U of M Language Resource Center Receives Seventh Round of Funding from the U.S. Department of Education

Grant supports the nation’s need to improve language teaching and learning

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (10/14/2014)–The University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) has been awarded its seventh round of funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI Language Resource Center (LRC) program; the grant totals more than $750,000 over the next four years. The purpose of the competitive Title VI LRC grant program is to establish, strengthen and operate centers to improve the nation’s capacity for teaching foreign languages. CARLA is one of only 16 centers in the country funded by the prestigious program.

During the funded period of 2014–18, CARLA will launch some exciting new projects and build on existing initiatives to improve language teaching; these include:

  • carrying out multi-year program of research on instructional strategies and student learning outcomes for language and literacy in early total Mandarin immersion programs;
  • hosting an academic seminar in Spring 2016 on the environmental humanities for both literature and language faculty;
  • offering an experiential online course on teaching language online on an annual basis;
  • creating new multimedia materials on learner language produced by foreign language and heritage language learners of Spanish; and
  • sponsoring the 9th International Language Teacher Education Conference at the University of Minnesota in May, 2015.

In addition, CARLA will use the new funding to continue to enhance its extensive website of free resources for language teaching and learning, and expand its internationally known annual summer institutes for language educators.

“This prestigious award from the U.S. Department of Education’s International Foreign Language Education program constitutes valuable national recognition of the cutting-edge nature of CARLA’s initiatives to expand and deepen language acquisition in Minnesota, the U.S. and the world,” said CARLA Director Elaine Tarone. “The LRC grant will enable CARLA to continue to internationalize the University’s curriculum, support research-based excellence in K-12 language immersion, and promote 21st century innovation in the service of excellence in language learning and teaching,”

Meredith McQuaid, associate vice president and dean of international programs, sees CARLA’s work as a critical aspect of the University’s commitment to internationalization. “As we prepare our students with the skills, knowledge, and perspectives to live and work in a global society, language and culture learning must be a key component. The work of CARLA will continue to make an impact not only at the University of Minnesota, but at all levels of instruction around the world.”

CARLA was created in 1993 with funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI Language Resource Center program. The newly announced funding is the seventh cycle of funding the center has received from this program. CARLA is housed in the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance at the University of Minnesota, and actively collaborates with faculty and staff from both the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Education and Human Development, and regularly partners with a wide network of state and national organizations and institutions.