• Institute Type: 3-week online—asynchronous with three required synchronous meeting times.
  • Target Audience: For elementary school to postsecondary foreign language, ESL/EFL, indigenous teachers. It is also suited to immersion teachers and teacher educators.

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.


Kaishan KongKaishan Kong is an 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. Kaishan has taught a version of this institute through STARTALK and CARLA for more than 15 years. She co-edited a book titled Intercultural Citizenship in Language Education: Teaching and Learning Through Social Action, published by Multilingual Matters in 2023.

See the full course description here.
Return to the CARLA website.

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Section Title
Culture as the Core in the Second Language Classroom
Online, instructor led
Jul 15, 2024 to Aug 02, 2024
Delivery Options
Instructor Led Online  
Section Details

July 15–August 2, 2024
Asynchronous* 3-week online summer institute

*Includes required synchronous meetings


  • 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 but there are preset deadlines for activities.
  • You must keep up with assignments each week as they build on each other. Many assignments involve facilitation from the instructor and/or collaboration with other participants.
  • This institute includes three required synchronous sessions (Central Time):
    • First day synchronous meet-and-greet: Monday, July 15, 8–9 a.m.
    • Group discussion: Friday, July 26, 8–9 a.m.
    • Last day synchronous goodbye meeting: Friday, August 2, 8–9 a.m.
  • This institute includes two optional Q&A synchronous sessions per week:
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8–9 a.m.
  • Make sure you can meet the tech requirements for this institute.

Refund Policy:

  • Written cancellation requests received on or before the Monday four weeks prior to the institute start date are eligible for a refund minus $50 processing fee per participant for each canceled institute. Please send cancellation/refund request to carla@umn.edu.
  • Cancellations received on or before the Monday two weeks prior to the institute start date will be charged $100.
  • No refunds will be granted after the Monday two weeks prior to the institute start date. See exact refund dates on the refund information page.

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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