I currently supervise both undergraduate and graduate students in research projects related to language revitalization, language documentation, and language education, with a focus on Indigenous education. I am open to applications from graduate students, please email if you are interested in working with me.


Graduate Students

Current Students

Jon Corbett, PhD (co-supervised with Stephen Foster)

Andrea Keber, MA (co-supervised with Ilya Parkins)

Aaron Leon, MA (co-supervised with Stephen Foster)

Brianna Peacey, MA

Mark Rosvold, MA (co-supervised with Scott Douglas)

Carson Toews, MA


Completed Students


Ricki-Lynn Achilles, Master’s Student – Emotion, language, and identity: Using language revitalization techniques to create low-anxiety learning environments. 

David Lacho, Master’s Student – Developing an augmented reality app in Secwepemctsín with the Splatsin Tsm7aksaltn (Splatsin Teaching Centre) Society.


Colleen Larson, PhD Student – Creating a sense of belonging for Indigenous students in Canada? 


Robyn Giffen, Master’s Student – We begin to write: Creating and Using the First Nabit Orthography. 


Michele Johnson, PhD Student – n’!”qwcin (clear speech): 1,000 hours to mid-intermediate N’syilxcn proficiency (Indigenous language, Syilx, Okanagan-Colville, n’qilxwcn, Interior Salish) 


Undergraduate Students

Current Students

Amy Doricic, IKBSAS Undergraduate Research Award Recipient (2018) – Amy’s research will investigate how learning the constructed language Dothraki, spoken in the television series Game of Thrones, may lead individuals to appreciate cultural and linguistic diversity. She will design and distribute an online survey in order to answer the following research questions: 1) Within the fandom of Game of Thrones, do speakers of Dothraki value the diversity portrayed in the world of the television show more than non-speakers? and 2) How might this appreciation of diversity lend itself to real-world encounters? This study utilizes theories of language ideologies, studies of second language acquisition and studies of popular culture.

Completed Students

David Lacho, IKBSAS Undergraduate Research Award Recipient (2013) – French in The Magdalen Islands: A Drowning Dialect in a Rising Sea. For my research project, I will work with speakers of an endangered French dialect in the Magdalen Islands, Quebec. My proposed research will investigate how the speakers view their dialect in relation to other forms of French. As well, I plan on investigating how speakers identify with their dialect, both linguistically and socially. Considering these findings, I plan on working with the community to examine if social media is an appropriate outlet for promoting the dialect and, if so, I will collaboratively develop a website that will contribute to the dialectʼs promotion and maintenance.

For a media story about David’s research, please click here.

To see the website David has created, please click:

Robyn Giffen, IKBSAS Undergraduate Research Award Recipient (2012) – Writing a Language, Voicing a People: Creating an Orthography for Nabit. In my research project, I will be working to create a writing system for the language of Nabit, which is an oral language spoken in Northern Ghana. I propose to answer the question: What is the most effective writing system to represent all of the sounds in the language of Nabit and how can it contribute to improving literacy? I will work with a fluent speaker of Nabit, Vida Yakong, here in the Kelowna. I will also create a language tool, so that the writing system can be used in the adult literacy program and potentially be used in the education system.

For a media story about Robyn’s research, please click here and here.

Chara DeVolder, IKBSAS Undergraduate Research Award Recipient (2010) -Placing a Missing Piece into the Language Puzzle of Papua New Guinea: A Morphological and Syntactical Study of Kala. In May 2010, I traveled to Papua New Guinea to work with speakers of the indigenous language of Kala to conduct linguistic research. I worked in six villages and interviewed native speakers to collect words and sentences in the language, which has at least four geographically distinct dialects.  From this data, I developed a preliminary language dictionary that will be used in the local schools to prevent the loss of their indigenous language, protect the traditional terminology of their culture, and help the children establish a foundation in their Kala language learning.  Graduated June 2011.

For a media story about Chara’s research, please click here.