Amanda Lanier at a conference in Charleston

Dr. Amanda Lanier

Program Director, Foreign Language Teaching

Faculty, Michigan State University

PhD, Georgia State University | Applied Linguistics

LinkedIn | Amanda Lanier


Hi! I am an applied linguist and language teacher educator, and I serve as Director of the Foreign Language Teaching graduate programs at Michigan State University. Because the MAFLT is fully online, I have had the opportunity to work with in-service foreign language teachers all over the U.S. and across the globe, and my research interests have shifted to focus more on teacher identity and development along with the pedagogy of intercultural competence and corpus analysis and support for heritage and critical languages. I have developed and taught graduate courses in pedagogical methods, second language acquisition, culture and intercultural competence, language concepts, sociolinguistics, foreign language literacy, reflective teaching, and, most recently, program development and administration. Technology features prominently in all of my courses, and I enjoy web design, graphic design, learning about new apps, and seeing my students grow in confidence with their teaching and the tools that facilitate it.

Because learning transforms who we are and what we can do, it is an experience of identity. It is not just an accumulation of skills and information, but a process of becoming… it is in that formation of an identity that learning can become a source of meaningfulness and of personal and social energy.

from Communities of Practice (Wenger, 1998, p. 215)

My research, writing, and presentations have focused on social and cultural aspects of language learning and use, particularly in regard to less-commonly taught languages (LCTLs), heritage language learners, and online learning. My dissertation focused on language, literacy, and identity in young learners of Arabic as a foreign language. I have also published on intercultural communication in a distance learning environment, and I present regularly on intercultural competence, corpus-based pedagogy, and teacher development. My workshops on Teaching Heritage Language Learners and Discovering Grammar (inductive approaches to teaching grammar) are both structured as websites and available under Language Teaching on this site.

My career as a language instructor began in 2002, when I moved to the Czech Republic to teach English as a foreign language (EFL). I have since taught overseas and in the U.S. in private language schools, intensive English programs, and undergraduate and graduate programs. I am also trained as an actor, director, musician, and dancer, and I have incorporated drama-based approaches into courses and worked with emerging bilinguals on improvisation techniques and full productions.

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