Patrick Durel

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Personal profile


My teaching career started early when I was in France. After my baccalauréat, I studied at the École normale (Rouen), obtained the equivalent of a B.Ed. and started teaching in primary schools and colleges in Rouen's urban peripheries.

I then went back to university and all the while I was studying for a B.A in English and linguistics, I started teaching English to year 10 to 12.

My university in France had an exchange agreement with the University of New England (ARmidale, NSW), so I came to Australia in 1986 on a two year lecteur contract (native speaker tutor) while I was finishing a Masters in English Literary Studies.

I continued my studies at the University of Sydney in the English Department and was then recruited by the Department of French Studies as a tutor. As I was enjoying the teaching aspect of my job, I started looking for ways to design better programs and better activities and felt I needed to get a better understanding of the processes involved in learning a foreign language and teaching it. I therefore did in parallel a Masters in Applied Linguistics at the Université of Franche-Comté and also completed a Dip in H.Ed at UNSW.

I came to Monash in 1999 and have been lecturing since in French Studies while continuing to focus my research on second language acquisition in a classroom context. I did a first doctoral thesis for my DEA on the Impact of grammar assistant software on student cognitive processes (Centre de linguistique appliquée, Université de Franche-Comté) and then completed a Doctorat (Ph.D) at the Université de Grenoble (LIDILEM, Laboratoire de Linguistique et Didactique des Langues Etrangères et Maternelles).

I feel extremely privileged as my research feeds into my classroom practice which in turn feeds into my research. Observing my students, listening to them, talking to them about their difficulties has allowed me to gain significant insights into how to design programs and conduct classroom activities. Any success I may have when teaching wouldn’t be possible without their contribution.

Research area keywords

  • Second Language Learning in a classroom context
  • E-learning
  • ICT education
  • Second language writing