Past Events

Expanding Language-Related Undergraduate Research Opportunities in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Friday, April 26
Undergraduate Research Scholar Yixian Gan and faculty members Drs. Rao and Huntington answering audience questions about the program.

The objective of the panel discussion was to promote and encourage research collaboration in the Humanities and Social Sciences between UW-Madison undergraduate students and UW-Madison faculty and advanced graduate students.

The panelists included Dr. Rania Huntington, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures; Dr. Rajiv Rao, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and Yixian Gan, Undergraduate Research Scholar. Having first-hand experience with the program, the panelists described the roles and commitment expectations of mentors and mentees. Faculty panelists shared how the program advanced their research agenda, shaped their perspective as teachers, and overall benefitted their professional career. Yixian used the undergraduate student lens to describe the positive impact the research program has had on his UW-Madison student experience.

The panel discussion event was sponsored by the Language Institute and the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program.

World Languages Day

March 6, 2019
High school participants at World Languages Day gather for a trivia game at the end of the day.

Over 550 Wisconsin high school students and teachers gathered on the UW-Madison campus for World Languages Day, sponsored by the Language Institute. Participants enjoyed a day of speakers, breakout sessions and a trivia game, all focused on languages and cultures. The day started off with a plenary session featuring guest speakers Karl Scholz (Dean, College of Letters & Science), Joe Salmons (Professor, Language Sciences and Board Member, Wisconsin Humanities Council), Michael Williams (Co-President, Wunk-Sheek), and student keynote speaker Kennedy Lee. Participants then attended four breakout sessions with interactive presentations, workshops and mini-language lessons offered by UW-Madison staff, faculty, and students. The day ended with a trivia game with questions based on the breakout sessions, with students from Fort Atkinson winning the prize, a gift basket from SERRV and international snacks to share on the ride home.

Gender Diversity and L2 Pedagogy: Adapting Classroom Practice for Inclusivity and Intercultural Competence Development

Friday, March 1
Dr. Knisely shares with the workshop participants his research and ideas about how to increase inclusiveness and support gender diversity in second language classrooms.

In this highly-interactive and well-attended workshop, Dr. Kris Knisely (University of Arizona) discussed gender diversity as it relates to inclusive language teaching practices. After a broad introduction to working with students of diverse gender identities in the language classroom, Dr. Knisely presented examples from the linguistic practices of non-binary individuals in France in order to outline how all language classroom discourses and activities can be adapted to be more inclusive. He focused particularly on how, as pedagogues, we are to address binary grammatical gender with students who have non-binary gender identities. A number of strategies for increasing inclusiveness and supporting diversity in all second language classrooms were presented and discussed, along with the theorized value for all students of teaching non-binary linguistic forms for fostering tolerance of ambiguity, and the development of linguistic and intercultural competencies. Participants engaged in hands-on practice with inclusive materials selection and adaptation as well as with inclusive course and curricular design.

Bio: Kris Knisely earned his PhD in French and Educational Studies at Emory University in 2015, which was followed by three years as Assistant Professor and French and Francophone Studies Program Director at the University of South Dakota. He is now Assistant Professor of French and Intercultural Competence at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on identity as it relates to the teaching and learning of French as a second language, with a particular focus on gender and sexuality. His work has appeared in The French ReviewContemporary French CivilizationGender and LanguageThe Journal of Applied MeasurementPensamiento Educativo, and The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association.