School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Dr Elsa Petit, PhD in Sociolinguistics, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)


Senior Lecturer and Coordinator in French Language Studies, Year Abroad Co-ordinator for French, Language Development Grant Co-ordinator for French, SSLC Chair for French, Chair of the Language Studies Coordinators Committee

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 2859
Room Number: Arts One 1.42


I am a graduate of the University of Lille III, Nord, France. I have a Licence (BA equivalent) in English Language, Literature & Civilisation with FLE (Teaching of French as a Foreign Language) and a Maîtrise (MA equivalent) in Linguistics (Phonetics; Sociolinguistics; Language, Identity & Social Culture; Experimental Methods in Speech & Language Research). I have done my PhD here at QMUL. I studied Sociolinguistics, examined sex differences in communicative competence in the French language and studied conversational strategies in single-sex friendship groups.

I have developed my academic career at the Universities of Leeds (as a French Lectrice from 1994 to 1995), Royal Holloway University of London (as a French Language Assistant from 1995 to 1999 and as a Visiting Lecturer from 2004 to 2008), King's College London (as a French Language Tutor from 1998 to 2003) and Queen Mary University of London (as a French language Instructor from 1999 to 2009, as the French Language Studies Coordinator from 2009 until 2018 and as a Senior Lecturer from 2018). I also was an External Examiner on the French BA External Programme ran by Royal Holloway University of London and Senate House between 2004 until 2014 as well as on the French Language Programme which operates within the Humanities Department at Imperial College between 2011 and 2015. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


I convene all the following modules (and teach on some of them):

- FRE4200 French I

- FRE4203 Translation into French

- FRE5202 French II

- FRE5200 Translation into French

- FRE6202 French III

- FRE602 Advanced Translation for Erasmus and Associate students

- French for Law students I

- French for Law students II



Modules previously taught / convened:   

At undergraduate level:

    FRE4201 French Foundations (Linguistics block)
    FRE5201 The Sounds of French 
    FRE6200 Language and Society in the French-speaking World

    COM603 Digital Literacy and Intercultural communication

At postgraduate level:

    I contributed to the Language, Gender and Power Module of the MA in Language, Society and Change in Europe by taking on several sessions on the French language and the question of gender, address forms in French and other European languages and slang and other in-group languages in Europe.
    I also contributed to the Research Methods in Linguistics Module of the MA in Language, Variation and Change by conducting several practical sessions on research methodology introducing sociological tools such as Group Culture Adherence Scores and Sociometric Diagrams, statistical analysis and in particular scaling methods (the Guttman scale), looking at how to carry out a corpus- based study and how to present findings efficiently.

Undergraduate modules co-designed:

2013: I took part in the discussions leading to the creation of 2 Level 6 modules: EAL6011 Languages in the Classroom 1: Theoretical approaches to Teaching and FRE6012Languages in the Classroom 2: Teaching and Reflective practice.

2011: I co-designed Digital Literacy and Intercultural Communication (Level 6) and taught a couple of sessions on this module in 2012.

Undergraduate and postgraduate programmes co-developed:

2017 – 2018: I am a member of the New Language Degree Programmes Working Party. Following the creation of the new MLC Department in the summer of 2017, I was invited as Language Studies Coordinators Committee Chair to join a working party whose role is to think strategically about the language programmes SLLF offers, to develop or review them, to propose new language degrees while carefully considering questions of employability, diversity, recruitment, etc. My role is to provide all the necessary information relating to core language modules across MLC, including entry/exit levels, benchmarking, assessment, necessary prerequisites but also to raise any potential pedagogical concerns and to ensure the new programme proposals will be attractive to students, flexible and a great overall degree.

2016  2018: I am a member of a School Working Group looking into the creation of a new SLLF MA in Language Teaching (MALT) (proposed start date: 09/2018).

I was part of a similar task force 5 years earlier when the MA in Applied Linguistics and English language teaching (MAALELT) was created.


Research Interests:

Sociolinguistics, language & gender/culture/identity, spoken language, the ethnography of communication, French linguistics, 2nd language acquisition, the relationships between Language teaching/learning & the new media & technologies, E-learning