Reimagining the Future of Postsecondary Language Education

1:00-4:00 pm, Friday, February 28, 2020
Orchard View Room, Discovery Building, Town Center (WID)
330 North Orchard Street

What are the most pressing challenges in language education today and how can we address them? How do UW-Madison students view language learning? In rapidly changing times, how can we adapt to meet diverse student interests? All are warmly invited to participate in this mini-symposium to reimagine the future of language education at UW-Madison. Come to learn and to share your ideas for possible new forms of innovation, collaboration and advocacy!

Select Resources

Wisconsin Language Roadmap

Wisconsin Standards for World Languages

Language Institute Report on the Gender and Race or Ethnicity of U.S. Undergraduate Majors in Languages and Literatures other than English, 2010-2014, AFDL Bulletin, Vol. 45, No. 2, 2019

Modern Language Association Report, Enrollments in Languages Other than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Summer 2016 and Fall 2016


Anonymous Fund


Department of African Cultural Studies
Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Department of French and Italian
Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Institute for Regional and International Studies
Language Institute
Language Sciences
Second Language Acquisition PhD Program
Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institutes
World Languages, Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics Council


12:30-1:00 pm

1:00-1:15 pm
Welcome: Susan Zaeske, L&S Associate Dean for Arts  and Humanities;  Dianna Murphy, Director, Language Institute

1:15-1:30 pm
Discussion: Major challenges in postsecondary language education today, facilitated by Karen Evans-Romaine, Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic

1:30-2:05 pm
Keynote address:  A field in crisis: What future for language study in the United States?, Stéphane Charitos, Director, Language Resource Center, Columbia University

2:05-2:40 pm
Research report: UW-Madison undergraduate student perspectives on the value of language study, Dianna Murphy, Language Institute

2:40-2:50 pm

2:50-3:15 pm
Update on K-12 world language education in Wisconsin: Systems-level thinking, planning, and action for language learning, Pam Delfosse, World Language and Global Education Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

3:15-3:50 pm
Discussion: Possible new forms of innovation, collaboration, and advocacy to strengthen language education at UW-Madison, facilitated by Cathy Stafford, Department of Spanish and Portuguese; Director, PhD Program in Second Language Acquisition

3:50-4:00 pm
Closing remarks: Byung-jin Lim, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures; Scott Mellor, Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic