Preparing students to participate in multilingual and multicultural communities entails shifting the way we approach language instruction. How do we move beyond teaching students to order coffee or talk about weekend activities, and instead encourage them to think critically and reflectively about language, culture, and communication? To answer this question, this institute focuses on how to develop students’ foreign language literacies—or the ability to interpret and create different kinds of discourse—through engagement with target language texts such as movies, infographics, poetry, music videos, magazine articles, podcasts, and the like.

Using conceptual and pedagogical understandings gained during the institute, participants will examine and assess target language texts for use in their classrooms and create text-based instructional materials that develop students’ communicative abilities, critical thinking, intercultural competence, and language awareness.   

Target Audience: This institute is designed for foreign language and ESL teachers at the middle school through the postsecondary level, as well as teacher educators, curriculum coordinators, and language program directors. This institute is not intended for elementary school teachers or immersion educators.

Instructors Kate Paesani and Mandy MenkeKate Paesani is Director of CARLA and affiliate Associate Professor in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. A former French professor and language program director, she has delivered workshops and lectures across the United States on topics related to text-based teaching and learning, foreign language literacies development, and teacher professionalization.

Mandy Menke is Associate Professor of Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Minnesota. She is a specialist in Spanish language acquisition by both child and adult learners and has delivered professional development workshops for university instructors and immersion teachers.

See the full course description here.
Return to the CARLA Web site.

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Section Title
Foreign Language Literacies: Using Target Language Texts to Improve Communication
Online, instructor led
M, T, W, Th, F
9:00AM to 4:00PM
Jul 19, 2021 to Jul 23, 2021
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Online
Delivery Options
Instructor Led Online  
Section Details

Course Information: https://carla.umn.edu/institutes/2021/literacies.html
Dates: July 19–23, 2021


  • This synchronous online institute will run from 9 am-4 pm (Central Time). The schedule includes many synchronous presentations throughout the day as well as time for independent or partner/group work and a break for lunch.
  • You must be available to participate for the entire day Monday–Friday.
  • Make sure you can meet the tech requirements for this institute.
  • While this institute will be offered online in 2021, we intend to offer it face-to-face in 2022. If you can only take it online, you are encouraged to enroll this summer.   

Contact Information:
For questions regarding course registration, materials, and content, please email carla@umn.edu.
For questions regarding system access, log-in, username, or password, please email help@umn.edu or call 612-301-4357.

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