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Melissa Tobey LaBelle headshot photo
Assistant Professor of Secondary Education and Educational Leadership
Hart Hall, Room 235
BA, Wheaton College (IL)
EdM, Boston University
EdD, Boston University

Dr. Melissa Tobey LaBelle (she/her/hers) spent seven years as a middle school French teacher in Massachusetts then taught high school French for four years in Connecticut. She earned a Master's degree in Modern Foreign Language Education from Boston University and lived with host families in Senegal and Morocco as a Lisa P. Loeb Fellow. Dr. LaBelle is trained as a teacher of French, English, Reading, and teaching English to speakers of other languages (ESL/TESOL). She earned a Doctorate in Literacy and Language Education at Boston University, where she also served as a grader, teaching assistant, teaching fellow, and program supervisor for pre-service teachers at the undergraduate and graduate level.

At Bridgewater, she teaches undergraduate students preparing to be middle school and high school teachers. She also supervises student teachers in their final practicum for secondary education. Dr. LaBelle is committed to being a supportive mentor to the next generation of classroom teachers. She is passionate about literacy development, language teaching, second language acquisition, and teaching emergent bilingual students. Her research centers on the role of derived morphological awareness in the English reading processes of adolescent students from varied home language backgrounds. She is committed to educational equity, social justice, bilingualism, and creating globally-minded and multicultural classroom learning environments. Dr. LaBelle has a particular fascination with the interplay of language, culture, and literacy.

Area of Expertise
• lesson planning • language acquisition • second language (L2) acquisition, sheltering academic content for emergent bilingual students • literacy development • disciplinary literacy