Alumni Ambassadors

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor
Job title
Academic year
August 2013 - May 2014
TESOL and World Language Education
Spanish for Non-Spanish Speakers: Cultivating Critically and Creatively Engaged Second Language Learners across US-Mexico Borders

Melisa "Misha" Cahnmann-Taylor is a Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia and the author of five books addressing intersections between language education and the literary, visual and performing arts including one book of poems. Her research is focused on English language learners and their educators engaged in the art of acquiring a second or additional language. Supported by grants from the Georgia Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Resplandor, Fulbright, and the Willson Center, her work narrates the heartache, headache, and joy of teaching and learning language. As rotating program chair in the TESOL & World Language program, Melisa teaches courses to endorse ESOL teachers, as well as courses looking at bilingual education practices, histories, theories, and policies around the world. Melisa’s Fulbright included teaching English language poetry courses at UABJO university in Oaxaca, Mexico and connected students interested in learning the English language with English speaking members of the Oaxaca Lending Library interested in learning Spanish and indigenous languages. Her Fulbright resulted in a 2014 poetry night featuring UABJO student and faculty poets at the library and became the material for my book of poems, Imperfect Tense and my book on Arts-Based Research in Education. Melisa has continued to develop arts-based language pedagogies in Guanajuato, Mexico where she served as a scholar-artist in residence and in Jerusalem where she taught poetry and theatre arts to a great diversity of Israeli English teachers. 

Ask Me About:

  • Taking a family on Fulbright
  • Parenting and schooling young children abroad
  • Identifying as Jewish
  • Navigating family language acquisition
  • Making meaningful connections with local families
  • Finding time for making art
  • Connecting with other Americans while abroad
  • Convincing your institution of the value of Fulbright for scholars