Dr Cecile Laval PhD, MA, PGDip, BA, BTS

Principal Lecturer


Tel: 9049

Email: C.Laval@gre.ac.uk

Room: KW331

Office Hours: Wednesday 3-4 pm. Please email for an appointment.


Dr Cécile Laval holds a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Greenwich, UK. She is a senior academic scholar in the area of second language acquisition theories, second language learning and teaching. Her research focuses on how L2 language learners process incoming linguistic information at input level and more precisely in the area of Processing Instruction. She has published in the area of second language acquisition and language instruction in journal articles and book chapters. She has given invited and plenary conference talks in universities in France, USA, Switzerland and in the UK. She is actively involved as a researcher in the areas of Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition.

Responsibilities within the university

I am currently the Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) International Studies and the French co-ordinator in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. I am also the co-ordinator for the university-wide Postgraduate and Undergraduate English Language Support programme. I am teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in international studies, applied linguistics, second language acquisition, second language instruction and French. I supervise MA and PhD students.

Teaching and administrative activities


  • Europe Without Borders
  • Applied linguistics
  • Language and Culture Europe and Beyond

Postgraduate programmes

  • The Use of ICT in Language Learning


  • French co-ordinator – French 1, French 2, French 3, French 4, French Research Project
  • Co-ordinator for the university-wide Postgraduate and Undergraduate English Language Support programme

Administrative activities include:

  • Teaching and course coordinating across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. (delivering lectures, seminars, individual tutorials for both undergraduate and post-graduate students; supervising dissertations and work placements)
  • Programme and course development (curriculum review, design and development of teaching content and method of delivery. Material development for VLE)
  • Co-ordinating the university-wide Postgraduate and Undergraduate English Language Support programme. (Co-ordinating and liaising with the teaching team, liaising with school points of contact, analysing results, programme Report. Liaising with the School Director of Learning and Quality).
  • Organising the development of marketing materials for languages and International Studies programmes. (Part of the Open Day team)
  • Link Tutor for multi-School collaboration in Greece and Cyprus
  • Liaising with colleagues teaching the franchised BA and MA programmes at one of the School’s international partners in Greece

MPhil/PhD supervision

Ayah Farhat (current – 2nd supervisor). An investigation into motivation and how this factor might have an effect on grammar instruction: The case of Word Order in Arabic.

Stephanie Peter (current – 2nd supervisor). PhD Vice Chancellor Scholarship for a project on Processing Instruction and working memory.

Current research

In preparation

Laval, C & Arche, M (2013) The Grammar Dimension in Instructed Second Language Learning. London: Continuum.

Laval, C (2013) The age factor on the Primary, Secondary and Cumulative Transfer-of-Training Effects of Processing Instruction on the Acquisition of French as a second language. In Benati & Lee Individual differences and processing instruction. London: Equinox.

Laval, Cécile, Burgeot, Coline & Gil, Sandrine (2014) Emotional Speech Comprehension in French-speaking children: the role of situational context, prosody and faces.

External activities

  • Member of the editorial board for Continuum Issues in Instructed Second Language Acquisition Research (CIISLAR).
  • French External Examiner - Ministry of Foreign Affairs London (FCO)
  • French External Examiner - London School of Economics (LSE)

Crois project - working in collaboration with Psychology colleagues in the School of Health and Social Care). The CROIS Project (2011-2013, Cross Regional Opportunities: Improving Social Cohesion) has been selected within the scope of the INTERREG IV A France (Channel) – England cross-border European cooperation programme, co-financed by the European Regional Development. It is a Cross Regional project (funded by the EU) between Amiens University, Kent County Council, Swale Borough Council, Charlton Institute and the University Of Greenwich. She is a member of the Steering Group Committee and an active part of the team for translation, teaching material and language support.

Recent publications

Laval, C (2013) Expressions idiomatiques et compréhension : la question de l’évaluation de la familiarité dans une perspective développementale. Presses Universitaires de Rennes

Laval, C (2011) Secondary and Cumulative Effects in Attaining L2 Proficiency in the Classroom: The Acquisition of French. In Alessandro G. Benati (ed.) Issues in Second Language Proficiency (pp.189-201). Continuum.

Laval, C (2008) From Processing Instruction on the Acquisition of French Imparfait to Secondary Transfer-of-Training Effects on French subjunctive and to Cumulative Transfer-of-Training Effect with French Causative Constructions. In Alessandro G. Benati and James F. Lee Grammar Acquisition and Processing Instruction Secondary and Cumulative Effects (pp.121-157). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Responsibilities within the university

Programme Leader, Languages and International Relations; French Co-ordinator; Principal Lecturer, French and Second Language Acquisition