Episode 3.7: When did 'explicit' become such a dirty word?


For most US university students, that pesky foreign language requirement can be the worst part of any semester. Despite strides language educators and researchers have made in communicative language teaching, some of these students feel like they cannot speak a new language because they cannot nail down its ‘sound’. Camille, a PhD Candidate in French and Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education at UIUC, has set out to study the benefits of explicit pronunciation instruction and self-reflection in the acquisition of foreign languages for these students completing the FL requirement. In what she presents as the Awareness Continuum Hypothesis, Camille looks at how students notice and become aware of their speech and pronunciation as they learn a new language.

Camille also talks with the GradLings about her experiences with researching, writing, and all the components of the ABD (All But Dead!) life. Similar to how her work examines how self-reflection aids students in their foreign language studies, Camille values the skill of taking a step back and looking at where she is and where she is headed. Being able to reflect on her work and life, Camille has conquered the obstacles of conducting a longitudinal study, successfully combatting conference snipers, dealing with stupid questions (they do exist) and, most importantly, learning how to say no. Please join us for this very wonderful GradLings Summer Special!