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.

Please join us for Spring 2021 sessions to engage with others on your own campus as well as with colleagues across our institutions. 

Spring 2021 Discussion Main Theme:

Striking a Balance in Remote Language Teaching and Learning: Promoting Instructor and Student Well-Being 

The Language Collaboratory’s spring series aims at furthering conversations that help uncover the complexities of striking a balance on the professional, academic, and personal goals to achieve the well-being of instructors and students of languages. What are the major challenges in promoting our own and our students’ well-being in the context of remote instruction and the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic? As language instructors, what are concrete steps that we might take to better care for ourselves and our students?

Individual sessions in the series might address topics such as:

  • Work-life balance
  • Issues of equity in access to technology or to functional spaces to teach and to learn
  • Balancing academic rigor with flexibility in language courses
  • Balancing ethical considerations with compassionate approaches to assessment
  • Facilitating meaningful interactions in remote language courses and in co-curricular programming
  • New models for student (dis)engagement


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

Thursday, April 22:

Building of Online Chinese Learning Community

Presented By: Xuefei Hao, Michigan State University

Thursday, April 29:

Reassessing the Impact of the Pandemic Impact on Well Being: Identifying Opportunities for Growth and Innovation

Presented By: Dan Soneson and Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, University of Minnesota

Past Events - Spring 2021

Thursday, February 4th:

Language Collaboratory Spring Networking Session: Strategies to Prevent Teaching Burnout

Presented By: Dan Soneson and Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, University of Minnesota

Thursday, February 11th:

Balancing Academic Rigor with Flexibility in Language Courses

Presented By: Sabine Gabaron, University of Michigan

Monday, February 15: 

Work/Life Balance in Language Teaching.

Presented By: Kristine Muñoz, University of Iowa

Thursday, March 4:

Creating Meaningful Communication Inside & Outside the Classroom.

Presented By: Yasmine Ramadan, University of Iowa

Monday, March 8:

Connections Beyond the Classroom: Meaningful Projects for Remote Language Courses

Presented By: Katrien Vanpee, University of Minnesota

Tuesday, March 16:

Academic Integrity: Promoting Trust, Reflection, and Accountability in the Remote Setting

Presented By: Stephanie Goetz and Susanna Coll Ramirez, University of Michigan

Thursday, March 25:

Language TA Fatigue and Burnout

Presented By: Jeanne Schueller, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Thursday, April 1:

Trauma-Sensitive Teaching Practices: A Compassionate Framework for Language Educators

Presented By: Elizabeth Ablan, Michigan State University

Thursday, April 15:

Balancing Independent and Peer/Group Work in Language Class

Presented By: Takako Nakakubo, University of Wisconsin-Madison

MSU Contact: Caitlin Cornell, Assistant Director, CeLTA

If you need accommodations to participate in any of the events, 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

Past Sessions – Fall 2020

The pandemic offered us opportunities to deepen our existing collaborations through virtual connections across distance and institutions. In the Fall of 2020, we launched a robust professional development series focusing on three challenges – accessibility, inclusivity, and learner autonomy and agency. Representatives from all five institutions informally addressed one of these challenges from their perspective as a practitioner or researcher and engaged with what we hope has been a stimulating dialog with both their local conversant and the session attendees.

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?

All sessions with the exception of the December 17 session were scheduled for 30 minutes, 3:30-4:00 pm central, 4:30-5:00 pm eastern. Each session required a separate registration.