Laura Castano Laverde
Since fall 2014, Laura Castano has been an undergraduate student specializing in the Second Language Teaching (SLT) program. She met Professor Jérémie Séror while taking one of her program courses during the fall of 2015. Professor Séror and his research partner Professor Alyssa Weinberg inquired her about becoming their research assistant, which she gladly accepted. Speaking more than three languages since childhood, she has taken an interest in the cognitive and social processes of language learning, specially in multicultural contexts. Working with both professors also interested her in pursuing the Masters degree in Bilingualism at the official languages and bilingualism institute (OLBI) of the University of Ottawa.
Jessica is currently finishing her master’s degree in Second Language Education at the Faculty of Education of the University of Ottawa. In addition, she is a graduate of the DLS program, holding a Bachelor’s of Arts in Second Language Teaching. Her thesis research focused on first-year undergraduate French immersion students’ linguistic identities as they transitioned to post-secondary education at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include student experience of UOttawa students in the RIF, bilingual teaching and learning in Canada as well as post-secondary education and student retention. In the past several years, Jessica has also assisted in various research projects focusing on second language learners at the University of Ottawa with Dr. Jérémie Séror, Dr. Marie-Josée Hamel, Dr. Sylvie Lamoureux, Dr. Douglas Fleming, Dr. Françis Bangou. Since 2013, she has been teaching as a part-time language instructor with the Official Language and Bilingualism Institute of the University of Ottawa, primarily in the intensive language programs of the English Intensive Program and the West China Professional Development Program as well as holding the position of acting coordinator for the Summer University for FSL/FLS teachers in 2015. Recently, she has joined the Student Academic Success Services’ (SASS) Academic Support Unit as a Learning Consultant. She is delighted to join the Post Secondary Immersion Research Group (PSIRG) in the aims of continuing developing post-secondary immersion research projects in order to positively impact their student experience.
Thierry Simonet is a student in the History program where he is pursuing his Honours B.A. since the fall of 2013. Having spent time in the classroom with French Immersion Studies (FIS) students during his studies, he met Alysse Weinberg, a French immersion Professor. Impressed by the perseverance of these francophile students, Mr. Simonet decided to study the factors of attrition during their immersion learning in the FIS program. He has made this study his main research within the Undergraduate Research Oppotunity Program (UROP) under the supervision of Professor Weinberg. Since then, he is an active member of the Post Secondary Immersion Research Group (PSIRG).