Transforming Language Instruction
Sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
In June 2016 the University of Chicago Language Center (CLC) received a $2 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the project “Transforming Language Instruction at the University of Chicago and Beyond: Collaborative Curricula and Professional Development.” The grant, initially awarded for five years but now extended until June, 2024, began as a way to increase learner access to less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and support those language instructors through professional development.
Summer 2023 Mellon Workshops
Joining us in this Mellon project means that you intend to design an assessment and, following the completion of your test, embark on curriculum realignment. The three workshops below occur in a sequence, and build upon one another. Participants may complete the OPI workshop and Test Design and Development in one summer, followed by Curriculum Design in the next. You must be an instructor of a LCTL (Less Commonly Taught Language) working with a partner or in a cohort in order to join this project. Please read through our FAQ page before applying.
Applications for the Summer 2023 cycle are now open (links below). Please see below for the link to the registration forms. All workshops take place this summer in Chicago in person; there is no hybrid attendance option. By registering, you agree to adhere to the COVID safety precautions in place at the University of Chicago at the time of the workshop.
ACTFL 4-Day OPI Workshop
June 8-11, 2023 – In person
ACTFL training is an essential prerequisite to participation in our project. This workshop is conducted in English for mixed languages. It delivers deep assessment literacy, focusing most critically on the difference between achievement and proficiency assessment, and familiarity with the ACTFL levels across the four skills. Reasonable travel expenses, including travel to and from Chicago and your stay in Chicago, plus most meals, will be reimbursed.
You must hold a full-time language teaching position or a leadership position in a language center at an institution of higher education in North America. If you have already completed a 4-day ACTFL OPI or MOPI workshop, you do not need to participate in this step and are eligible to apply for Test Design & Development. Please note that we reserve the seats in this workshop for participants who also plan to join us for Test Design & Development.
To apply, please indicate in the Test Design & Development application that you would like to participate in this year’s OPI workshop.
Mellon Test Design and Development Workshop
June 13-16, 2023 – In person
In this four-day workshop, instructors of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs) work with partners or cohorts to design end-of-sequence proficiency assessments. By the end of the workshop, you will have a complete test design, which is then developed more fully (i.e. finding reading and listening inputs, fleshing out prompts, and creating rubrics). Upon completion of test and rubric development, participants receive a $1,000.00 incentive payment per test, or equivalent compensation. Reasonable travel expenses, including travel to and from Chicago and your stay in Chicago, plus most meals, will be reimbursed.
This workshop is designed to help you complete a summative (end-of-sequence) test, e.g. end of Year 1, end of Year 2, etc. The application form collects more information about your test.
You must have participated in an ACTFL OPI or MOPI workshop to attend the Test D&D Workshop and you must sign up with a partner or cohort. You must also hold a full-time language teaching position at an institution of higher education in North America.
To apply, please fill out our Test Design & Development application form before April 30, 2023. We will be in touch with you shortly thereafter to let you know the status of your application.
Mellon Curriculum Design Workshop
July 11-14, 2023 – In person
Once Mellon-developed end-of-sequence assessments are complete, participants are eligible to embark on curriculum re-alignment projects. The Curriculum Design Workshop addresses multiple issues in curricular alignment and guides participants in crafting their projects. By the end of the workshop, you will be prepared to complete a curriculum design. Upon the completion of your curriculum design matrix and the presentation of your resulting curriculum, we offer incentive payments of up to $2,000.00 per person, or equivalent compensation. Reasonable travel expenses, including travel to and from Chicago and your stay in Chicago, plus most meals, will be reimbursed.
Those who wish to participate in the Mellon Curriculum Design workshop must have an assessment in place that was developed through the Mellon Test D&D workshop (see above). Only a curricular project that stems from a Mellon-approved assessment may be designed. You must also hold a full-time language teaching position or a leadership position in a language center at an institution of higher education in North America. You must sign up with a partner or cohort.
To apply, please fill out our Curriculum Design application form before April 30, 2023. We will be in touch with you shortly thereafter to let you know the status of your application.