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PACE Project: Advanced Speaking Proficiency Update and Year Four Team

September 18, 2017

The fourth year of the PACE project is underway! This academic year will build on the work of the past three years. The focus this year is on analyzing and responding to student proficiency test data. The PACE project team is working closely with two other grant recipients who have been conducting parallel projects: Michigan State University (MSU) and the University of Utah (Utah).

One of the major initiatives of the year is the collaborative Advanced Speaking Proficiency Project. In collaboration with MSU and Utah, PACE will support the design and implementation of activities and pedagogical interventions for upper-division content courses in literature, culture, or linguistics that focus attention on speaking and will provide opportunities for students to develop proficiency beyond the Intermediate High level. UMN Teaching Assistants (TAs) in Arabic, French, German and Spanish will join with instructors from the other two institutions and an external consultant to form a collaborative cohort that will meet throughout the year. Each TA will be mentored by a faculty member in conducting a content-focused course and will provide support in delivering the course over Spring 2018.


The Advanced Speaking Proficiency Project courses and teams are:

  • ARAB 5102: Dr. Katrien Vanpee and Emily Sumner are integrating more speaking and other activities into this advanced-level Arabic course.
  • FREN 3611 / 3711: Dr. Mary Franklin-Brown and Rachel Balstad are providing speaking activities for the French students in this new bilingual course on Speaking of Love in Medieval France.
  • GER 3431: Dr. Ruediger Singer and Emily Groepper are creating speaking activities for this 19th Century Literature course.
  • SPAN 3510: Dr. Michelle Hamilton and Alex Korte are integrating speaking activities into this topics course on Medieval Spanish Literature.


The other 2017-2018 PACE administrative and academic team members are:

  • Dan Soneson, Director of the Language Center and the Principal Investigator
  • Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Professional Development Specialist at the Language Center and the Curriculum Specialist
  • Carter Griffith, Research Professional
  • Kate Paesani, Director of CARLA and the Research Consultant
  • Stephanie Treat, Administrator of the Language Center and the Project Administrator


The PACE Project is funded by a grant from The Language Flagship.