The Language Collaboratory Fall 2021 Series

Fostering Student Engagement in Online, Face-to-Face, and Hybrid Language Learning Environments: Research and Praxis

About the Language Collaboratory

The Language Collaboratory was established in the Fall 2020 as a partnership that promotes the advancement of intercollegiate dialogue on the teaching of languages and cultures. It represents collaboration between the 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 learning opportunities for educators of language, culture, and literature at the five institutions.

About this series

Building on a strong foundation from the 2020-2021 academic year, the Language Collaboratory continues in 2021-22 to offer a series of online sessions that will provide space for a stimulating dialogue between a discussant from one of the participating institutions and session attendees. This academic year, we will focus our discussions on the theme of student engagement. New in this series, three invited discussants who are leading work in the area of student engagement will share their expertise with our audience.  

In the series, we hope to provide insights on student engagement from two lenses/perspectives: 1) research-based, and 2) pedagogical and practical. Furthermore, the sessions will examine the implications and manifestations of student engagement praxis in and out of the classroom.

Sessions will be guided by the following questions:

  • What is engagement and what role does it play in language learning and teaching? 
  • How do language teaching professionals promote and support meaningful engagement of their students? How do these interactions vary based on the course delivery mode and/or format?
  • What are some of the challenges that practitioners encounter when promoting and supporting meaningful engagement of their language students?

Individual sessions will address how student engagement relates to and intersects with topics such as corrective feedback, task design, learning achievement, group dynamics, classroom environment, students’ willingness or reticence to speak, and others. Each session will be scheduled for 30 minutes, with optional 15-minute additional discussion time.

About the Sessions

All sessions are held synchronously via Zoom. Sessions are scheduled for Mondays or Thursdays, 3:30-4:00 (4:15) pm central, 4:30-5:00 (5:15) pm eastern. Sessions are 30 minutes in length, with additional 15 minutes of optional discussion for those interested in digging deeper into the topic. Fall schedule coming soon.

 All sessions will be recorded and available at a later date via the Language Collaboratory YouTube Channel

Target Audience

While we welcome any educator to join our professional development sessions, it may be helpful to know that these discussions are specifically oriented to language research and practice in the context of higher education in the USA. As such, K-12 instructors and international participants may find the parameters of our discussions less relevant to their teaching and learning contexts. 


We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. Automated live-captions are available for every session. To request accommodations or discuss access needs please contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello ( from the University of Minnesota, at least a week in advance prior to the event. Requests made after that point cannot be guaranteed.


University of Iowa, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Center for Language and Culture Learning; 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.

 MSU Contact: 

Caitlin Cornell, Assistant Director, Center for Language Teaching Advancement

Fall 2021 sessions 

All Events Will Start at 3:30PM Central/4:30PM Eastern

Monday, December 6:

Join us in a networking and brainstorming session to wrap up our Fall 2021 series on student engagement. 


The Language Collaboratory’s fall sessions foregrounded challenges and opportunities for engaging language learners at multiple levels: with content, with the instructor, with peers, and with the community. Discussants shared a wide range of instructional strategies that have been effective in engaging students. We learned about engagement at the curriculum level, in the classroom, and in digital environments.  We discovered the specific ways in which these strategies impact teaching and learning, and foster greater, more meaningful engagement. 


This wrap-up session of the series provides an opportunity for collaborative learning by foregrounding questions that remain and sharing ideas on how the challenges we continue to face with student engagement may promote innovation going forward. Participants will be invited to share takeaways from the sessions, difficulties and successes with student engagement, and crowdsource innovative solutions.


Moderated by: Jana Martin (University of Wisconsin-Madison) & Adolfo Carrillo Cabello (University of Minnesota)


Stay tuned for Spring 2022 series information coming soon!