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.


Image of Instructor Kaishan KongKaishan Kong is Associate 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.

See the full course description here.

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Section Title
Culture as the Core in the Second Language Classroom
Online, instructor led
Jul 12, 2021 to Jul 30, 2021
Delivery Options
Instructor Led Online  
Section Details

Course Information: https://carla.umn.edu/institutes/2021/culture.html
Dates: July 12–30, 2021


  • 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 two required synchronous sessions:
    • 1st day synchronous meet-and-greet: July 12, 8–9 a.m. (Central Time)
    • Last day synchronous goodbye meeting: July 30, 8–9 a.m. (Central Time)
  • This institute includes optional Q&A synchronous sessions (two sessions per week):
  • Participants will also have the opportunity to work with their small group synchronously during the institute, but the group can decide their meeting time to fit everyone's schedule.
  • Make sure you can meet the tech requirements for this institute.

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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