conceptual foundation for teaching target language texts and interpretive communication using multiliteracies pedagogy. Taking communicative language teaching as a point of departure, participants will reflect on their understandings of concepts such as communicative competence, input, comprehension, and language functions and situate these understandings in relation to multiliteracies concepts. This work will provide a foundation for designing lessons that encourage both the comprehension and interpretation of target language texts. It will also prepare participants for part 2 of this workshop series.

Participants will be able to identify their approach to teaching target language texts and interpretive communication; discuss and compare concepts from communicative language teaching and multiliteracies pedagogy; and construct a multiliteracies-oriented definition of interpretive communication.

A Multiliteracies Approach to Target Language Texts – Analyzing and Creating Interpretive Lessons

Friday, March 5, 2021
2:00 – 3:30 pm
Register Online

This workshop builds on the conceptual foundation established in Rethinking Interpretative Communication: A Multiliteracies Approach by allowing participants to apply their knowledge of multiliteracies pedagogy. Participants will work with existing text-based instructional materials to evaluate their effectiveness and to adapt them following multiliteracies principles. To facilitate this work, participants should identify one or two reading, listening, or viewing activities from their current textbook (or a text-based activity of their own creation) that they wish to refresh and retool during the workshop.

Participants will be able to define and discuss their understandings of multiliteracies concepts; evaluate existing text-based instructional materials in relation to multiliteracies pedagogy; and adapt existing text-based instructional materials to reflect multiliteracies pedagogy.


Kate Paesani, University of Minnesota
Kate Paesani, University of Minnesota

Kate Paesani (Ph.D., Indiana University) is Director of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) and affiliate faculty in the Departments of French and Italian and Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on literacy-based curriculum and instruction and foreign language teacher development, couched within the frameworks of multiliteracies pedagogy and sociocultural theory. Her work has appeared in journals such as Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Foreign Language Annals, L2 Journal, Language, Culture, and Curriculum, Language Teaching Research, and Reading in a Foreign Language. She is co-author of the book A Multiliteracies Framework for Collegiate Foreign Language Teaching (Pearson, 2016), for which she received the 2016 Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award from Wayne State University. She is also co-editor of the new open-access journal Second Language Research & Practice, which addresses postsecondary language education from theoretical, empirical, and practical perspectives.

Heather Willis Allen, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Heather Willis Allen, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Heather Willis Allen (Ph.D., Emory University) is Associate Professor of French in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a core faculty member of her university’s second language acquisition doctoral program. Her research on language-learning motivation, teacher development, and multiliteracies pedagogy has appeared in the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (ADFL) Bulletin, Foreign Language Annals, the French Review, L2 Journal, and the Modern Language Journal.  Her collaborative projects have included A Multiliteracies Framework for Collegiate Foreign Language Teaching (2016), Alliages Culturels: La Société Française en Transformation (2013), and the 2011 American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators, and Directors of Language Programs (AAUSC) volume Educating the Future Foreign Language Professoriate for the 21st Century. Her current project is a monograph tentatively titled Reconceptualizing Foreign Language Writing: A Design Orientation.


Sponsors: Language Institute and Second Language Acquisition Doctoral Program, with funding through the Anonymous Fund, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Language Center, University of Minnesota

Contact: Dr. Adolfo Carillo Cabello, Language Center, University of Minnesota & Jana Martin, Language Institute, UW-Madison

The University of Minnesota Language Center and the UW-Madison Language Institute are committed to inclusive and accessible programming. To request an accommodation for this event, please contact Dr. Adolfo Carrillo Cabello at at least three business days prior to the event.