Lecturer in French

School of Languages and Applied Linguistics

The Open University

Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA

Email: maria.secova (at) open (dot) ac (dot) uk

About me

I have recently joined the Open University as a Lecturer in French. I am also involved in the ESRC-funded project 'Multicultural London English - Multicultural Paris French' which studies the effect of language contact on patterns of variation and change in Paris and London. 

More generally, my work focuses on synchronic and diachronic variation in features typical of informal spoken French and English. I am also interested in the use of spoken corpora in language teaching.

Research interests

Sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, language variation and change, social and cultural aspects of language teaching, translation, use of corpora and technology in language teaching and learning.


(under rev.)          ‘Changement grammatical et discursif en français multiculturel de Paris :

                             éléments de comparaison’. Lingvisticæ Investigationes.

(forthcoming)       ‘Discourse-pragmatic variation in Paris French and London English: insights

                             from general extenders’. (Accepted to appear in:) Journal of Pragmatics.

(forthcoming)       ‘Direct speech, subjectivity and speaker positioning in London English and

                             Paris French’ In: Beeching et al., Positioning the self and others: linguistic

                             traces. John Benjamins.

(2015)                  ‘Discours direct chez les jeunes : nouvelles structures, nouvelles fonctions’

                             (Article)  Langage et société 151: 131-151. ACCESS IT HERE

(2014)                  ‘Je sais et tout mais: ... might the general extenders in European French be

                            changing?’ (Article)  Journal of French Language Studies 24 (02): 281-304

                            ACCESS IT HERE

(2012)                  (Review of:) Kern, F. and Selting, M. (ed) (2012) Ethnic Styles of Speaking in

                            European Metropolitan Areas. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, In: International

                            Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism  (iView,  pp.  1-4,  Routledge).

                            ACCESS IT HERE

(2011)                  ‘Discourse‐pragmatic features of spoken French: analysis and pedagogical

                            implications.’ PhD thesis, Queen Mary, U. of London.     ACCESS IT HERE

Selected talks and conference presentations

01/2017              Invited talk. ‘Innovation  in Multicultural  Paris  French:  uses  and  attitudes’

                            Department of Modern Languages, University of Exeter, UK).

05/2016              Invited  talk.  ‘Change   in   Paris   French   and  London  English:  linguistic

                            motivations and social  correlations’   (Researching  pragmatic  particles in

                            communication: cognitive,  argumentative  and  social  dimensions; NTNU     

                            Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim).

02/ 2015             Invited talk. ‘Multicultural London English and Paris French: comparing sites of         

                           innovation’ (Department of Modern Languages, University of Exeter, UK).

12/ 2014             Workshop. ‘General extenders, and all that stuff, in Paris and London’ (AFLS

                           Workshop, Birkbeck, University of London, UK).

17/5 & 5/6           Workshop. ‘What   sort   of  English  and  French  do you teach?  Multicultural

2014                    London   English   —   Multicultural   Paris   French:  resources   for  teachers’

                            (Birkbeck College, London).

11/ 2013             Invited talk. ‘What   sort  of  English  and  French  do  you teach? Discourse

                           features in Paris French and London English’ (University of London Institute in

                           Paris / ULIP, Paris, FR).

05/ 2013             Invited talk. ‘Discourse features in Paris French and London English: a point of

                           comparison’ (University of Kent, Canterbury, UK).

04/ 2013             Conference paper. ‘Communities of practice,  categorisation  and core values

                           among youths in Paris’ (iMean III Conference on Identity and Language; UWE,    

                           Bristol, UK).

03/ 2013             Invited talk. ‘Peut-on théoriser  à partir d'une étude qualitative? Le rôle de la

                           comparaison’ (with: Penelope Gardner-Chloros; Journée d'étude ‘Du terrain    

                           aux théorisations’, Paris Ouest, FR).

07/ 2012             Invited talk. ‘Français multiculturel de Paris – anglais multiculturel de Londres :

                           aspects de changement(Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Louvain, Belgium).

06/ 2012             Conference paper. ‘Change in Paris French and London English: multicultural,

                           socially determined and universal aspects’ (with:  Penelope  Gardner-Chloros;

                           AFLS 2012 annual conference, Newcastle, UK).

04/ 2012             Conference paper.  ‘Stability  or  change?   The  general  extender  system  in

                           contemporary  spoken French’  (DipVaC:  Discourse-pragmatic  variation  and

                           change 2012 conference, Salford University, UK).

03/ 2012             Invited  talk.  ‘L'anglais  multiculturel   de  Londres  :  résultats,  spécificités  et

                           questions de comparabilité’ (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre, France).

12/ 2010             Invited talk.  ‘Discourse‐pragmatic  features  of  spoken  French:  analysis  and

                           pedagogical implications.’  (Department of Linguistics, Queen Mary, University

                           of London)


09/ 2009:            Conference paper. ‘Genre:  an  interesting  means  of  expression’ (AFLS 2009

                           annual conference, Neuchâtel, Switzerland).

Academic positions

2016-                Lecturer in French (Department of Languages, The Open University).

2015-2016        Lecturer in French (Department of English and Languages, Coventry University).

2014-2015        Teaching Fellow in French (Department of Politics, Languages and International

                          Studies,  University of Bath).

2013-2014        Lecturer in Linguistics  (Birkbeck, University of London).

2010-2014        Research  Fellow  in  Linguistics  (Queen   Mary,  University   of   London  / 

                          Birkbeck, University of London) ESRC RES 062330006: ‘Multicultural London

                          English – Multicultural - Paris   French’  www.mle-mpf.bbk.ac.uk).

2005 - 2007      English  Language  Teacher   (Francs-Bourgeois  and   Fénelon Sainte-Marie

                          primary and secondary school, Paris, France).


Academic qualifications

2007-2010      PhD, Linguistics, Queen  Mary, University of London (UK) (Dissertation  title:

                       ‘Discourse-pragmatic    features  of  spoken  French:  analysis  and   pedagogical

                        implications.’ Supervisor: Prof. Jenny Cheshire, 2nd supervisor: Dr. Leigh Oakes)

2005-2006       MA, Linguistics, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre (FR).

2000-2005       MA, Translation and interpreting, Comenius University Bratislava (SVK).

                        Specialisation: English and French.

Spring 2004     ERASMUS exchange, Applied Linguistics, Metz University (FR).

Vocational qualifications

06/2015           Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (University of Bath / UK

                        Higher Education Academy).

02/2013           Maître de conférences (Conseil National des Universités  de France.  Section 

                         7: Sciences du langage, linguistique et phonétique générales).


2016                • L192: Bon départ: beginners' French (Co-Chair)

                        • L222: Upper Intermediate French (Production)

                        • L112: French studies 1 (Production)

                        • L161: Exploring Languages and Cultures (Presentation)

20142016      • Linguistics and Translation (BA/Year 1-2; 2h lecture + 2h seminar)

                        • Varieties of French (BA/Year 2; 2h lecture)

                        • Sociolinguistic Variation in Paris French and London English (BA/Year 2; 2h seminar)

                        • French Language 1: Transitions (BA/Year 1; 2h lecture + 2h seminar)

                        • Communication Strategies in Spoken and Written French (BA/Year 2; 2h seminar)

                        • Advanced French and DALF preparation (BA/Year 3; 2h seminar)

                        • Contemporary French Culture and Society (BA/Year 3; 2h seminar)

                        • French - Advanced Translation (BA/Year 3; 2h seminar)

                        • Contemporary French Media and Society (BA/Year 1; 2h lecture + 2h seminar)

                        • The Business Environment in French (BA/Year 1; 2h seminar)

                        • French Written and Spoken Language 1  (BA/Year 1; 6x 1h seminars)

                        • French Written and Spoken Language 2  (BA/Year 2, 4x 1h seminars) 

2013 – 2014    • Approaches to Language (BA Year 1-2;  2h Lecture).

2011 – 2014    • Invited lectures and seminars (Birkbeck College / Queen Mary, University of

                           London): Topics include, but are not limited to:

                        Introduction  to  linguistics,  Methods of analysing interview data, Transcription,   

                        Language  variation and change,  English around the world,  Language, society

                        and power,  Language  and  gender,   Variationist  sociolinguistics,   Innovation

                        and change in  youth  language,  Language and the media,  Discourse analysis,

                        Social  and  regional  dialectology,  Pragmatics, The linguistics of story-telling.

2005 – 2007    • English language  (Francs-Bourgeois and Fénelon Sainte-Marie primary and 

                           secondary school, Paris, France)


2007 – 2010     Queen Mary University of London PhD Maintenance Grant & AHRC Doctoral

                         Research Grant  (PhD)


2005 – 2006      French Government Scholarship for Postgraduate Studies,  (M.A. Université

                          Paris Ouest Nanterre)


Current and past projects