Joanne Burnett

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. After completing her master’s degree she received a Fulbright travel grant to Belgium. In Belgium she first worked as an English Assistant at the University of Liège and then moved to Spa where she worked for several years as an English teacher at CERAN-LINGUA, a private language 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 online language teacher education. She has also recently published on the Belgian pop singer Stromae (The French Review 2017).

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, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and the International Conference on Language Teacher Education. She acts as a department advisor in French and teacher licensure and supervises student teaching. She has served as Graduate Director and on the Professional Education Council, the College Advisory Council, and was co-chair of Faculty Senate's Welfare Committee. She has been instrumental in assisting her department achieve national recognition through the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) for the BA in Foreign Languages (French and Spanish initial licensure) program. She also serves as a French coordinator for study abroad and started an exchange with the Université Libre de Bruxelles in translation and interpretation. She also directs the summer French in France program. She is in charge of updating her department’s website and multimedia center for language learning. 

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 or popular fiction author Faïza Guène. 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 includes the latest technologies in her teaching practices 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!