Transformative learning often happens when people experience cultural and linguistic contact with people different from themselves. This institute will explore how to make these experiences happen in and through classrooms. We will explore a wide range of tools for understanding self and 'others' without falling into stereotypes or reductive simplifications. While cultivating deeper understanding on how language-culture-identity informs our teaching, we will envision ways to integrate culture and language learning that include authentic materials and inter- and transcultural habits of mind. Throughout the course, participants will be engaged in constructive conversation, hands-on practice, and reflection. In the end, participants will be able to conceptualize culture teaching in ways that suit their teaching and learning context.

Target Audience: This institute is suited for elementary school to postsecondary foreign language, ESL/EFL, indigenous teachers. It is also suited to immersion teachers and teacher educators.


  • This institute is primarily asynchronous (not real time). For the most part, you will work on activities according to your own schedule during the week.
  • This institute includes several required check-in/discussion synchronous sessions: 8:00 a.m.–10 a.m. (CDT) on 7/13, 7/14, 7/17, 7/22, 7/23, 7/27, 7/29, 7/30. On the last day, 7/31, participants will be asked to share their final projects between the 8:00 a.m.–4 p.m. at a time arranged with the instructors.
  • Make sure to review the tech requirements for this institute: http://carla.umn.edu/institutes/techrequirements.html


Kaishan Kong and Martha BigelowMartha Bigelow is Professor in Second Language Education at the University of Minnesota. She received her Ph.D. from Georgetown University. Her research interests span fields of education, applied linguistics, and cultural studies. While she has focused mainly on the language learning and schooling of adolescent refugees from East Africa, she is also deeply invested in the schooling of all language learners as they learn in home, community, and school settings.

Kaishan Kong is Assistant Professor of Chinese at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Second Language Education. She has taught language and cultural courses in both China and the United States. Her research interests include second language acquisition, mediated learning in study abroad, intercultural communication, and teacher training.

Full Course Description: https://carla.umn.edu/institutes/2020/culture.html

Return to the CARLA Web site.


Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in

Section Title
Culture as the Core in the Second Language Classroom
Online, instructor led
Jul 13, 2020 to Jul 31, 2020
Delivery Options
Instructor Led Online  
Course Fee(s)
Late Registration non-credit $450.00
Regisration U of MN Student non-credit $200.00
Section Details
Course Information: https://carla.umn.edu/institutes/2020/culture.html
Location: Online
Dates: July 13–31, 2020
Contact Information:
For questions regarding course registration, materials, and content, please email carla@umn.edu.
For questions regarding system access, log-in, user name, or password, please email help@umn.edu or call 612-301-4357.
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