Creating Innovative Approaches to Language Learning Since 1994

The Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS) at the University of Oregon supports innovative world language teaching and learning. We develop research-based curricula, professional development resources, and assessments to support infrastructure and innovation.

Our resources incorporate best practices in pedagogy, the latest in second language acquisition research, and technology that’s actually usable in the classroom. We include an intentional focus on interlanguage pragmatics and social competencies.

We Believe:

  • Meaningful communication is the purpose of language learning.
  • Reflective teaching and learning facilitate lifelong discovery and growth.
  • Language learning transforms the lives of learners and those around them.
  • Language is a catalyst for change and enriches the communities in which we live.
  • It is our responsibility to support access to language learning for all.

Language Resource Centers

We are one of sixteen Title VI National Foreign Language Resource Centers across the country. These centers form a national network to support world language education. CASLS and our sister centers create curriculum, offer professional development opportunities, and conduct research on approaches to teaching languages. Download the LRC informational brochure or visit the LRC website to find resources and materials.

Our Advisory Board

The CASLS Advisory Board brings together key stakeholders who provide guidance, advice, and support. Advisory Board members serve three-year terms and meet three times each year. Our Advisory Board members are:

  • Kris Kyle, Assistant Professor of Linguistics, University of Oregon
  • Scott McLeod, Professor of Leadership for Educational Organizations, University of Colorado-Denver
  • Aleidine J. Moeller, Edith S. Greer Professor of Teaching and Learning, University of Nebraska
  • Kenyae Reese, Executive Principal, Head Middle Magnet School
  • Hsiao-Yun Shotwell, Chinese Instructor, Portland State University
  • Lynette Williams, Teacher on Special Assignment, Eugene 4J School District

Our History

CASLS began as a group of Japanese teachers in Oregon working on a three-year grant to support Japanese language instruction. Today, we support all world language teachers and learners.

  • CASLS completes empirical study in the effectiveness of asynchronous pragmatics teaching modules for language teachers.
  • CASLS develops and publishes 30 modules in digitally-mediated language learning in collaboration with the UO Master of Arts in Language Teaching Specialization.
  • CASLS begins developing and piloting the I-Agents 21st Century Global Competence curriculum, a mixed-reality language learning curriculum that features 18 languages, with Treetop Academics.  
  • CASLS Assistant Director Stephanie Knight recognized for having a top-cited publication from 2020-2021.
  • CASLS releases portfolio export feature for LinguaFolio Online, enabling language learners to easily curate and share evidence of their language learning with stakeholders.
  • CASLS delivers first-of-its-kind maker space mixed reality training for elementary students in collaboration with Treetop Academics.
  • CASLS delivers the first-of-its-kind digital and mixed-reality simulations in intercultural communicative competence to secondary learners, post-secondary learners, and Fulbright scholars as part of the VAuLT project.
  • CASLS receives Translational Research Grant from the Office of the Vice President of Research and Innovation to further VAuLT development.
  • CASLS begins research on implementing VAuLT mixed-reality classroom implementations in high school Spanish classrooms.
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CASLS implements 21-Century updates to its weekly digest, InterCom. These updates include weekly InterCom Live sessions on CASLS’s Facebook and the creation of a YouTube channel to provide additional support to language learners.
  • CASLS completes the first empirical study of the IPIC measure (now referred to as the IPIC framework).
  • CASLS launches the 30-day Language Learning Challenge.
  • CASLS Director Julie Sykes begins appointment as editor for ACTFL’s Foreign Language Annals.
  • CASLS launches its first three mobile locative VAuLT experiences in coordination with CALICO 2019 (Montreal),  IALLT 2019 (Eugene), and the NCSSFL 2019 (Washington, D.C.) Annual Meeting.
  • CASLS hosts the inaugural Mavericks Congress, bringing together leaders in education and business to inspire innovation and collaboration through mixed-reality gaming.
  • CASLS is honored by NCSSFL as a valued partner at its annual banquet.
  • CASLS partners with the College of Arts and Sciences, the UO Language Council, and the Yamada Language Center on the Language-learning Innovation for Teaching (LIFT), an initiative to support and transform language learning at the University of Oregon (UO).
  • In collaboration with Utah Dual Language Immersion, CASLS releases an assignment feature for LinguaFolio Online.
  • In collaboration with PEARLL (Professionals in Education Advancing Research and Language Learning) and the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland, CASLS releases Catalyst, an online, social professional development portfolio for language teachers.
  • CASLS delivers the first mixed-reality language learning trainings to teachers in collaboration with the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) (now the Center for Latin America, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies (CLACX) at Vanderbilt University) and the Center for Open Educational Resources in Language Learning (CORELL) at the University of Texas.
  • CASLS receives renewed funding to continue as a Title VI Language Resource Center.
  • CASLS Director Dr. Julie Sykes receives the University of Oregon Innovation and Impact Award.
  • CASLS launches VAuLT, augmented and virtual reality kits to support language learning.
  • CASLS launches a two-week Oregon Experience Program (OEP) in collaboration with Kobe University and the Astronomy Department at the University of Oregon.
  • CASLS develops LingroFolio, a project-based, social portfolio to accompany Lingro Learning’s Contraseña, an online Spanish textbook for post-secondary learners.
  • CASLS and NCSSFL formalize their ongoing partnership in the development and delivery of LinguaFolio Online.
  • CASLS earns Gold certification from the University of Oregon Office of Sustainability’s Green Office program.
  • CASLS launches an ongoing collaborative professional development program with the Eugene 4J School District.
  • In collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, CASLS launches a customized platform of LinguaFolio Online.
  • LingroToGo hits the Apple and Google Play stores. LingroToGo, designed for Spanish learners, is the first mobile app to combine traditional language learning with pragmatics.
  • CASLS begins development for Analog U, a digital mindfulness app that prepares learners to be reflective learners.
  • CASLS delivers a customized LinguaFolio Online platform and training in reflective practices and portfolio use to the University of Oregon Language Council. 
  • CASLS receives the Esperanto Access to Language Education Award.
  • In collaboration with Portland Public Schools (PPS), CASLS provides teacher training in place-based learning for the secondary STARTALK summer program at PPS.
  • Virginia LFO, a customized LinguaFolio Online platform for the Virginia Department of Education, is released.
  • CASLS joins the University of Oregon Language Council.
  • In collaboration with the Russian Flagship Program at Portland State University, CASLS hosts the first meeting of the Pacific Northwest Pathways Collective, a group of Chinese and Russian immersion stakeholders (K-12, community college, and university) tasked with articulating the various pathways to Flagship program participation throughout the Pacific Northwest.
  • LFO to Go, a mobile application to support language learning in and out of the classroom, hits the App Store and Google Play. CASLS conducts a pilot study.
  • CASLS joins the advisory board for the Hillsboro Academy of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
  • CASLS receives renewed funding to continue as a Title VI Language Resource Center.
  • CASLS Associate Director Mandy Gettler receives the University of Oregon Outstanding Officer of Administration Award.
  • CASLS becomes the steward of Games2Teach, a website with curriculum for Novice-Intermediate learners of seventeen languages. The activities accompany readily available digital games.
  • CASLS launches The Bridging Project, an online language learning course in Spanish and Chinese for Advanced-low high school students. The course uses principles of game-based learning.
  • Ecopod becomes encouraged in the University of Oregon residence halls. A place-based language learning app, Ecopod engaged learners in using the target language and knowledge of their subject areas to solve problems, find collaborators, and build community.
  • CASLS launches PEBLL, a curated database of place-based experiences relevant to language learning, geotagged and categorized by language, level, and content area.
  • CASLS welcomes Dr. Julie Sykes as our director, catapulting us to the forefront of implementing technology in the language classroom.
  • CASLS joins the University of Oregon Global Studies Institute, which fosters synergies across international projects and units.
  • CASLS begins piloting Hermes, a web-based learning management system curated specifically for online language learning. Hermes used peer-to-peer scaffolding and project-based learning to make students active agents in their language learning journey.
  • CASLS creates MyChina Village, an immersive language environment in Second Life. Learners attended the virtual summer camp to interact with native Chinese speakers and complete learning quests.
  • CASLS releases the first iteration of LinguaFolio Online.
  • CAJLS receives a Title VI Language Resource Center grant from the U.S. Department of Education to become the Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS).
  • CASLS partners with the University of Oregon Yamada Language Center to develop a virtual language lab. ANVILL, now fully hosted and developed at the Yamada Language Center, integrates the latest technologies and helps teachers create media-rich lessons for their students.
  • The Japanese Language Program receives additional funding and becomes the Center for Japanese Language Studies (CAJLS).
  • Founding Director Dr. Carl Falsgraf leads the Japanese Language Project at the Oregon University System, from which CASLS would emerge.