Lara is a double major in French and Psychology. She will be graduating from UC Davis this Spring and heading to Strasbourg, France to participate in the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF).
This year Lara completed an honors thesis entitled "Une étude auto-ethnographique de la discrimination et de l'insécurité linguistique dans la culture francophone" (translation: An autoethnoraphique study of discrinmination and linguistic insecurity in francophone culture), which she presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Lara's thesis discusses Glottophobia, which was coined by Blanchet in 2016 and soon after in 2020, the French penal code was modified to add accent discrimination as a legally punishable offense. This study illustrates how discrimination can affect the way individuals feel about speaking their native language. This autoethnography analyzes my personal experiences as a native French speaker from Alberta, Canada. In particular, my development of linguistic insecurity, insecurity around my accent, will be analyzed in real world situations in Canada, France and the United States. In these cases, my linguistic insecurities stem from discrimination that is perpetuated through comments, actions, and attitudes that are rooted in French institutions and culture. This insecurity is described as a feeling that my accent is inferior, not as accepted, or illegitimate. This results in feeling discomfort when speaking as well as experiencing fear, nervousness, embarrassment and shame which finally result in the avoidance of speaking. These results are meaningful because they indicate a need for change in the way linguistic differences are treated and how as a culture, there is much work to be done in order to be more accepting and inclusive.
Congratulations, Lara, on your fantastic research, presentation, and upcoming job!
Lara's poster, "Glottophobia and Linguistic Insecurity in Francophone Culture," presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in April 2023.
For more information about the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), visit https://frenchhighereducation.org/teaching-assistant-program.