Kimberly A.B. Swanson

Dr. Kimberly Swanson
  • Associate Professor of French
  • French Language Program Director

Contact Info

Wescoe Hall, Room 2060
1445 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594


Kim Swanson is an associate professor of French who specializes in French linguistics and second language acquisition/pedagogy, with special interests in phonology/phonetics and history of the French language. As director of the French Language Program and Graduate Teaching Assistant training, she is responsible for the first- and second-year language curriculum and supervision of GTAs and lecturers who teach at that level. She is also Program Director of French for KU’s Language Training Center, which offers language and culture training for military professionals. Professor Swanson is interested in how advances in second language acquisition theory can inform classroom teaching and has published several pedagogical projects that incorporate research findings for first- and second-year French with Heinle/Cengage, McGraw-Hill and Pearson/Prentice Hall. She has also published articles in the area of phonological acquisition, as well as the syntax-semantics interface in second language acquisition. Additionally, Professor Swanson has worked on aspects of the evolution of French, from Old to Middle to Modern French. She was recipient of the KU Cramer Professorship for 2009-2011, as well as the Cramer Award for excellence in teaching and research in 2008, and she was named an Outstanding Woman Educator by the KU Emily Taylor Woman’s Resource Center in 2011.


Ph.D. in French Linguistics and General Linguistics, Indiana University
M.A. in French Linguistics, Indiana University
B.A. in International Studies and French, Hamline University


Research interests:

  • French Linguistics
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Language Pedagogy
  • Phonetics / Phonology
  • Historical Linguistics / History of the French language


Recent Graduate Courses Taught

Methods of French Language Instruction

History of the French Language

Structure of Modern French

Advanced French Phonetics


Recent Undergraduate Courses Taught

French Phonetics

French Inside Out (Introduction to French Linguistics)

The Story of French (Linguistic and Social Evolution of French)

Capstone Seminar in French

Selected Publications

Swanson, K. A. B., Kendrick, J. J., & Barbier, C. (2012-2020). French à la mode [Instructional materials]. (Open Educational Resource: Interactive cultural, video and audio activities). University of Kansas, EGARC/OLRC.

Swanson, K. A. B. (2017). Dictées in the French Second Language Classroom: Prevalence, Perceptions and Findings. The French Review, 90(3), 170-185.

Anderson, R., Dolidon, A., Hackney, M., Martin, E., McMann, L., & Swanson, K. A. B. (2016/2012). Workbook/Laboratory Manual for En avant [Instructional materials]. (Elementary French textbook by B. Anderson & A. Dolidon, 2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill. i-499.

Swanson, K. A. B., & Lux, C. (2013/2010). Testing Program for Quant à Moi [Instructional materials]. (Intermediate French textbook by J. Bragger & D. Rice, 5th edition) on CD-Rom. Heinle-Cengage. 1-116.

Swanson, K. A. B., & Lux, C. (2010). Preface on testing methods. Testing Program for Quant à Moi (Intermediate French textbook by J. Bragger & D. Rice, 4th edition) on CD-Rom. Heinle-Cengage. iii-xv.

Swanson, K. A. B., & Pons, C. (2009). Testing Program for Points de depart [Instructional materials]. (Elementary French textbook by A. Valdman, C. Pons and M. E. Scullen). Pearson-Prentice Hall. i-552.

Swanson, K. A. B. (2001).  Is first language learning like second language learning? Learning L2 phonology in Optimality Theory. Selected Proceedings of the Second Language Research Forum. Somerville, MA : Cascadilla Press. 23-41.

Dekydtspotter, L., Sprouse, R. A., & Swanson, K. A. B. (2001). Reflexes of the mental architecture in second language acquisition: The interpretation of discontinuous combien extractions in English-French interlanguage. Language Acquisition, 9, 175-227.

Dinnsen, D. A., McGarrity, L. W., O’Connor, K., & Swanson, K. (1999/2000). On the role of sympathy in acquisition. Language Acquisition, 8, 321-361.

Dekydtspotter, L., Sprouse, R., Swanson, K., & Thyre, R. (1999). Semantics, pragmatics, and second language acquisition : The case of combien extractions. In E. Hughes, M. Hughes, & A. Greenhill (Eds.) Proceedings of the Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, 23, 162-171. Somerville, MA : Cascadilla Press.

Current Projects

Swanson, K. A. B. Quel accent?! (Book project accepted/in progress. KU Open Language Resource Center.)

Swanson, K. A. B. (article under review). Learner variability in the L2 acquisition and suppression of palatalization.

Swanson, K. A. B. (article under review). The relative difficulty of constraint demotion: Evidence from French and English interlanguage.

Swanson, K. A. B. (article in progress). Dictation in the Elementary French Language Classroom.