The Language Collaboratory

We are very pleased to announce the creation of The Language Collaboratory, a partnership for the advancement of intercollegiate dialogue on the teaching of languages and cultures, driven by language centers and institutes at the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The purpose of this initiative is to provide collaborative professional development opportunities for educators of language, culture, and literature at the five institutions.

The pandemic offers us opportunities to deepen our existing collaborations through virtual connections across distance and institutions. We are launching a robust professional development series focusing this semester on three challenges – accessibility, inclusivity, and learner autonomy and agency. Representatives from all five institutions will informally address one of these challenges from their perspective as a practitioner or researcher and engage with what we hope to be a stimulating dialog with both their local conversant and the session attendees.

Please join us for this initial series to engage with others on your own campus as well as with colleagues across our institutions. 

The series will take place on Zoom from 3:30-4:00 pm central on select Monday and Thursday afternoons in the Fall 2020 semester. The sessions will recorded and shared widely.


Fall 2020 Discussion Themes

  • Accessibility: How can I ensure that my teaching is accessible to all of my students? 
  • Inclusivity: How can I be more inclusive in my teaching? What do I need to consider and address?
  • Learner Autonomy and Agency: How can I foster student engagement and autonomy? What does learner autonomy mean in a language learning environment? 


Schedule (All sessions are scheduled for 30 minutes, 3:30-4:00 pm central, 4:30-5:00 pm eastern. Please register for each session separately)

Upcoming sessions

Thursday, November 5: Willkommen, Bienvenido, Bienvenue, You Are Welcome Here. How Do Foreign Language Teachers Make Sense of LGBTQ Identities and Queer-Inclusive Practices in Their Classrooms. William Coghill-Behrends, University of Iowa; Register HERE

Thursday, November 12: The Hands-Off Approach to Student Presentations: Gallery Walks in Intermediate Language Classes. Janaya Lasker-Ferretti, University of Michigan; Register HERE

Thursday, November 19: Exploring Guided and Independent Learning Practices to Promote Learner Autonomy and Self-Regulation. Brian Barnett, Emily Groepper, and Katrien Vanpee, University of Minnesota; Register HERE

Thursday, December 3: Agency-Based Language Learning, Felix Kronenberg, Michigan State University; Registration link coming soon

Monday, December 7: How Facilitating Learner Autonomy Can Foster Inclusivity. Pamela Bogart, University of Michigan; Register HERE

Past sessions

Monday, October 26: Asked and Answered?: Rethinking Class Questions…and Other Examples of Asynchronous Instructional Design as Social Justice in a (Post-) Covid World. Jennifer Gipson, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Session recording will be available soon

Thursday, October 22: Technological Phonocentrism: Teaching Strategies for Signed Languages. Rebecca Clark and Jannelle Legg, University of Iowa; Session recording will be available soon

Thursday, October 15: Accommodating Diverse Student Needs in the Online and Remote Teaching Environment. Mandy Menke, University of Minnesota; Session recording HERE

Monday, October 5: You’re a Teacher, Not a Cop”: Prioritizing Access in Course Structure. Cecil Leigh Wilson, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Session recording HERE

Thursday, October 1: Is My Language Course Ableist? Identifying Tension Between Language Learning Course Design and Fairness for Disabled Learners. Caitlin Cornell, Michigan State University; Session recording HERE


UW-Madison contact: Jana Martin, Associate Director, Language Institute

If you need accommodations to participate in this event, contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, University of Minnesota, at least three business days prior to the event.

Sponsors: University of Iowa, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Language Media Center; University of Michigan, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) Language Resource Center; University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Language Center; Michigan State University, Center for Language Teaching Advancement; University of Wisconsin-Madison, Language Institute