Associate Professor of French
Dr. Burnett obtained her M.A. in French and Second Language Acquisition at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and her Ph.D. in French and Second Language Acquisition at the Pennsylvania State University, State College-University Park. Between her master’s degree and her doctorate she resided in Spa, Belgium where she worked for several years as an English teacher in a private school for European business executives.
Working as a qualitative researcher, her articles and book chapters include the teaching of second language literatures and the integration of technology in second language classrooms. In addition, she has published several translations on conservation and the environment in Madagascar and on the histories of colonial French Louisiana. Her current research looks at the social and local realities of classroom management among ethnically diverse student populations. She is most interested in how language teachers confront and resolve dilemmas of adolescent behaviors within a discordant framework of first and second language and first and second culture identities.
She has presented at conferences both nationally and internationally from Vancouver to Québec and Washington D.C. to New York including at some of the largest language conferences in the United States: the American Association of Applied Linguistics,the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the American Association of Teachers of French, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. She acts as a department advisor in French and teacher licensure and supervises student teaching. She has served on the Professonal Education Council, the College Advisory Council, and was co-chair of Faculty Senate's Welfare Committee. She has been instrumental in assisting her department in achieving national recognition from the ACTFL/NCATE accrediting agencies. She also serves as a French coordinator for study abroad and is co-director of the summer French in France program in Paris and Nice. She is in charge of updating her department’s website and multimedia center for language learning. She currently serves as the department’s Graduate Director for the Master of Arts in the Teaching of Languages.
Her own personal goal as a French teacher and language educator is to instill a love and a passion, not only for the French language, but also for Francophone cultures as she seeks to integrate diverse literatures and histories as far flung as the life of Marie Antoinette and the novels of contemporary Francophone-Cameroonian author Calixthe Beyala. She is a keen observer of French and American popular culture which serves as a starting point for a range of cross-cultural comparisons and discussions in her classes. She brings the latest technologies to bear on her teaching methodologies and is also quite keen to weave together a true “French civilization approach” as she regularly uses documentaries, films, music, history, and literature to frame the stories she knows are significant for today’s students and for future teachers of French. A personal goal of Dr. Burnett’s is to travel the Francophone world visiting as many countries, places or lands that the colonial French influenced. To date she has visited or lived in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Canada, Louisiana, Haiti, and Morocco. Tomorrow: Mali and Martinique!