Spring 2017

Let's Talk 2017: Relationships, Research, and Results

March 31st and April 1st 2017


The Center for the Study of Languages & Cultures at the University of Notre Dame invites abstracts on the connections between community engagement and foreign language instruction in higher education. This conference will provide scholars and professional educators a venue to discuss research, theories, and best practices in regards to language-focused Community-Based Learning (CBL). The organizers of this conference strongly encourage submissions from scholars and educators from various different language backgrounds.

Potential paper topics include but are not limited to:

  • Community-based learning and the 5Cs (Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities)
  • Community-based learning as an alternative to study abroad
  • Establishing CBL courses in languages other than Spanish or ESL
  • The role of community engagement in students’ personal and professional journeys
  • CBL-informed foreign language curriculum
  • Theoretical and pedagogical issues in designing foreign language community-based courses
  • CBL and foreign language class enrollment
  • Building partnerships between a university/college and the foreign language community
  • Providing foreign language instruction in elementary and middle schools through community engagement
  • Language-focused CBL and the empowerment of minority cultures in the community

There will be a dedicated graduate student panel.

Abstracts should be 300-350 words and submitted here by JANUARY 15, 2017.


Keynote Speakers

Annie Abbott






Dr. Ann Abbott
Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Annie Abbott is Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has taught Spanish community service learning CSL) since 2004 and has authored articles, chapters and a textbook--Comunidades: Más allá del aula (Pearson)--about CSL. She coordinates a program of three CSL courses with about 60 students per semester working with a dozen community partners. Her work in languages for specific purposes has covered business Spanish, social entrepreneurship, ethics, and social media marketing. Annie has received several campus awards for her teaching, service and public engagement. She is also co-author of the intermediate Spanish textbook Día a día: de lo personal a lo profesional (Pearson). 



Deb Linked






Dr. Deborah Reisinger
Assistant Professor of the Practice of Romance Studies at Duke University

Deborah S. Reisinger is an Assistant Professor of the Practice in Romance Studies and affiliate faculty in the Duke Global Health Institute. She is Director of Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum(CLAC) at Duke University, where she helps students explore culturally-specific solutions to health and environmental disparities in local language communities.

Deborah received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in Twentieth-century French and Francophone Literature and Cultural Studies. She is the author ofCrime and Media in Contemporary France (Purdue Press, 2007), as well as numerous articles on language pedagogy, intercultural competence, and French for Specific Purposes. Her current workfocuses on community-based learning through Languages for Specific Purposes, including social entrepreneurship and global health. In 2016, she received the Betsy Alden Outstanding Faculty Award for Service-Learning.

Reisinger is Chair of the World Languages Academic Advisory Committee to the College Board and is the College Board Advisor for the French AP exam. Since 2013, she has served as Chair of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) Commission on French for Specific Purposes. In the summer, she directs the Duke in Montréal program, which focuses on Quebec’s arts and cultural industries. 

For more information, please contact:

Azeb Haileselassie, Ph.D.
Assistant Professional Specialist
Department of Romances Languages and Literatures
French Language Courses Coordinator