Apprenticing into the Academy: Communities of Practice and Learning as Participation 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

In bi-weekly Virtual Lunch and Learn & Best Practices in Teaching gatherings Graduate Teaching Assistants share their knowledge about teaching, teaching and technology tools as well as discuss research of teaching, book chapters relevant to work in an instructional setting. Anyone interested in these topics can join these meetings.

(11:45 am: Check in and Community Connect)  

 Session Description:  

When you work as a TA while completing your graduate studies, do you have the sense that the work you are doing now resembles and will prepare you for your future teaching responsibilities in a university context? We usually think of learning as mastery of content or skills, but all learning is really participation and identity construction (Lave and Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998). Ideally, working as a teaching assistant ought to be apprenticing you into the role of a teaching professor. In this session, we will identify some of the reasons why the job of a teaching assistant does not always involve a learning process that aligns with your professional goals, and we will discuss strategies for tapping into your communities of practice to promote your own learning (McDonald & Cater-Steel, 2017). The session itself will also model ways of promoting interaction in online learning contexts.  

Presenter Bio: 

Amanda Lanier (Ph.D., Georgia State University) is an applied linguist and language teacher educator who focuses on social and cultural aspects of language learning, teacher cognition, and technology in language teaching and learning. She began her career teaching English as a foreign and second language, and she has worked with teachers of 20 other languages and language varieties. Through her role as instructor and director in a fully online graduate program, MSU’s MA in Foreign Language Teaching (, Dr. Lanier has designed a dozen online graduate courses on topics including pedagogical methods, intercultural competence, language acquisition theories, and program development and administration, and she has also become an advocate for online learning and teaching. Learn more, find teacher resources, and read brief articles at

Please register below and attend and we will send you slides and other related materials.  

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 732 599 810 
Passcode: GTAsTeach