Northwestern Events Calendar


Say My Name: Addressing Gen Z Learner Identities through Differentiated Instruction in World Languages

Teaching Generation Z Learners

When: Friday, September 20, 2024
8:30 AM - 11:30 PM CT

Where: Kresge Hall, 1515, 1880 Campus Drive , Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Ingrid Zeller   (847) 491-8290

Group: Council on Language Instruction (CLI)

Category: Academic


The Council on Language Instruction invites all language teaching faculty and interested peers to join the Fall Orientation and Workshop. This year's invited speaker is Dr. Thomas Garza, University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor and Director, Texas Language Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The event will take place in Kresge Hall 1515.

Tentative Program
8:30 am – 9:00 am

9:00 am – 9:30 am
Welcome remarks and updates from Ingrid Zeller, Chair of the Council on Language Instruction, Elena Lanza and Noriko Yasohama, Co-directors of the Weinberg Language Resource Center, Matt Taylor, Director of the Media and Design Studio

9:30 am – 10:30 am
Presentation and Workshop by Thomas Garza

10:30 am – 10:45 am
Coffee Break

10:45 am – 11:30 am
Workshop (continued) by Thomas Garza

Description: Tomlinson, et al. (2003) characterized Differentiated Instruction (DI) as “providing students with classroom instruction that suits to their varied readiness levels, interests, learning necessities, and preferred modes of learning.” Over the past two decades, this basic definition has served to inform models of learner-centered instruction well and has been effectively applied to world languages (WL) learning, where learners in a single classroom might be at various levels of proficiency and/or have varying was of approaching language study (visual, oral, aural, holistic, analytic, schematic, etc.). More recently, however, research on individual differences in WL classes – not only regarding proficiency levels – has focused on individual learner identities (Ortega, et al., 2018; Smith, A. and Chestnutt, C. 2021), allowing for greater participation of Gen Z learners in our courses and the creation of more accessible, equitable, inclusive learning environments and a sense of individual belongingness in our WL courses. For WLs, especially for LCTLs, such an approach to DI can help us maintain more robust enrollments in our courses by creating welcoming ecologies of teaching and learning that will attract a larger, more diverse Gen Z learner population to our courses. 


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