Carnegie Mellon University

Sébastien  Dubreil

Sébastien Dubreil

Teaching Professor of French and Francophone Studies, Second Language Acquisition and Technology-Enhanced Learning

Department of Modern Languages
Carnegie Mellon University
Baker Hall 160
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


As a researcher, I find myself consistently drawn to the question of how to build learning environments that extend beyond the classroom (and even the institution) and engage learners in ways that are exciting, empowering, culturally relevant, and that foster deep learning. Thus my research aims at framing and designing complex learning experiences by critically examining the affordances of technological tools to re-envision and redesign pedagogical practices instead of merely “computerizing” previous or antiquated ones. My area of research is defined as Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and my research interests include the notion of culture in the L2 classroom, its place in the curriculum, and the use of instructional technology in setting up effective language learning environments (e.g., multimedia technology, telecollaboration) to foster transcultural learning.

Consequently, my work as a scholar is deeply intertwined with my work as a teacher in the classroom. Most recently, my research endeavors have led me to investigate the notion of social pedagogies, linguistic landscapes, and game-based language learning. In sum, I attempt to connect language learners to social formations and communities, both physical and digital. By nature, this work entails for students a wide range of exposure to practical experiences with instructional technologies (e.g., authoring e-books, video production and publishing).

Currently, my research and teaching work includes the development of an online and mobile game to investigate French learning through both gameplay and game design. This project, entitled Bonne Chance, is being developed with Cary Staples, a Professor of Design at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a team of graduate and undergraduate students. Bonne Chance was selected as a finalist for the 2015 Reimagine Education conference. My research has been published in the Modern Language Journal, the CALICO Journal, the International Journal of Personal and Virtual Learning Environment, and the L2 Journal, among others. In 2014, Dr. Heather Willis Allen (University of Wisconsin, Madison) and I co-authored Alliages culturels: La société française en transformation (Cengage Learning).


Ph.D., Emory University, 2002


Dubreil, S. & Allen, H. W. (2014). Alliages Culturels: La Société Française en Transformation. Boston: Cengage Publishing.

Refereed articles and chapters

Dubreil, S., & Stehle, M. (in press) “Internationalizing the Curriculum at Home: Transcultural Exploration in a French-German joint course.” In J. Watzinger-Tharp & P. Urlaub (Eds.) The Interconnected Language Curriculum: Critical Transitions and Interfaces in Articulated K-16 Contexts published by the American Association of University Supervisor and Coordinators. Boston: Cengage Publishing.

Howard, C., Dubreil, S., Staples, C., & Yamagata-Lynch, L. (in press) “Engaging the design process as a means for French language learning: The App Farm design.” The International Journal of Design.

Dubreil, S. (2012). “Identities, Borders, Change: (Trans)cultural Learning in Mediated Learning Communities.” Invited article to The International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments 3(2), 176-200.

Dubreil, S. (2011) “Rebels with a Cause: (Re)defining Identities and Culture in Contemporary France Through Cinema.” L2 Journal, 176-200. (Also available online at

Dubreil, S., Canfield, D., & Young, D. J. (2011) “The ‘Plinko’ Principle and Language Programs: Designing Non-Linear Hybrid Environments and Desiderata for Implementation.” Technology and Second Language Conference Proceedings. Ames, IA: TESL/Applied Linguistics and Technology,
Iowa State University.

Dubreil, S. (2009). “Regards noirs, caméras blanches: Le défi de la diversité dans le cadre d’une classe sur le cinéma africain.” Le langage et l’homme, 44(2), 173-187.

Dubreil, S. (2009) “Virtual Learning Environments for a Real (Transcultural) Dialogue: Toward New Pedagogies in Culture Teaching.” Cambridge University Press. (Also available online at

Dubreil, S. (2006). “Gaining Perspective on Culture Through CALL.” In N. Arnold and L. Ducate (Eds.) Calling on CALL: From Theory and Research to New Directions in Foreign Language Teaching. CALICO Monograph Series Volume 5 (pp. 237-268). San Marcos, TX: CALICO.

Courses Taught

  • 82-103 Elementary French I Online
  • 82-305 French in its social contexts

Department Member Since