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Rachel W

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)


Linguistics, foreign language studies, French studies, Language teaching and learning, Language and ideology, Language and discrimination, Language and gender, Sociolinguistics, Language and society, French linguistics, Spanish linguistics, Italian linguistics, Catalan linguistics, Translation


I'm a Ph.D. candidate in Romance Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. My research examines the role and impact of teaching explicitly about language variation and change in beginning-level French language courses. I'm also interested in issues surrounding language and ideology, language and discrimination, language standardization and policy, and the social meanings behind the way people use language.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Everyday Linguistics

An "everyday linguistics" project involves diving into the world of linguistics by studying the language we hear in everyday life. Whether you want to learn more about the significance of a language's sound system, the words people use, or how people use one word/sentence to communicate several things, all this can be investigated by tuning in to the conversations happening all around you. You can learn methods for collecting speech data, how to analyze it, and what it all means for how we as humans communicate.

Research Proposal

Looking to get approval or even some funding towards a project you're passionate about? Together, we will work through the steps to developing a strong proposal, including researching existing literature, developing research questions or project goals, and devising a timeline and/or budget. We will also discuss persuasive writing strategies and adapting writing to institutional contexts.

Coding skills


Languages I know

French, Italian, Catalan

Teaching experience

I have taught French-language (French 1, 2) and French linguistics (French 35) courses at UC Berkeley, both during semesters and over summer sessions; I have also tutored French learners at various levels, from beginners to AP French students.


Work experience

Ralph Waldo Emerson Jr. High (Davis, CA) (2014 - 2015)
Teaching Assistant
Laboratoire Lattice (CNRS/ENS/Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle) (2018 - 2019)
Research Assistant
Freelance (2012 - 2016)
Private French Tutor
University of California, Berkeley (French Dept.) (2018 - Current)
Graduate Student Instructor


University of California Davis (UCD)
BA Bachelor of Arts (2016)
University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Romance Linguistics

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