This page contains information about the presenters of the session.

Laura Catharine Smith


Laura Catharine Smith is an Associate Professor of Germanic Linguistics at Brigham Young University teaching classes in the history of German, German phonetics, the linguistic structure of German, second language acquisition and linguistics research and writing. Originally hailing from Toronto, Canada, Laura earned a BA(Hons) in Language and Linguistics and a B.Ed. (French and History/Social Sciences) at Queen’s University at Kingston. She continued her education at the University of Calgary, earning an MA in Historical Linguistics before studying at the University of Munich on a scholarship from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Office). Laura then completed a second MA in theoretical linguistics and a dual PhD in Germanic and Theoretical Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin—Madison where she was awarded the French-Felton Award for Inspirational Teaching.

Throughout her schooling and career, Laura has maintained an equal interest in researching both historical linguistics and second language acquisition, inspired by her K-16 foreign language teaching experience. Her SLA research examines in particular factors that influence how learners of French and German perceive and pronounce their second languages, factors including the role that a learner’s first language dialect plays. This research has helped clarify difficulties that native Utahns have with German vowels. She also presented with David Tertipes at UFLA on the benefits of the use of explicit linguistic instruction in the German classroom. Laura is also a member of the Utah Taskforce for German and is currently the President-Elect for the Utah Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG).

Outside of the office, Laura is a competitive adult figure skater and solo ice dancer, having competed at the 2011 U.S. Solo Ice Dance National Championships. She recently completed her first marathon, loves cooking, hiking, travelling, and photography. Laura was also a judge this past summer at the National American Miss Utah pageant.

Cherice Montgomery


Cherice Montgomery holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy with an emphasis in Learning, Technology, & Culture from Michigan State University, a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, and a B.A. in Spanish (both from Wichita State University). She currently teaches courses in Spanish pedagogy and coordinates the Spanish Teaching Major Program at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She also serves as an independent consultant for a variety of publishers, universities, and school districts.

Cherice's work is informed by a wide array of teaching experiences. She has worked as an elementary Spanish immersion instructor for homeschooled children, a middle school Spanish immersion camp director, a high school teacher, a community college instructor, and a university methods instructor. She has also served as a full-time instructional facilitator, coordinating cross-curricular professional development and providing both pedagogical and technological support for faculty in a large, urban, public high school. Cherice has been honored with several awards for excellence in teaching, including the Kansas Foreign Language Teacher of the Year Award. Cherice's research interests focus on the intersections of:

Her professional endeavors have included service as a member of the Advisory Board for the National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC), as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Critical Inquiry Into Curriculum & Instruction, and as a member of the New Visions in Foreign Language Education Task Force. While at Michigan State, she worked with the Literacy Acquisition Research Center, served as a technical consultant to the Top-of-the-Mitt satellite of the Red Cedar Writing Project, was a writing consultant for the MSU Writing Center, and coordinated the Innovation with Technology in Education Consultants (iTecs) for MSU’s College of Education. She has also designed and facilitated a variety of grant-funded, summer institutes with the purpose of helping teachers to develop skills in mentoring, leadership, pedagogy, and technology (including several for teachers critical languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, and Russian). Cherice's hobbies include dancing, reading, cooking, photography, camping, hiking, scrapbooking, and waterskiing.