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Meet the multimedia lab attendants for the Spring 2015 semester at the Language Center! Here are some short self-introductions of new and returning staff.


Hodan Jama

Hello! My name is Hodan Jama and I am studying Nutrition and minoring in Public Health. I was born in Somalia but grew up in Minnesota. I have two brothers who are also in college. This is my second semester here, and it is good to see new faces here at the Multimedia Lab. I am planning to go to graduate school for Public Health and work as Public Health Nutritionist. In my spare time, I enjoy watching shows that center around crime investigation. My favorite channel to watch when I am not busy is Investigation Discovery, which features real life crimes. I also enjoy reading and talking to my friends.


Jonathan Prestrud

Greetings! I'm Jonathan and I work with the Language Center as the assistant in the TandemPlus program, and a few times during the week I can also be found in the multimedia lab. I transferred to the University three years ago; this makes me a super senior. I finished my Linguistics B.A. last semester, and will wrap up my GSD (German) major and History minor this spring. As for languages, I've studied five--German, Korean, Spanish, French, and Norwegian--and have been fortunate to do a bit of linguistic fieldwork in Azeri through the Linguistic department. I enjoy all things done well, lightheartedness, and anything that brings about fun.


Bryce Heller

Hello, my name is Bryce Heller. I am a first year student majoring in civil engineering. This is my first semester at the CLA Language Center. I have studied German in high school for four years. I went to Germany and Austria for a two-week long high school language trip that included a stay with a German family. I also traveled to Spain for a week and a half in a College of Science and Engineering Global Seminars program. I enjoy reading, playing video games, and working with computers.


Dathan Cook

Hello. I'm Dathan and this will be my third semester working at the Multimedia Lab. I am from Eagan, a suburb just outside the Twin Cities, and I have lived in Minnesota for all of my life. I'm currently a sophomore and planning on majoring in computer science, but I'm also studying French while attending the U. I would love to learn several other languages as well as have a study abroad experience before finishing my time here. I spend most of my free time watching some of my favorite TV shows, spending time with my family and friends, or exploring around the city and trying new things.


Salma Bile

Hello! My name is Salma Bile, and I have worked in the Multimedia Lab for a little over a year now. I am from San Diego, California, but I've lived in Minnesota for the majority of my life. I am a junior studying Biology and plan to go to nursing school when I graduate. I love languages, but I've only studied Spanish and Arabic so far. I hope to study abroad either this summer or sometime next year to work on my Arabic. When I'm not studying, I'm usually spending time with family and friends or watching my favorite sport, soccer!


Rachel Groe

Hello, everyone! I'm Rachel and am majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS) and minoring in Marketing. For most of my life I've lived in Bloomington, Minnesota. I've studied German for several years and completed my language proficiency exam (LPE) for German during spring semester of 2012. I studied abroad in Vienna last spring (and highly encourage those thinking of studying abroad to do so; it's a great experience!). I have worked with OFYP's Welcome Week program for the past three years. I also work with the Office of Classroom Management at the UMN, and as the Public Relations Officer for the UMN's Pokémon League. Things that I enjoy doing in my free time include reading fantasy/sci-fi novels, practicing my writing skills, watching anime, hanging out with friends, and playing video games (especially Pokémon).

Summary of April 2015 Language Center Events

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
1:25 to 2:15 p.m.
Nolte 140

Students learning a second or foreign language need to work on productive skills. Audio Journals are a great tool for extensive and focused speaking practice. These recordings help students work on fluency, vocabulary, pronunciation, and/or grammar, all while building their self-monitoring skills. The presenters will explain the logistics of these weekly assignments, share how they've used them in different contexts, and discuss their challenges and benefits.


  • Stephanie Hanson is a Teaching Specialist at the Minnesota English Language Program. She has used audio journals in ITA and IEP programs in the U.S. and at universities in Indonesia and Ecuador.

  • Annie Marrin is a Teaching Specialist and Academic Coordinator at the Minnesota English Language Program. She has recently implemented audio journals to target students' self-evaluation skills in their pronunciation practice.

  • Paula Bramante is a Teaching Specialist at the Minnesota English Language Program. She has used audio journals to help students tell jokes, practice paraphrasing and storytelling, revise goals at midterm, and explore online resources for language practice.

This presentation is sponsored by CARLA and the Minnesota English Language Program.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
McNamara Alumni Center
Register Online

This free, on-campus conference includes several sessions of potential interest to language instructors. Here are just a few of the relevant offerings:

What Works for Today's Second Language Learners: Helping Students Build Roadmaps for Proficiency with the BOSSA Self-Assessment Project

This presentation presents a new tool for self-assessment, the Basic Outcomes Student Self-Assessment (BOSSA). The tool empowers students to create a personal roadmap for language learning that connects realistic proficiency expectations with course goals throughout the learning sequence. As they complete the low-stakes BOSSA protocol (which includes can-do statements aligned with proficiency targets in a series of language tasks throughout the semester), students specify their strengths and challenges, and come up with strategies to support language learning that work for them. Data analyses show that students make changes in their language-learning practices in response to the protocol, which includes regular practice with self-assessment using the components in the BOSSA toolkit. Attendees will learn how to adapt this tool (designed specifically for use across languages and levels) for their circumstances through the use of the standardized assessment design, accessible technology, and an articulated rubric.


  • Gabriela Sweet, PACE Sustainability Coordinator, Language Center

  • Sara Mack, Spanish 1004 Level Coordinator, Spanish and Portuguese

This session is included in the Afternoon Clinic and Paper Presentations.

Today's Learners: (Co)creating meaning in community

The presenters will demonstrate how students have engaged with their own surroundings by examining local public art and by increasing their knowledge of the University community.

Follow novice and intermediate language learners' step-by-step exploration and learn how this process culminated in digital projects they produced in independent groups as a final project.

Participants will gain an understanding of how art, technology and culture can be used to create student led digital stories. Throughout this process students collaborate to create their own meaning, reach consensus and work as a team, develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Their media literacy and cultural competency are enhanced as they transfer classroom concepts to real world situations while expanding their own language abilities.

These projects culminate in a digital story in one case and a digital video blog in the other.


  • Angela Carlson-Lombardi, Spanish 1003 Level Coordinator, Spanish and Portuguese

  • Frances Matos-Schultz, Spanish 1022 Level Coordinator, Spanish and Portuguese

This session is included in the Afternoon Clinic and Paper Presentations.

Drop-in Moodle Clinic

Staff from Information Technology, the Center for Educational Innovation, the University Libraries, and the Disability Resource Center will be on hand to help you set up your Moodle course sites, activities and resources; help you plan how to teach with Moodle; and assist you in leveraging tools such as and course reserves. Bring your syllabus and course materials if you have specific questions, or just stop by to get the conversation started.


  • Susan McKinnell, Office of Information Technology

  • Lauren Marsh, Office of Information Technology

Getting to Know the Spring 2015 Main Office Staff

Who are the students working at the front desk in Jones Hall 110 this spring? Here are short self-introductions from the new and returning Language Center Main Office student staff. Chloe-(1).jpg

Chloe Gansen

I'm Chloe, and I'm currently a senior. I'm originally from Janesville, Wisconsin, which is just south of Madison. I'm studying Journalism with a minor in Public Health. I took French throughout high school and then again my sophomore and junior years at the U, finishing 1004 last spring. Outside of school, I really enjoy being active; I love to run and swim and hope to get started doing triathlons some day.


Chris Michaels

Hello, everyone. I'm Chris Michaels from Monticello, MN. My major is Journalism with a Professional Strategic Communication focus. I've been studying Japanese for a few years now, and after what feels like a million years of rescheduling my trip for various reasons, I plan to study abroad in Tokyo next fall. I am also taking my first Korean class this semester. Hobbies of mine include playing and watching sports, listening to music, and watching Japanese comedies.

Thumbnail image for krista-edit.jpg

Krista Rud

Hi! I'm Krista and I work in the Language Center Main Office. I am from Dayton, Minnesota and I am a sophomore here at the U of M. I studied Spanish in the past and completed the Spanish LPE (Language Proficiency Exam) entering the University as a freshman. Currently, I study Korean and plan on majoring in Asian Languages and Literature. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, drawing, and playing video games in my free time. Thumbnail image for MayaC.jpg

Maya Christensen

Hi, everyone! I'm a sophomore studying Urban Studies and Youth Studies. I'm from Minneapolis, and my family lives about 10 minutes away from campus, right by Lake Harriet. I've studied Spanish since seventh grade and hope to learn more languages in my lifetime. I love being active and being outside, so biking and running are things you will see me doing often!


Nick Ott

I'm Nick Ott from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I'm a sophomore here at the U. This is my second year at the Language Center. Since high school, I have formally studied both Spanish and German but have learned German informally from my mother since I was young. I have always loved learning foreign languages, although my favorite by far is the German language. That's why I have recently decided to major in it, along with Marketing. Outside of work, I am involved in the University YMCA and am training to compete in my first triathlon!


Rachael Falade

I grew up in Woodbury, Minnesota. I am a sophomore hoping to major in Nutrition with a minor in Yoruba! Although I love English, I have also studied Spanish in high school and currently study Yoruba (a language native to Nigeria). I basically love everything, especially food!

Shoua Thao


Hello, everyone! My name is Shoua Thao. I started working in the Language Center in spring semester of 2014. I was born in Minneapolis but currently reside in Brooklyn Center, MN. I am a junior this year studying Mass Communication, Political Science, and Design. I studied Korean my first year here at the U and followed on to take my LPE in Hmong, passing towards the end of the term. I love to be and stay active, so I play a lot of sports. One huge thing I did a lot this past summer--other than work extensively--was playing football with my team called Bellatrix. We competed in Hmong Festival Tournaments in July and August and got 2nd place for both. I also got on board as an Outreach Co-chair for the Hmong Minnesota Student Association student organization 2014-15 here at the University, so I met a lot with my fellow board members as well.


Dimitra Andreadaki

I'm originally from Rochester, Minnesota. I'm currently double-majoring in Biology, Society, and the Environment along with Global Studies with a minor in public health. My native languages are English and Greek, but I am currently studying Spanish and have studied Latin in the past. My hobbies include playing the piano, and my favorite author is Gabriel Garcia Marquez.


Hunter Slack

I'm Hunter. I'm originally from White Bear Lake, MN and I'm a junior studying Marketing and Design. This is my third year at the Language Center. I studied Spanish through high school and got through Spanish 3015 my freshman year. Outside of work and school, I play in two bands (guitar in one, vocals in the other) and run a non-profit organization called MaintaiN, which promotes the local MN music scene to those unfamiliar with its existence.

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