CeLTA Learning Communities

MSU Learning Communities (MSU-LC; formerly Faculty Learning Communities/FLC) are focused on “a continuous process of learning and reflection, supported by colleagues, with an intention of getting things done” (McGill & Beaty, 2001, p. 11). MSU Learning Communities are more than just seminar series, formal committees, project teams, or support, self-development, or counseling groups.

College of Arts and Letters Learning Communities meet for a period of at least six months; have voluntary membership; meet at a designated time and in an environment conducive to learning; develop empathy among members; operate by consensus, not majority; develop their own culture, openness, and trust; engage complex problems; energize and empower participants; have the potential of transforming institutions into learning organizations; and are holistic in approach.

CAL Learning Communities typically meet once a month for an academic year, and activities range from some discussion around projects and/or readings to more hands-on building, creating, and doing. Some learning communities have specific products (e.g., grant proposals, courses, collaboratively constructed conference presentations, or manuscripts); others do not have set or specific products.

2022 – 2023 Learning Community

Accessibility for Teaching and Learning in Language Instruction  
Facilitators: Caitlin Cornell and Adam Gacs 

This year, we will explore accessibility and disability-inclusion when it comes to language teaching and learning in various learning environments (in person, synchronous online, asynchronous online, hybrid) for the purpose of improving accessibility for disabled students by supporting instructors and administrators as they work to make language learning accessible. We will focus on such topics as how to approach the creation of more accessible materials early in the course design process, how to check and continually improve existing teaching practices, and what to pay attention to when working with and adopting various tools. We will also explore perspectives from disabled students on disability-inclusion and how their perspectives relate to best practices for language teaching. 

This learning community is sponsored by MSU’s Office of Faculty and Academic Staff Development. 

Schedule: Initially, Fall 2022 sessions will be held virtually via Zoom or Teams one Tuesday per month (9/20, 10/18, and 11/15) from 3:30-4:30 PM EST. A hybrid option is possible for certain future meetings in Wells Hall B-129 and/or B-125. The Spring 2023 schedule will be decided in January 2023. 

If you would like to join this community, or even just add your name to our list for future events related to accessibility for language teaching and learning, please fill out this interest formEmail Caitlin Cornell (cornel28@msu.edu) with any questions.

2021 – 2022 Learning Community

Designing Physical Post-Pandemic Learning Spaces

The pandemic changed and heightened discussions around the intentional use and affordances of physical learning spaces. As we contemplate what a return to campus looks like, this learning community investigates the theory and praxis of designing and redesigning our built environment to fulfill our educational mission.

This faculty learning community is divided into two phases: during the fall semester, we will read texts, have group discussions, and listen to invited speakers and experts in the field, such as architects, researchers, administrators, designers, and leaders. We plan on rich, interdisciplinary discussions from a variety of perspectives. During the spring semester, we will actively redesign a CeLTA designated physical space based on the group’s shared knowledge and diverse perspectives.

Learning community facilitators: Felix Kronenberg and Caitlin Cornell

Spring 2022 schedule: virtual meetings Tuesday 2/15, 3/22, and 4/19 from 2:00-3:00pm.

Email Caitlin Cornell (cornel28@msu.edu) if you would like to join this community.

2020 – 2021 Learning Community

Alternative Modes for Early Literacy and Language Instruction (AMELLI)

The disruption caused by Covid-19 has significantly affected early literacy instruction throughout the country, in particular students from low-income, urban and rural communities. The lack of access to technological tools like high-speed internet and electronic devices has greatly disadvantaged students of this population. The goal of this learning community is to support ongoing efforts to bridge the digital divide with a focus on early literacy and language instruction while exploring alternative modes of delivery that are sustainable.


Learning Community Facilitators: Margo Glew (glewmarg@msu.edu) & Sandhya Shanker (shankers@msu.edu)

Register by clicking here

Previous CeLTA Learning Communities:

Learning Community: Writing and Language Learning (2019-20)

The 2019-2020 LC will seek to engage participants in discussions regarding the topic of writing and language learning. In monthly meetings, educators from all levels will discuss current developments in research, teaching approaches and techniques, and have ample opportunity for personal development. Discussions will be tailored to the contexts and needs of the LC participants. The LC will be lively, exciting, and a combination of analytical, theoretical, and philosophical discussions. We hope you’ll join us! Faculty and academic staff who participate should, of course, consider their participation as part of their service work. The group will talk about a variety of topics related to writing and language instruction. The exact topics will be determined by the group members, but some discussion could be related to the following topics: Composition and revision, grading and feedback (including rubrics, tools for time saving), social writing (including technologies that can allow synchronous work), using writing to enhance/develop other skills and language for specific purposes.

The Intersection of Technology and Language Learning (2018-19)

The 2018-2019 LC engages participants in discussions regarding the intersection of technology and language learning. In monthly meetings, educators from all levels discuss current developments in research, teaching approaches and techniques, and have ample opportunity for personal development. Topics include gamification, digital scholarship lab resources, accessibility in technology, research issues in technology from an SLA perspective, and a technology potluck. 

2017-18 FLC: Bringing Proficiency and Assessment Together (2017-18)

The 2017-2018 FLC engaged participants in discussions about proficiency standards, teaching, and assessment, especially in light of the data from the Language Flagship Proficiency Initiative. In monthly meetings, educators from all levels discussed research findings, teaching approaches and techniques, and their intersection.

Building Bridges: Language, Acquisition, and Teaching (Spring 2016)

This Learning Community engaged participants in discussions about language acquisition and how it informs classroom practice. In monthly meetings, educators from all levels discussed research findings, teaching approaches and techniques, and their intersection. Discussions were tailored to the contexts and needs of the participants. Meetings were broadcasted/recorded through Zoom in order to allow flexible participation.

Language Learning in Online Environments (2014-15, 2013-14)

This Learning Community focused on language learning in online environments with the goal of expanding and enhancing blended and online course offerings across the College’s language programs. In monthly meetings, faculty and academic staff discussed relevant topics on online learning, language learning, and their intersection. They also engaged in hands-on experience creating blended/online course models.