Academic Staff

Professor Florence Myles

Position in departmentResearch Director, Deputy Head of Department, President EuroSLA
Staff positionProfessor of Second Language Acquisition
Telephone01206 872228
Office hoursWednesdays 11.00 - 12.00 Thursdays 13.00 - 14.00

She was born in France and graduated from the University of Sheffield with a PhD in Second Language Acquisition. She worked at the University of Southampton before taking up a Chair in French Linguistics at Newcastle University in 2004, where she was founding Director of the Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences. She joined the University of Essex in 2011 as Professor of Second Language Acquisition.

Her research interests are in second language acquisition (SLA), especially of French although she has also worked on Spanish SLA, and she is particularly interested in morphosyntactic development, and in theory building in the field of SLA. She has directed many research projects funded by the ESRC, AHRC and the British Academy, which have all had the dual aim of investigating learner development in French/Spanish and of constructing an electronic database of French/Spanish learner language oral corpora, available on the web to the research community (; She has recently directed an ESRC-funded project investigating the role of age in instructed SLA of French (2009-11).

She was President of the Association for French Language Studies (2003-7), and is currently President of EUROSLA (European Second Language Association). She was Editor of the Journal of French Language Studies (CUP) until 2012, and on the Editorial Board of Second Language Research, of Language Teaching, of the EUROSLA Yearbook, and of the Revue Française de Linguistique Appliquée. She is co-author (with R. Mitchell and E. Marsdsen) of Second Language Learning Theories, now in its 3rd edition.


BA, MA, PhD, University of Sheffield

Current research

Her recent ESRC-funded project, entitled Learning French from ages 5, 7 and 11: an investigation into starting ages, rates and routes of learning amongst early foreign language learners, compared linguistic development, attitudes and learning strategies in these 3 age groups, following a similar curriculum delivered by the same teacher over 40 hours of instruction. She is currently analysing the data and writing it up for articles on the different dimensions of the project. A short presentation of this research and its findings can be found here, and a film of a typical project classroom (with the 7 year olds), accompanied by an interview with the teacher employed by the project can be found here A short article in The Conversation on 'Is it a case of 'the younger the better' for children learning a new language?' is available here

Research interests

- the development of morphology and syntax in second language acquisition

- the role of formulaic language in SLA

- the role of age in SLA (in both naturalistic and instructed learners)

- the use of computerised methodologies in SLA research, especially in the context of Oral Learner Corpora

- SLA theory-building

Teaching responsibilities

LG338-6-AU Nature and nurture in Second Language Acquisition

LG438-7-AU Second Language Acquisition and Linguistic Theory

LG503-7-AU Language Learning (with Karen Roehr-Brackin )

LG115-4-AU Introduction to Psycholinguistics 1: Language Development  (with Claire Delle Luche)

LG831-6-FY Project: Linguistics

LG213-5-SP Research Methods for Language and Linguistics (with Karen Roehr-Brackin, Adela Ganem Gutierrez and Claire Delle Luche)


Myles, F., & Cordier, C. (2016). Formulaic sequence (FS) cannot be an umbrella term in SLA: Focusing on psycholinguistic FSs and their identification. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 1-26. doi:10.1017/S027226311600036X

Myles, F. (2015). Second Language Acquisition Teeory and Learner Corpus Research. In S. Granger, G. Gilquin & F. Meunier (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Learner Corpus Research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Tracy-Ventura, N., & Myles, F. (2015). The importance of tak variability in the design of learner corpora for SLA research. International Journal of Learner Corpus Research, 1(1).

Mitchell, R., Myles, F. & Marsden, E. (2013, 3rd edition): Second Language Learning Theories. London: Arnold

Domínguez, L., Tracy-Ventura, N., Arche, M., Mitchell, R., Myles, F. (2013). The role of dynamic contrasts in the L2 acquisition of Spanish past tense morphology. Bilingualism: Language and Cogntion.

Myles, F. (2013): Theoretical approaches to second language acquisition research. In Herschensohn, J. & Young-Scholten, M. (Eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition. CUP

Myles, F. (2012): Complexity, accuracy and fluency: the role played by formulaic sequences in early interlanguage development. In Housen, A., Kuiken, F. & Vedder, I. (Eds.) Complexity, Accuracy and Fluency. John Benjamins

Domínguez, L., Arche, M. J., and Myles, F. (2011).  Testing the predictions of the Feature- Assembly Hypothesis: Evidence from the L2 acquisition of Spanish aspect morphology. Proceedings of the 35th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Johnston, B., Mitchell, R., Myles, F. & Ford, P. (2011): Developing student criticality in Higher Education: Undergraduate learning in the Arts and Social Sciences. Continuum.

Myles, F. (2010). Building a comprehensive Second Language Acquisition theory. In Seedhouse, P., S. Walsh & C. Jenks (Eds.) Conceptualising ‘learning’ in Applied Linguistics. pp. 225-39. John Benjamins.

David, A., Myles, F., Rogers, V. & Rule, S. (2009). ‘Lexical development in instructed L2 learners of French: Is there a relationship with morphosyntactic development?’ in H. Daller, D. Malvern, P. Meara, J. Milton, B. Richards & J. Treffers-Daller (Eds.), Vocabulary studies in first and second language acquisition: the interface between theory and application. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Roberts, L., Myles, F., & David, A. (Eds.) (2008). EUROSLA Yearbook (Vol. 8). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Mitchell, R., Dominguez, L., Arche, M., Myles, F., & Marsden, E. (2008). SPLLOC: A new database for Spanish second language acquisition. In L. Roberts, F. Myles & A. David (Eds.), Eurosla Yearbook (Vol. 8, pp. 287-304). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Labeau, E. & Myles, F. (eds.), 2008 : The advanced learner variety: the case of French. Oxford, Peter Lang, (300 pages).

Myles, F., 2008: Investigating learner language development with electronic longitudinal corpora: Theoretical and methodological issues. In Ortega, L & Byrnes, H. (eds.) The longitudinal study of advanced L2 capacities.


Invited plenaries/keynotes

MYLES, F. 2016. Keynote. The younger the better? A comparison of 5, 7 and 11 year olds learning French in the classroom in the UK. Language in Focus Conference, Istanbul, March 2016

MYLES, F. 2016. Plenary. The psycholinguistic construct of formulaicity in second language learners: issues of conceptualisation and identification. FLaRN conference, Swansea, January 2016

MYLES, F. 2015. Keynote. The younger the better? What is the best age to learn foreign languages in schools?. Sarajevo, December 2015

MYLES, F. 2015. Keynote. The interaction between formulaic language and generative competence in early second language grammars. Sarajevo, December 2015

MYLES, F. 2014: Plenary: The role of formulaic sequences at different stages of foreign language learning, International Symposium on Multilingualism and Second Language Acquisition, Universidad del País Vasco, Vitoria

MYLES, 2013: The younger the better? Comparing 5, 7 and 11 year olds learning French in the classroom. Public lecture at Cambridge Festival of Ideas

MYLES, F. 2012: Comparing 5, 7 and 11 year olds learning French in the classroom in the UK, invited talk, Thessaloniki.

MYLES, F. 2012: Public lecture, University of East Anglia The younger the better? Comparing 5, 7 and 11 year olds learning French in the classroom.

MYLES, F. 2012: Opening keynote The younger the better? Comparing 5, 7 and 11 year olds learning French in the classroom. Essex Language Conference for teachers.

MYLES, F. 2011: Opening keynote Learner corpora and SLA theory. Conference on Learner Corpora, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, September 2011

MYLES, F. 2011: Plenary address L2 corpora and second language acquisition research. EUROSLA (European Second Language Association) annual conference, Stockholm, Sweden, September 2011

MYLES, F. 2010: Plenary Address. Linguistic development in classroom learners of French. Annual conference of the Association for French Language Studies, Cambridge, September 2010.

MYLES, F. 2010: French Linguistics in the UK. Séminaire des études françaises. French Embassy, London, February 2010

MYLES, F. 2008: Le développement du lexique et de la syntaxe en début d'apprentissage du français L2: processus parallèles ou interdépendants? Plenary opening address of conference on La place de l’intervention dans une acquisition des compétences en interaction. Le cas du FLE, Free University, Brussels, March 2008

MYLES, F. 2008: Building a comprehensive SLA theory: the Holy Grail? Invited talk, BAAL/CUP seminar on Conceptualising learning in Applied Linguistics. Newcastle University, June 2008.

MYLES, F. 2008: The nature and development of L2 French. Keynote address, Conference on the nature and development of L2 French, University of Southampton, 2008.

MYLES, F. 2007: plenary at the Symposium on Complexity, fluency and accuracy in second language use, learning and teaching, Brussels, March 2007.

MYLES, F. 2007: Constitution et exploitation de corpus d’apprenants de français langue étrangère, plenary at the conference ‘français des corpus 2’, Bristol January 2007.

MYLES, F. 2007: The status of formulaic language in early L2 grammars. Plenary at the workshop on ‘Sources of knowledge in second language acquisition research’, Salford, February 2007.

MYLES, F. 2007: The role played by formulaic language in early second language grammars, plenary at the Newcastle Postgraduate conference, June 2007.

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