Committed to Change II: Taking Action to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in Language Education

This yearlong seminar for UW-Madison language educators and researchers is a forum for shared professional learning, and for both shared and individual action to promote diversity and inclusion in postsecondary language teaching and learning.

At the first meeting, participants discussed goals for the seminar and voted on topics to prioritize for exploration over the course of the year. Later in the semester, participants will choose a small project to work on, which they will present to others in the seminar (and, if desired, with a broader audience) in the Spring 2022. Projects, which should address the purpose of the seminar to promote diversity and inclusion in language education, might include the development of a series of lesson plans or an instructional module, an updated teaching philosophy statement, a critical review of a textbook or other instructional materials, or a plan to recruit a more diverse population of students.

The title for the seminar, Committed to Change, is from the July 2020 event of the same name hosted by the UW-Madison Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement (DDEEA). That event was a call to action. This seminar is part of the Language Institute’s response to that call. The title is used with permission from the DDEEA.


Study group. Seminar participants will participate actively in meetings by facilitating and participating in discussions, presenting their projects or other works-in-progress, and giving constructive feedback to others.

The first and last meetings of the academic year will be in-person. Other seminar meetings will be held on Zoom.

Eligible participants

Up to 12 UW-Madison faculty, academic staff or graduate students who teach language courses and/or conduct research on language teaching and learning. Participants in the inaugural Committed to Change seminar in 2020-21 are welcome to apply to participate in the 2021-22 seminar, but no prior experience with the seminar is required. All are welcome!

Participants who complete the seminar will receive a book allowance of $150 and a certificate of completion.


Dianna Murphy, Language Institute
Sandra Descourtis, Doctoral candidate, Second Language Acquisition PhD Program


Readings will be selected by the group. The facilitators will provide a list of possible readings in advance of the first meeting. Participants will be encouraged to share other readings or resources for the group to consider.


Eight, 90-minute sessions (4 per semester) over the course of the academic year.


3:00-4:30 pm, Fridays on September 24, October 22, November 19, December 10, February 4, March 4, April 8, April 29

Evaluative criteria

  • Relevance of the seminar to the applicant’s teaching or research interests
  • Broad representation across languages and departments
  • Representation among types of appointments (graduate student, academic staff, faculty)

Sponsor: Language Institute

Funding: International Division