Dr. Leif French is Department Chair and Professor of Applied Linguistics and French. He completed his graduate studies at Université Laval in Quebec City, where he earned his MA in French Linguistics (Dialectology) and PhD in linguistics, specializing in psycholinguistics and second language acquisition. Prior to joining the faculty at SHSU, he held faculty appointments at Concordia University (Montreal) and the Université du Québec where he taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in applied linguistics, supervised MA and PhD research and trained language teachers for the public and private sectors.
He has been awarded numerous internal and external research grants over the years, involving collaborators from Canada, the US, Argentina and Colombia. His work, which focuses mainly on the cognitive aspects of second language acquisition, language awareness, and teacher training, has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed venues and also presented at refereed conferences throughout the US, Canada, Europe and South America. He is currently involved in a variety of national and international research collaborations examining the development of French oral fluency in study abroad and instructed-learning contexts, the explicit teaching of French sociolinguistic variants in the classroom, linguistic barriers in bilingual healthcare (French and Spanish) and the effects of intensive language instruction.
Outside his duties as Chair, Dr. French directs SHSU’s study abroad program in Quebec, is active in numerous professional organizations (e.g., AAAL, ACTFL, ACLA), serves as the Book Review Editor for the Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics and holds an adjunct research appointment at Université Laval where he supervises graduate research in applied linguistics. In his spare time, he is an avid outdoorsman, and one can often find him spending much of his free time hiking and fishing the rivers of Idaho and Quebec, shooting sporting clays in Huntsville, or simply relaxing outside reading some nerdy book on language and enjoying a great glass of Cabernet Sauvignon
Current Research Interests
- Second language acquisition and individual differences
- Quantitative research methods; survey and classroom-based research
- Learning contexts – formal and intensive classroom instruction, short-term study abroad, immersion
- Quebec French dialectology – phonetic and grammatical differences between Québec and European French norm
- Linguistic barriers in healthcare (French- and Spanish-speaking populations)
- Language teachers’ perceptions of profession / work conditions
- Foreign-language teacher pedagogy and training
Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications
Beaulieu, S., Woll, N., French, L., & Duchemin, M. (2018). L2 learners’ metasociolinguistic reflections: A window into developing sociolinguistic repertoires. System, 76, 210-218.
Beaulieu, S., French, L.M., & Gagnon, S. (2017). I’ veulent-tu parler comme nous-autres? Opinions d’apprenants sur la forme interrogative totale en français laurentien. Arboresences, 7, 90-105.
French, L.M., Beaulieu, S. (2017). (Editors). Special Issue “Current perspectives on oral communicative competence of French second language speakers » / « Perspectives actuelles sur le développement de la compétence à l’oral en français langue seconde ». Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics / Revue canadienne de la linguistique appliquée, 20.
French, L.M., Beaulieu, S. (2017). Editorial: Current perspectives on oral communicative competence of French second language speakers. In L. French and S. Beaulieu (Editors), Special Issue “Current perspectives on oral communicative competence of French second language speakers”. Revue canadienne de la linguistique appliquée, 20.
French, L.M., Beaulieu, S., & Huot, D. (2017). Regard sur le développement de la compétence de communication à l’oral : récit rétrospectif d’un apprenant de français langue seconde. Revue canadienne de la linguistique appliquée, 20, x-xxiii.
Segalowitz, N., French, L.M., & Guay, Jean-Daniel. (2017). What features best characterize adult second language utterance fluency and what do they reveal about fluency gains in short-term immersion? Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 20, 90-115.
Simard, D., French, L.M., & Zuniga, M. (2017). Evolution of L2 self-repair behavior in narration among adult learners of French. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 20, 71-89.
Selected Refereed Conferences
Nancy, G., French, L.M., & Hummel, K. (2018, October). Examining the role of L1 fluency on L2 performance: monologic versus dialogic tasks. Paper presented at the annual meeting of Second Language Research Forum (SLRF), Montréal, Québec.
French, L.M., & Beaulieu, S. (2018, July). Sociolinguistic awareness and morphosyntactic development in French L2 at a beginner level. Paper presented at the Association of Language Awareness (ALA) Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
French, L.M., & Beaulieu, S. (2017, July). To teach or not to teach stylistic variation at a beginner level? Paper presented at the 18th World Conference of Applied Linguistics (AILA), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Beaulieu, S., Woll, N., French, L.M., & Duchemin, M. (2017, May). L2 learners’ metasociolinguistic reflections: A window into developing sociolinguistic repertoires. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics (ACLA), Toronto, Canada.
Recent External Grant Awards
Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) CAN $66, 940. Language attitudes towards non-francophone newcomers in Quebec City / Attitudes linguistiques à l'égard des nouveaux arrivants non francophones à Québec (with S. Beaulieu and K. Reinke), 2018-2020.
Texas State University, Sam Houston, Office of Academic Planning and Assessment, Assessment Mini- Grant – US $1,000. Comparing the Outcomes of Online and Face-to-Face Spanish Courses (with T. Artamonova), 2018.
Texas State University, Sam Houston, Teaching Innovation Grant (TIG) – US $10,000. Reimagining the Language Lab Experience (with M. Barker, T. Artamonova, & E. Malakaj), 2017-2018.
Texas State University, Sam Houston, Enhanced Research Grant (ERG) – US $15,000. Minority Healthcare Access and Health Communication Anxiety (with Norman Segalowitz), 2017-2018.
Courses regularly taught at SHSU
FREN 1411: Elementary French 1
FREN 1412: Elementary French 2
FREN 2311: Intermediate French 1
FREN 2312: Intermediate French 2
FREN 3367: Phonetics and Conversation
FREN 4364: Conversation and Composition
WOLC 4363: How Languages Are Learned