Academic Degrees: Ph.D. in French and Educational Studies, Emory University; M.A. in French literature, Emory University
Roles: Coordinator of the French language program, Co-founder & Advisor of the Certificate in Teaching Language & Culture, Language Advisor for the Office of International Education
Research Interests: Psychology of language learning and teaching, virtual environments in language learning, curriculum development, & language program evaluation
Courses: LING 200: Second Language Acquisition; RLL210: Language Pedagogy: Theories, Practices, & Approaches; RLL220: Second Language research and practice; Beginning French I: Cross-Cultural Encounters in French; Beginning French II: Paris in Virtual Reality
My research intersects the fields of psychology of language learning and teaching, educational technology and virtual environments in language learning, curriculum development, & language program evaluation. My current book project Perspectives on Teaching Language and Content (with Stacey Katz Bourns and Cheryl Krueger), in press with Yale University Press, aims to create links between foreign language pedagogy and meaningful content through the intersection of innovative theories, approaches, and practices. Collaboratively written by scholars with expertise in theoretical linguistics, literary and cultural studies, and education, the book provides guidelines and models that prepare instructors to teach in a rapidly changing and evolving field. My research has also been featured in the Modern Language Journal, Foreign Language Annals, the Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) Journal, Language Learning, the International Journal of Applied Linguistics, and various edited volumes. In 2014, I co-organized a Language Program Evaluation symposium at Harvard. The symposium, Innovation and Accountability in Language Program Evaluation, was related to my edited volume of the same title (co-edited with John Norris), and the main objective was to explore contemporary approaches, tools, and recommendations that can make evaluation a valuable means for identifying and acting on a language program’s strengths and weaknesses.
In curriculum design, I aim to move away from more traditional classroom structures and instead included experiential and virtual learning contexts. The Beginning French II course is contextualized around Paris and its arts, media, neighborhoods, and housing and students immerse themselves virtually in Parisian life. With the support of a grant from the Harvard Inititiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT) (2017-2018), I collaboratively developed a virtual reality (VR) project for this course that immerses students in the lives of four diverse Parisians who live in the same quarter of Paris (in collaboration with Rus Gant, Chris Dede, and Wonda VR). I have been invited to speak about the initiative at various conferences and institutions including Yale, Princeton, MIT, and Columbia and the project was featured in Boston.com (What we learned at Hub Week 2018) and the Educause Review (Three Exampls from the Field AR and VR in Teaching and Research). The teaching team and I were fortunate to receive the ABL Connect award for Teaching Innovation from Harvard's Center for Teaching and Learning (2018) for this VR program and its accompanying pedagogical materials. Details on this project will be featured in a chapter entitled "Engagement and Immersion in Virtual Reality Narratives" (in preparation, Multilingual Matters). Expanding on the work from this project, we received an additional HILT grant to support virtual reality pedagogical initiatives across Harvard (2019-2020) (with Susan Berstler & Rus Gant).
I have also had the opportunity to work in the realm of digital humanities as one of the co-founders of the Charlie Archive at Harvard Library, a multimedia collection of printed and digital materials produced in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris. The idea of creating such a collection emerged from a conversation among a literature scholar, two librarians (who specialize in digital preservation, Western Europe, and political ephemera), and me. The support from the Lasky-Barajas Fund for Digital Arts & Humanities has allowed us to grow this digital humanities project, and it now includes a collection of diverse donations from around the world. The archive, intended for both scholarly and pedagogical purposes, has collected various materials such as photos, cartoons, personal narratives, paintings, independent films, and blogs. In January 2017, we curated an interactive exhibit of digital and ephemeral materials from the Charlie Archive at the French Cultural Center in Boston. The archive was also featured in the popular press (Le Monde, TV5 Monde, L'Obs, and the Harvard Gazette).