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Language Resource Center

Events of 2017-2018





September 15


Friday September 15, 3:30-5pm
Stimson Hall Ground Floor

Teacher Reception for New Language Center


Come view the new Language Resource Center in Stimson Hall. The space has been elegantly remodeled by the university to suit the needs of the LRC. You can tour the facilities and engage in conversation about the new mission of the center, while partaking of some food and drink.

October 2 and 3)


Monday October 2 at 3:30pm and Tuesday October 3 at 4:30
Stimson Hall G27

Workshop in Playposit
For the second year, the LRC has contracted with Playposit for video services. This company provides an online environment that facilitates powerful pedagogical treatment of video clips for student learning. They have substantially changed their interface to make it more transparent but also more powerful. Come experience Playposit and see if it could be a part of your teaching program. Both teachers new to Playposit and experienced with it are invited. We will repeat the same program October 2 and 3.

October 16


Monday, October 16, 4pm Stimson Hall G25
Followed by reception

Kate Paesani
Director, Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota

"Do You Hear What I Hear?
Foreign Language Listening and the Multiliteracies Framework"

Large-scale, cross-institutional proficiency testing reveals that in the first two years of collegiate foreign language instruction, listening lags behind other modalities (Gass & Winke, forthcoming; Tschirner, 2016). This result may be due to a lack of classroom instructional activities explicitly focused on listening or to pedagogical approaches that do not adequately engage students in interpretive communication tasks. In this talk, I argue that the multiliteracies framework (Cope & Kalantzis, 2009; New London Group, 1996) is one approach for more effectively developing students' interpretive listening abilities through interaction with audio and audiovisual texts. To begin, I describe the PACE project, a three-year proficiency initiative undertaken at the University of Minnesota, and present listening results of students from seven languages. To address the impact of this project on language instruction and curriculum design, I then focus on the lower-level Spanish program and its application of the multiliteracies framework to redesign interpretive communication lesson plans based on PACE project results. Empirical evidence from the analysis of 25 interpretive lesson plans reveals that lessons do not fully reflect the components of multiliteracies pedagogy, suggesting that students do not have sufficient opportunities to interpret meaning during listening activities. I close with implications of this project for foreign language curriculum, instruction, and teacher professional development.

Bio: Kate Paesani (Ph.D., Indiana University) is Director of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) and affiliate Associate Professor in the College of Liberal Arts 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, The French Review, L2 Journal, and Reading in a Foreign Language, and she is co-author of the book A Multiliteracies Framework for Collegiate Foreign Language Teaching (Pearson, 2016).

November 15
Wednesday, November 15, 4pm Stimson G25
Followed by reception

Morten Christiansen, Professor of Psychology
Cornell University


"Squeezing through the Now-or-Never Bottleneck: Chunking in L1 and L2 Learning"
Language happens in the here-and-now. Our memory for linguistic input is fleeting. New material rapidly interferes with previous material. How then can the brain deal successfully with the continual deluge of linguistic input? I propose that, to deal with this "Now-or-Never" bottleneck, the brain must incrementally compress and recode language input as rapidly as possible into increasingly more abstract of levels of linguistic representation. This chunking-based perspective has profound implications for the nature of language processing, acquisition, and change. Focusing on language acquisition, I draw on computational modeling and human experimentation to illustrate the implications for L1 and L2 learning. I conclude that the immediacy of language processing provides a critical constraint on accounts of language acquisition, implying that acquisition fundamentally involves learning to process, rather than inducing a grammar.

December 5
Tuesday, December 5, 9am - 12pm, Stimson G25
Followed by lunch

María Carreira, Professor of Spanish
California State University Long Beach


"Heritage Students and Project-based Learning"
In this workshop, I will first talk about the special needs and strengths of HLs and how they differ from both second language learners and native speakers. In the second half, I will describe a pedagogy that responds to those needs and strengths but is differentiated in a way that suits the needs of all learners. I will also present a model of project-based learning that is well suited for HL classes, as well as mixed classes.