Julia Donnelly Spiegelman (she/her) is a passionate French language educator and lifelong learner. Her teaching, educational leadership, and research focus on understanding the intersection of language, power, and identity as a way to build a more just world.
Julia holds a B.A. in Music from Bryn Mawr College, with minors in English and French. Her thesis, “Performing the Other: Musical Representations of ‘Turkishness’ on the French Baroque Stage,” received honors for its exploration of the connections between music, representation, identity, and Otherness in 17th-century French opera. Julia completed coursework in musicologie and histoire de la musique at Paris IV, La Sorbonne. She has played classical clarinet in chamber and orchestral settings in Europe and the U.S. and enjoys playing Klezmer music in her free time.
Julia has fifteen years of experience teaching foreign languages across borders, cultures, and ages, incorporating different approaches to connect with students within each context. She spent three years teaching English to children in France (Brittany) and in Berlin, Germany. Julia taught French, German, and Spanish to Grades 5-8 at the Meadowbrook School of Weston, and currently teaches French to undergraduate students at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is a longtime faculty member at the Multicultural Teaching Institute (MTI), where she works annually with K-12 teachers to foster an awareness of their own personal identities as they play out in classroom settings and to develop anti-bias curriculum and pedagogical practices.
Julia holds an M.A. in French at Middlebury College with a concentration in Linguistics and Pedagogy. Her master’s thesis, “‘Bon voyage!’: Représentations de la francophonie et relations de pouvoir dans deux manuels de FLE étatsuniens” [“‘Bon voyage!’ Representations of francophony and power relations in two U.S. French foreign language textbooks”] exposes the ways in which colonialism and racism are implicitly and explicitly perpetuated through French teaching materials. Currently a PhD candidate in Applied Linguistics at UMass Boston, Julia conducts research on questions of identity and equity in foreign language learning contexts in the aim of building safer and more equitable classrooms across disciplines.
Julia lives in Somerville with her spouse, Erina, and their cat, Fitzwilliam. In addition to teaching, learning languages, and playing music, she enjoys biking, being outdoors, and spending time with friends and family.