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Language Center News

Meet the Development Studio Student Staff

This spring, the Language Center's Development Studio is home to Agnes, the AV assistant, and Emma, the web editor. Here are some short self-introductions!

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Agnes Hong

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

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Emma Hage

My name is Emma, and I'm the web content developer in the Development Studio. Currently, I can stutter four language--English, Spanish, French, and Swedish--and I spend my time dreaming about all of the places I can travel abroad! I'm a first-year undecided student, but I'm considering a Linguistics major and ESL certification. My free time is dedicated to petting cats and eating ice cream, and my favorite color is Crayola's "macaroni and cheese."

TandemPlus Arabic-English Pizza Party on Friday

TandemPlus and the Arabic language program are hosting a pizza party on Friday, February 27, 2015 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. at Punch Pizza in Stadium Village.

If you have ever been to one of our Punch Pizza events, it will be very similar, except this time it is just for Arabic speakers and learners!

Bring your partner, or if you don't have one, come join us and look for one. Get out of the cold, hang out, speak in Arabic and English, eat delicious fire-brick pizza and enjoy beverages -- on us!

This event is for all speakers and learners of Arabic, whether you are participating in Tandem or not.

CARLA Summer Institute Funding Opportunities

For instructors of French and Spanish

The PACE Project will provide funding for up to ten instructors of French and Spanish at the University of Minnesota to attend one of the 2015 CARLA summer institutes. These one-week institutes run from July 13 to July 31 and cover a variety of topics including second language acquisition basics for teachers, classroom assessment development, content-based instruction, and implementing technology in the second language classroom.

Funding will be awarded to up to ten instructors on a first-come, first-served basis until April 3, 2015. Each French or Spanish instructor may apply for funding to only one institute. Please note that some institutes fill up quickly. You can indicate your interest through this form.

Questions about this special funding can be directed to Stephanie Treat at treat002@umn.edu.

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

For LCTL instructors

CARLA offers instructors of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) at the University of Minnesota a special scholarship to attend one of the 2015 CARLA summer institutes. These one-week institutes run from July 13 to July 31 and cover a variety of topics including second language acquisition basics for teachers, classroom assessment development, content-based instruction, and implementing technology in the second language classroom. Instructors are required to pay a non-refundable $25 commitment fee, but the balance of the institute cost will be paid by CARLA -a value up to $325!

A limited number of scholarships will be awarded to current University of Minnesota LCTL instructors on a first-come, first-served basis until April 3, 2015. Each instructor may apply for funding to only one institute. Please note that some institutes fill up quickly. You can indicate your interest through this form.

Questions about this special funding can be directed to Karin Larson at larso205@umn.edu.

Article by SLA Working Group Members Published in AASCU 2014

AASCU, The American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators has published a 2014 Volume titled Innovation and Accountability in Language Program Evaluation featuring a chapter by the following members of the 2013 SLA Working Group: Carol Klee, Charlotte Melin and Dan Soneson. Their chapter is titled From Frameworks to Oversight: Components to Improving Foreign Language Program Efficacy. The book is not available online, but can be purchased from CengageBrain.com.

Arabic Added to the PACE Project

The Language Center and the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures are pleased to announce that the Arabic language program has been added to the PACE Project effective January 1, 2015.

When the PACE Project proposal was submitted to The Language Flagship during the spring of 2014, the Arabic program was in a period of transition. A search was underway for a new Director of Language Instruction (DLI), and other instructional positions were open. The department did not have the personnel in place to commit to a two-year project.

Since then, a new DLI, Katrien Vanpee, has been hired, and open instructional positions have been filled. Under Dr. Vanpee's guidance, the Arabic program began a process of substantial institutional and curricular change. In addition to a revamped language program, the department is offering a new upper-level course for students on the topic of reading Arabic texts. ALL is in the process of hiring additional instructional staff and is planning for its first tenure-line faculty member in Arabic Literature & Culture.

To improve the oral language proficiency of its students, Arabic requires that students engage in some form of extracurricular language practice, which can include the Language Center's TandemPlus language exchange program. In this program, learners of Arabic are matched with Arabic native speakers for extensive oral practice and cultural exchange outside of class. Arabic language students meet with their partners regularly throughout the semester to practice Arabic, and to offer their partners help with English. The Arabic program works closely with TandemPlus on the coordination and supervision of the exchanges.

Dr. Vanpee is enthusiastic about the Arabic program joining the PACE Project. There is limited historical data about the proficiency level attained by Arabic students, and this is an outstanding opportunity for the program to receive concrete information about what Arabic students can do with the language, and to receive direction on how to further develop the curriculum. Dr. Vanpee is particularly interested in data about students' ability to speak Arabic and plans to use the data gathered by the project for continual curricular improvement.

Arabic students will be tested using the same speaking assessment as other PACE languages, the ACTFL OPIc. Reading and Listening will be assessed by brand new adaptive tests developed at Brigham Young University and available through ACTFL. The full list of PACE languages is now Arabic, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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


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