College of Education and Human Development

Family Social Science

Margaret Kelly

  • Pronouns: she/her/hers

  • Senior Teaching Specialist and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Margaret Kelly

Areas of interest

The interaction between native and nonnative speakers of English and communication, and miscommunication between people.


MA, English as a Second Language
Minnesota Adult Basic Education license
University of Minnesota, 2002
BA, History, with honors in the Liberal Arts
University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1995


I am driven to help learners engage in the communities and broader world around them.  I believe deeply in the benefit of seeking knowledge by going outside the space of the university.  While my 1000 level courses build the skills of critical reading, writing and discussion, I also ask my students to work in the community around them (through the Center for Community Engaged Learning) in order to apply their learning to a context outside the theoretical.  

What Students Can Expect From Me

Community: you will learn the names of all of your classmates, which is the first step in building community. Individual work is very important in all of my courses, but understanding the perspectives of your classmates and engaging with them is crucial to our classroom.

Commitment to your academic growth:  I believe that learning involves hard work and happens in a supportive, yet challenging environment. Constructive feedback is crucial. I actively work with students to help them develop the necessary skills for our coursework, and for future studies.

This is my 15th year teaching at the University of Minnesota. It is an honor and a privilege to work with students. As a senior teaching specialist, the majority of my work involves teaching. Currently I teach FSoS 1211--An Interdisciplinary Look at Family in Multicultural America, and EDHD1525W- First Year Inquiry.

Both of the classes that I teach involve community engaged learning.  In other words, learners work in the community at a variety of sites including schools, libraries, food shelves, shelters for families experiencing homelessness, and more.  I am committed to helping learners engage with our community in a way that creates connections and curiosity for more learning and engagement.  

I come to teaching from the field of Applied Linguistics. I have a MA in Teaching English as a Second Language--Applied Linguistics. My graduate research focused on the interaction between native and nonnative speakers of English and how miscommunication (due to issues of both language and cultural norms) was or was not repaired (fixed). I continue to be interested in communication and miscommunication between people.