I came to the University of Arizona (UA) in 2013 as an exchange student from Germany. Even though I’d been enrolled in a teacher training program (secondary education) for a few years prior to moving to the Southwest, I decided to stay in the U.S. to pursue a career in higher education. In 2015, I completed the M.A. program in English Language and Linguistics at UA (now English Applied Linguistics) as well as an M.Ed. degree in English, French, and Educational Studies with a concentration in foreign language instruction from the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. I also spent a semester abroad as an Erasmus student at the Université Rennes 2 – Haute Bretagne in 2011.
I currently teach first-year composition in the English Department. My philosophy to teaching (in a nutshell) is “think outside the box and across borders.” I enjoy challenging my students’ ideas about themselves, their culture, and the world because so many great ideas pop up in our heads when we leave our comfort zone. It is my hope that the ambiguity I make an integral part of my teaching and the cognitive conflicts I try to create will help my students to become open-minded individuals who embrace otherness and different lifestyles rather than perceive them as a threat to their own identity constructions.
My overarching academic interest is intercultural education. In particular, I’ve been thinking about how we can teach our students intercultural understanding through the study of the linguistic systems they acquire as their L1(s) and L2(s). Other current interests of mine, which are closely tied to my focus on intercultural learning, include native-speaker models and models of functional language use, multilingualism, language ideology in EFL teaching materials and materials development, myth and culture teaching in online environments, critical discourse studies, teacher cognition, student plagiarism in ESL contexts, legitimate participatory membership in communities of practice (mostly in relation to genre theory), and sexual identities in L2 contexts. My most recent work focuses on pronunciation teaching in global EFL settings and how it relates to symbolic competence and social roles in L2 learning.