Director of Undergraduate Studies
BioThe focus of my work is teaching. I take pride in my abilities as an educator and I am constantly looking for ways to improve both my style and my classroom in order to maximize the students' learning. To this end, Second Language Acquisition, Applied Linguistics, and Computer-Assisted Language Learning are important aspects of my professional research development which blend perfectly with my goals in the classroom.
Applied Linguistics is my preferred field, with a special concern for related issues in Second Language Acquisition, which influence my research in Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL). Studies have shown that CALL programs have no significant effects in improving students' language skills, however, I believe that some students benefit greatly from the constant, one-on-one environment of CALL programs.
What I also find to be motivational in developing CALL software, are student comments regarding their use of CALL programs. Their attitudes are quite reasonable in that some students enjoy these types of programs, while others dislike using them for a variety of reasons. These include: lack of basic computer knowledge, availability of the actual machines, access to computers, and hardware and software problems. I believe that these factors are important when trying to determine the efficacy of CALL programs and their use in or out of the classroom. It is therefore vital to consider the student when designing CALL software for use in foreign language classrooms. At Carnegie Mellon, I am lucky to have a wealth of technology at my disposal, but moreover, to work with students who are familiar with computers and enjoy using them. It has also been my pleasure to join the faculty of the MCALL program, a master’s level program at Carnegie Mellon.
I, along with the students in my courses, have shown extensive interest in French and francophone cultures. I encourage study abroad to any francophone region, and am available for questions on this topic.