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Mimi's Story

Awards & Recognition

Other Work

Mimi is currently a part time professor at the University of Ottawa for the Faculty of Education where she trains teacher candidates in second language education and pedagogy. She also teaches with the Official Languages Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) where she teaches French and English to students who want to improve their language skills. She is also a member of EducLang, a research group which focuses on language and education, language teaching and language learning. 

Mimi is a doctoral graduate of the Languages and Literacies Education program at the University of Toronto/OISE in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning.  Mimi's doctoral research follows two FSL teachers who were part of an innovative online collaborative learning network. The study investigates how these teachers engage in professional learning and how their professional identities evolves as a result. The study took place over 4 years in a public school board in southern Ontario. 

Mimi was raised multilingual and multicultural. She was born in Los Angeles, California and returned to Paris, France, where her parents are from, before settling in Toronto, Canada at the age of 6. Mimi grew up speaking French and English at home and at school. She also learned Spanish and Japanese. When she was 22, Mimi moved to Japan to improve her Japanese and follow her passion of becoming a language teacher. She worked there for almost 10 years as a language teacher. She taught English as a second language (ESL) classes in elementary and junior high school. She also developed the ESL curriculum for the elementary school board in her town. Mimi also taught community classes where she worked with adults learning French and English. After receiving her Master's in Foreign Language Education, Mimi worked with undergraduates students, lecturing courses in ESL at a Japanese university in southern Japan.

Feeling committed to developing her understanding of language acquisition and pedagogy, Mimi completed two Master's degrees in Foreign Language Education, through online higher education programs: one with the Université de Bourgogne and the other with the Université Stendhal (Grenoble III). 

Mimi has received a number of awards in recognition for her work. In 2013, Mimi was granted a $30,000 Young Scientist Research grant from the Ministry of Education in Japan for her research on Japanese-English cognates and their use in language learning. In 2015, Mimi received the David H.H. Stern Award from the Ontario Modern Language Teachers' Association in recognition of her contributions to the field of language education through her research. Mimi also received the Muriel Fung Student Appreciation Award in 2016, in honour of her contributions to student life and community building from the OISE Graduate Student Association. Mimi became one of the top-5 winners for the SSHRC Storytellers Award in 2017 in recognition of her doctoral research on FSL teacher identity and well-being. The same year, Mimi also received the Wilfred Rusk Wees Fellowship ($6,000) and the OISE Alumni Association Doctoral Fellowship ($10,000) in recognition of her research and her involvement with community life at OISE.

Mimi is committed to building and improving community. In 2015, she launched Caesura Collective, a study group for graduate student researchers and (student) teachers to enter into dialogue and find support during times of transition and growth. Mimi co-hosts the RAD Book Club and the podcast Read SO Good with her co-founder Heba Elsherief. 

In 2016, Mimi co-founded Ontario Multilingual Education, an advocacy group committed to promoting multilingual education in Ontario and legalizing the use of languages other than French and English in the Ontario public school curriculum.


To find out more about Mimi's professional experience, research publications and community involvement, visit her ResearchGate, and LinkedIn pages. You can follow her on twitter @mimi_masson

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