Amanda Lanier at a conference in Charleston

Dr. Amanda Lanier

Director of MAFLT Program

Assistant Professor

Academic CV


I am an applied linguist and language teacher educator, currently serving as Director of the online MA in Foreign Language Teaching program at Michigan State University. For the last several years I have been working with foreign language teachers all over the U.S. and across the globe in the distance-based MA in Foreign Language Teaching at Michigan State University. We have just passed 100 students, 50 graduates, and 18 languages in the program. I have developed and taught 10 different online courses for the program, all of which are infused with technology and focus on integrating theory and research-based approaches with the real-world needs of in-service and aspiring world language teachers. My courses cover pedagogical methods, second language acquisition, culture and intercultural competence, language concepts, sociolinguistics, foreign language literacy, and reflective teaching.

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 and corpus-based pedagogy. My workshops on teaching heritage language learners and inductive approaches to 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 worked with emerging bilinguals on improvisation techniques and full productions.