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Kelly M. Moser, Ph.D. 

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I am an Associate Professor of Spanish and World Language Education in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages and Literatures at Mississippi State University. My goal is to improve world language teaching and to support and learn from world language teachers across the country. Reach out by filling the form below.

As a world language (WL) teacher educator, my goal is to improve the quality of and access to WL education (WLE) throughout my state and region. My professional work relies on the inseparable nature of teaching, research, and service. New understandings from research serve as a point of departure for re-envisioning instruction, both in my own Spanish classrooms and in my WLE courses. However, scholarship is most impactful when it is both accessible and relevant to in-service teachers. Molding teachers’ praxis is only possible if we understand their professional lives and the contexts within which they work, again merging research and service. If as a nation we truly want to have global citizens who are able to communicate respectfully within and across cultures, we must fill classrooms with exceptional, dedicated educators. However, it is our responsibility to support them by recognizing the realities of todays’ schools, the challenges of working in a post-pandemic era, and an educational system that fails to prioritize multilingualism. Every aspect of my teaching, research, and service contributes to this aim.

Candidates at ACTFL


Candidates at MFLA


Flyer for Upcoming Fall Class and Minors/Certificate


Sample GTA Mentor Topic


Sample Syllabus with Can-Do Statements


Sample Interpretive Reading for IPA


Virtual Classrooms

Impact on Current and Future Professionals

My career in teaching began in rural east Tennessee in 2003 when I was hired as a high school Spanish teacher after earning my Master’s in Spanish literature. Throughout that first year, I came to recognize four realities: (1) though I had taken coursework in applied linguistics and pedagogy, I had never interacted with K-12 students, and so I knew very little about the work of a teacher; (2) I wanted to make WL learning accessible to all learners beginning with young children; (3) I was passionate about working with students; and (4) I needed to improve. These realizations led me to earn a second Master’s degree in WLE under the mentorship and guidance of the late Dr. Pattie Davis-Wiley.

In 2011, I earned a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in WLE. I was hired as an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of WLE in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Mississippi State University. My role was to modify the WLE curriculum which had neither reflected the ACTFL/NCATE (now CAEP) Program Standards nor guided teacher candidates toward success on licensure tests.

The following is the outcome of my work:

  • I redesigned the program, including adding classes in linguistics, second language acquisition, and methodology. Other courses were specifically selected (e.g., World Literature, World Geography, Cultural Anthropology, Child Development and Psychology) to provide a foundation in both the humanities and pedagogy.

  • Because candidates did not have coursework in WL pedagogy and were eligible for their K-12 license in the state, I created classes that embedded field experiences in elementary, middle, and high schools.

  • I consistently relied on in-service teachers as experts who could talk directly with my candidates and mentor them throughout their field work.

  • I worked with ACTFL to provide training on proficiency levels and expectations to faculty in the Department of Foreign Languages.

  • I collaborated with faculty to ensure that candidates’ proficiency was assessed at curricular milestones (meeting Intermediate Mid after two years; Advanced Low upon completion).

  • I paid for faculty to take the Praxis World Language Test so that they would have a concrete understanding of Advanced Low proficiency and the test used to obtain certification.

  • I supported candidates to increase the licensure test success rate which rose from 0 to 100%.

  • I emphasized the importance of professionalism by taking my candidates to ACTFL and requiring them to present at their state WL association conference.

To read about the impact of these curricular changes, see Moser, K.M. (2014). From praxis to program development. Foreign Language Annals, 47, 134-146.

In 2018, I joined the Department of Classical & Modern Languages and Literatures and currently serve as an Associate Professor of Spanish and WLE. This transition to a new department shifted my role from training pre-service teacher candidates to supporting in-service educators, my university WL colleagues, and our graduate teaching assistants (GTAs).

My work has led to:

  • a new undergraduate and graduate minor as well as a post-baccalaureate certificate in WL teaching;

  • a modified framework to train GTAs including a mentorship program and re-envisioned workshop;

  • Spanish GTAs work directly under the supervision of an expert instructor who joins them in co-planning, co-instruction, and co-assessment;

  • redesigned syllabi for Spanish 1-4 focused on proficiency goals and Can-Do statements;

  • a bank of integrated performance assessments for use throughout Spanish 1-4 ensuring an iterative cycle of feedback integrated in classes;

  • a shared database of lesson plans and all related materials for Spanish faculty to use and/or modify;

  • a new model for teacher observation focused on pre-observation discussion, teacher strengths, and empowering educators through reflection.

On a final note, it is also important to see examples of my own classes and the activities I believe are particularly creative or innovative.


Beginning with Spanish, my classes have included the following types of learning activities:

  • Students in Spanish 1 work together on an information gap activity in which they use a budget to find the items needed for their classes.

  • Students listen to me as they trace my travels in Madrid using a subway map (Spanish 1); Students in Spanish 2 use the same map; however, they give verbal instructions to a classmate from Point A to Point B.

  • Students complete an input-based activity in which they select places that make a town a “good” place to live. They use this information to rate our town on a scale of 1-5, and we use their response to create a class assessment of the town (Spanish 1). Spanish 2 students can complete the same activity; however, they are expected to create their own lists, which makes the task less input-driven.

  • Spanish 2 students review the McDonald’s breakfast menu in Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico. They engage in discussions related to how culture informs dietary practices and preferences. They then compare McDonald’s nutrition and prices between countries and the United States.

  • Spanish 2 students watch an episode of House Hunters in Spanish and then use the couple’s wish list to justify which house would be best for them.

  • Spanish 2 students read reviews of various restaurants in our town and then determine which restaurant is being described. They then use these examples to create their own restaurant review.

  • Spanish 4 students review the profiles of candidates who are running for election. They then create a fact sheet for Spanish speakers who may not speak English.

  • Spanish 4 students poll other university students about their main concerns related to the town and campus. They use these to create a video advertisement for a fictional university presidential campaign.

  • Spanish 4 students reflect on their own actions and their impact on the environment. They use these to create goals to reduce their carbon footprint.


In pedagogy, my goal is to provide GTAs with concrete examples of real classrooms in the state in both K-12 and post-secondary levels.


For this reason, my courses have focused on:

  • dividing class time in half so that students can shift from theory to practice;

  • relying on instructional rounds to engage GTAs in dialogic discussions related to instructional decisions and the work of teaching, whether visible or invisible;

  • using an iterative framework that requires students to create lesson plans and materials, receive feedback, and then modify them. Students submit final portfolios.

  • embedding real school experiences: Q&A with teachers; observations of teaching and learning; creating lesson plans and materials; designing exploratory lessons and experiences for younger learners (e.g., a culminating event called with hands-on cultural tasks for K-5 students)

  • connecting all coursework through field experiences in K-12 schools.

  • using virtual worlds to prepare candidates for digital contexts.

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