Reader in French
My language teaching experience in secondary schools, both in France and in Britain, proved an invaluable context for my contributions to the British Higher Education system. It gave me a clear understanding of school leavers, their knowledge, difficulties and general concerns at entry to a degree course.
I was Head of Year 1 for French here at the School of European languages for many years. Now that I am French Programme Director, I continue to oversee and coordinate Year 1 French language in the department.
I completed my undergraduate studies at Paris III-Sorbonne nouvelle, gaining a First Class degree (Mention Très Bien) in English with Spanish in 1990. My degree in Modern Foreign Languages provided me with my first taste of teaching languages during a year as a French assistant in a secondary school and a Sixth Form college in Plymouth, an experience which was to confirm my calling to a teaching career. I subsequently studied at Sussex University and Paris III and was awarded an MA in 1991 (Mention Très Bien), which was followed in 1992 by a DEA (Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies) also with 1st Class Honours. I completed the higher French Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (Agrégation) where I was ranked 15th in this national competitive examination. After a year teaching MFL in a secondary school in Paris, I joined Cardiff University to become a Foreign Language Assistant in French in the School of European Studies. I was appointed Tutorial Fellow in 1994, Professional Tutor in 2004 and Lecturer in 2010.
Membership and External activities
September 2012: Higher Education representative in the WJEC consultation on the future of French A-levels.
October 2012-October 2016: External examiner for French in Polylang, the Open Language Programme of the University of Westminster.
Honours and awards
January 2011: LLAS (Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies): £1,000 to fund research into the NSS (National Student Survey)
I teach the pedagogy of modern foreign languages to Erasmus students on their year abroad here in Cardiff. This gives them theoretical and empirical training, strengthening their employability through the development of key transferable skills.
My teaching of translation is informed by my professional experience in this field. I have translated on a freelance basis for private companies and charities, providing French translations for websites, official documents, book sections and music CD sleeves.
My experience also includes teaching Business French, for companies throughout South Wales and for a Business French school module led by Prof. Cummings, including preparing students for the prestigious Paris Chamber of Commerce exams.
I have a strong interest in the contributions that information technology can make to language teaching, in the classroom and for independent learning. From the start I was part of a small University-wide team to pilot the Blackboard and Web-CT projects, now widely adopted. I have a special interest in CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning), WELL (Web-Enhanced Language Learning) and OLEs (Online Learning Environments). I am always looking forward to exciting innovations which technological and IT developments can provide to our language students.