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Department ofModern Languages and Literatures

Kristen Terry

Kristen Terry
Kristen Kennedy Terry

Academic Year Adjunct Lecturer

I am delighted to be starting my third year in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at SCU where I teach a Cultures & Ideas 1 & 2 sequence in the Core Curriculum (The Francophone World), as well as French for a Global Marketplace, French Sociolinguistics, and Elementary French 1-3. Prior to teaching at SCU, I taught academic writing at UC Merced, elementary French at Saint Mary's College, and elementary/intermediate French and sociolinguistics courses at UC Davis.

I completed my Ph.D. in French at the UC Davis in 2012 and my research interests include second language acquisition and sociolinguistics, specifically language variation and change. My dissertation research, “What we don’t learn in the classroom: the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence during study abroad”, focused on the acquisition of informal spoken French (or, in linguistic terms, target-like patterns of phonological variation) by American university students during study abroad in France. In this study, I focused specifically on the role of social networks with native speakers, measured using a social network strength scale, and how these social networks contribute to the acquisition of informal French by American learners.

Before returning to graduate school to pursue my Ph.D. in French, I earned my B.A. in Economics/International Area Studies at UCLA. While at UCLA, I spent my junior year abroad in Pau and Paris, France, and after graduating, I returned to Pau for a second year to work as an English instructor for the French national petroleum company, Elf-Aquitaine. I then earned my M.B.A. at Saint Mary’s College of California and worked as a Senior Financial Analyst for nine years at PeopleSoft, a financial and human resources software manufacturer based in Pleasanton, CA. During my time at PeopleSoft, I had the opportunity to work in our Sydney, Australia office for over three years. Today, in addition to being passionate about teaching language and linguistics, I enjoy traveling, reading, and spending time with my husband and two daughters.


  • Introduction to French Language & Culture I - III

  • Cultures & Ideas: 1 & 2: The Francophone World
  • French for a Global Marketplace

  • Sociolinguistics: The Francophone World

Kennedy Terry, K. (forthcoming). Sociolinguistic variation in L2 French: what schwa elision patterns reveal about language acquisition during study abroad. In R. Bayley, D. R. Preston, & X. Li (Eds.), Linguistic variation in second and heritage languages: Crosslinguistic perspectives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Kennedy Terry, K. (2017). Contact, Context, and Collocation: The Emergence of Sociostylistic Variation in L2 French Learners during Study Abroad. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 39(3), 553-578.

Kennedy Terry, K. & Russell Webb, E. (2013). Modeling the emergence of a typological anomaly: vowel nasalization in French. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 155-169.