In a special weekly series, the College of Liberal Arts is featuring a faculty member from one of our 13 departments. We asked questions about why they are passionate about the subjects they study and teach, and how they found their path to CSU. See all “Faculty Friday” features here.
Associate Professor of French, Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
1. What do you like most about teaching? What do you research?
I teach because I have a passion to share with students – about a culture than can change their view of the world and about a language that can take them beyond what they know and offer them the best adventures.
I research second language acquisition as I find the learning of languages quite amazing. My goals are to find ways to guide teachers in their practices, as well as learners in their strategies to learn languages. I have looked at pronunciation acquisition, service-learning related to language learning, and cultural and syntactic acquisition. Lately, I have started to look at the impact of bilingual education and how it can help children in their overall educational growth.
2. Which class is your favorite to teach and why?
That is a difficult question as I love all of the classes I teach. I teach teaching methodology courses that prepare students to become world language teachers or GTAs in our department, and they are such stimulating and fun courses. I teach French phonetics and seeing students grow in their pronunciation as well as appreciation of language is great. I teach a graduate level course on the history of French and seeing how a language has changed and is currently changing is a fascinating phenomenon that my students and I enjoy studying. And of course, I love to teach communication and grammar courses when I get the chance to!
3. What did you want to be when you were little?
I wanted to become a doctor in Central or West Africa. I really thought it would be possible until I realized I wasn’t quite gifted enough in science and math (although I find them interesting still!). Being a language professor allows me to give a chance to my students to become doctors in countries in need (or any other job they want), as they receive an awareness and linguistic tools to explore the world.
4. How did you get to CSU?
While I was finishing up my Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I applied for several tenure-track positions. The one at CSU was very attractive because my husband was working on his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences and we knew the Fort Collins/Boulder area was great for his job search. And after interviewing at CSU, I knew I wanted to be part of this type of department and university: down-to-earth, real, with great students!
5. What is one thing students would be surprised to learn about you?
Most of my activities are connected to my families so I spend a lot of time with them, we love being out in nature and travel. I enjoy running and baking!