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Language Center News

August 29, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: TBD
Presented by Elaine Tarone

All CLA language instructors are invited to a workshop on the topic of interpersonal communication within second language acquisition. Participants will consider samples of learner language and gauge linguistic development in terms of dimensions used by second language acquisition researchers. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Please register online by August 8, 2014.

Elaine Tarone is the Director of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) and a Professor in the Second Language Studies Program at the University of Minnesota. Her research publications focus on the impact of social context on learner language and second language acquisition. She has published research on oral second-language processing by low-literacy learners, interlanguage variation, interaction in immersion classrooms, language play, and genre analysis. A member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, she is a recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.

Backward Design Workshop: Please Register by this Friday

The Language Center is pleased to announce an upcoming curriculum development opportunity for CLA language instructors. By popular demand, Professor Martha Bigelow will lead a follow up to the May 21-22 "Yes They Can" workshop which focused on backwards design. This July workshop is an opportunity for instructors to receive feedback on their curricular ideas and activities and to collaborate with instructors from other language programs. Although it is intended as a continuation of the previous workshop, all CLA language instructors instructors are invited to attend. A light lunch will be provided.

Monday, July 28, 2014
12:00 - 4:00 p.m
Location: Folwell 10

Space is limited and registration is required. Please register online by Friday, July 18.

Martha Bigelow is an Associate Professor with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Interim Director of the Educator Development and Research Center. She has worked with several universities around the globe, including Vietnam, Malaysia, and Costa Rica, to apply the theory of "backward design" to help instructors create new curricula and materials for their language programs.

The Heat is On: Cool Off, Get Up and Chow Down with TandemPlus

TandemPlus is off to a great start this summer with 133 participants; we have record number of Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and English partners! Registration will close Friday, July 18, so register ASAP if you haven't already done so.

TandemPlus will be hosting its first event on Tuesday, July 22 from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. at Punch Pizza in Stadium Village near the University campus. All current summer TandemPlus participants are invited to come and enjoy pizza and soft drinks for an opportunity to talk in your first and second languages. TandemPlus will cover the first round of pizza, so come early to get it free. Participants should email to let us know you will be there.

See the menu at Punch Pizza!

Language Center Summer 2014 Staff Team

We have both new and returning student staff in the Language Center this summer. You may see the following individuals working in one or more of our teams:


Salma Bile: Multimedia Lab and Office

My name is Salma Bile and I am from San Diego, California. I currently live in Apple Valley, Minnesota and I am a sophomore here at the University of Minnesota. I am in the College of Biological Sciences, majoring in Biology and minoring in Arabic as well as Public Health. I am fluent in both English and Somali. I have studied Arabic for a little over two years now after I studied abroad in Jordan in 2011.


Rachael Falade: Office

My name is Rachael Falade, and I was raised in Woodbury, Minnesota. I love to hangout with my friends, and spend valuable time with my family. My dog is one of my favorite buddies. Besides English, I have a background in Spanish, and I am fluent in Yoruba, a language originating in Nigeria. I have visited Nigeria and hope to visit again. I am a student in the College of Liberal Arts and am taking many science classes for Pre Med. My favorite classes so far has been CSCL or PSTL classes, I have a passion for writing and reading. I just love and do it all!


Alex Fox: Multimedia Lab and Office

My name is Alex Fox. I am a English Major here at the University with a Poli Sci minor.I speak English and have met my Spanish language requirement for graduation; I have a little experience with the language from my time in New York and California. Otherwise, I enjoy playing the drums, cooking and illustrating as well as discussing current trends in global politics. While I am working at the Main Office and Lab this summer I am also finishing my BA in English as well as working as a Communications Intern at the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Headquarters in St. Paul and working in kitchens around the Cities.


Agnes Hong: Classroom Support and Office

My name is Agnes Hong and I'm from Anchorage, Alaska. I immigrated from South Korea when I was 2-3 years old and I grew up speaking Korean at home and English at school. I also lived in Los Angeles, California for about 8 years. I'm a senior studying Archaeology at the University along with a minor in Environmental Science. I love to cook, read, and spend time doing various crafts.

Miranda Moen: Testing


I am from Caledonia, Minnesota, which is way down in the southeast part of the state. I am heading into my Senior year at the "U" and am majoring in Architecture within the Bachelor of Design in Architecture program. I am minoring in Neuroscience with an emphasis in Psychology. I am passionate about just about everything in architecture, but my focus is on how it impacts humanity and communities, especially across cultures. My hobbies include going on nature walks and bike rides in the early fall breeze, working out, drawing and sketching, watching documentaries and TED talks, and reading just about anything interesting. I did a Study Abroad program in Japan this summer and am looking forward to using my experiences to inform my future work. In the future I hope to to learn about communities and help serve them by designing/building low-income housing. (Although I don't think the title fits well). I believe everyone deserves a better quality of life and that housing should reflect cultural as well as personal values, and it doesn't have to be displayed in its financial value.


Jonathan Prestrud: Classroom Support, Lab and TandemPlus

My name is Jonathan Prestrud, I transferred to the University a few years ago, and am currently something of a super senior -- eager to graduate in the coming academic year! I'm one class shy of a Linguistics B.A., am also majoring in GSD with an emphasis on German, and will be completing a History minor over the summer session. I come from New Prague, Minnesota. As for languages, I've given some study to five: German, Korean, Spanish, French, and Norwegian, and have been fortunate to do a bit of fieldwork in Azeri through the Linguistic department. I, like many others, love to travel. I agree with Tenzin Gyatso in that compassion and understanding are not luxuries, but necessities. At this time I have the pleasure of working as the assistant for the TandemPlus program, and also helping with Classroom Support at the Language Center.


Keerthana Shankar: Classroom Support and Lab

Ello mates, my name is Keerthana. I have worked in the LC since Fall 2012. Born in Saudi Arabia and raised in America, I've moved around a lot, but I've been in Minnesota since 6th grade. I'm a Senior this year and my major is in Asian Language and Literature with a focus in Korean. Although my major is in Korean, I know some Spanish, and my main passion lies in Japanese. My parents are Indian, so I'm also fluent in a Language called Tamil, a South Indian Language. I love the arts and animation, and I've also developed a love for martial arts in the past year. Currently, I am on the Board for the Minnesota International Student Association as well as the Indian Student Association, so please drop by our events and say hi!


Alli Shaw: Classroom Support

Hello! I am from Minneapolis, MN and am junior here at the University of Minnesota. I am majoring in psychology and planning on completing my masters for occupational therapy after I finish my undergraduate degree. I studied Spanish for six years and am going into my second year of American Sign Language, which I have fallen in love with. This will be my third year working at the Language Center and besides working at the LC, I enjoy playing soccer and being outdoors!


Hunter Slack: Office and Moodle Assistant

I'm a sophomore this year and will be declaring my major in Marketing soon, with minors in Design and New Media Studies. While I took Spanish from high school up to last year, I realized it wasn't really for me and will not be pursuing any more language study. I'm from White Bear Lake, MN, where I've lived my whole life. When I'm not in school or at the Language Center I'm usually doing something music related. I play in two bands. When I get out of school I plan on moving out west to California, something I've wanted to do my whole life. Hopefully when I do that I will have landed a career in advertising. In addition to working at the main desk in the Language Center, I also serve as the Moodle Assistant for hybrid language courses.

University students have four new language choices! The following new or returning languages will be offered through the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Courseshare program: Beginning Persian (Farsi), Vietnamese and Yoruba, and Intermediate Indonesian.

CIC Courseshare uses technology for instruction and communication to expand the opportunities for language study available at any one university. Students will register for and earn credit through the University of Minnesota. Here is a list of the Fall 2014 offerings:

  • Beginning Persian I (PERS 1011). Offered remotely from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Monday-Thursday, 1:20 - 2:10 p.m.
  • Beginning Vietnamese I: (VIET 1011). Offered remotely from Michigan State University. This is a completely online class.
  • Beginning Yoruba I (CLA-1200-002). Offered remotely from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Monday-Friday, 8:50 - 9:40 a.m. A permission number is required to register for this course.
  • Intermediate Indonesian I (CLA 1200-001). Offered remotely from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Monday-Thursday, 9:55 - 10:45 a.m. A permission number is required to register for this course.

For more information and permission numbers, please contact Pablo Viedma at Please note that some classes may already be full.

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