• United Kingdom

    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Tense, Aspect, Modality
    History of French
    Variation and change in French

    Personal profile

    Contact Details

    Room: NW903
    Phone: 0121 204 3773
    Email: e.labeau@aston.ac.uk


    Once upon a time, coming from a not so far away country, Emmanuelle joined Aston University as a language assistant. Her desire to become a better teacher spurred her into embarking on a part-time PhD on ‘The Acquisition of French Past Tenses by Anglophone Learners’, while starting an appointment as a teaching fellow.


    This got the ball rolling for a long-standing interest in all things verbal. Emmanuelle has extensively published on French tenses, their use and their evolution both on her own and in collaboration. Her research is inspired by authentic linguistic data, and she has been a prolific corpus gatherer over the years and has received a number of grants in Belgium, France and the UK for that purpose. Her projects include a monograph on the French passé simple, work on the go- and come-periphrases with Professor Jacques Bres (Montpellier 3), and a British Academy-funded research project on French in Brussels with Professor Florence Lefebvre (Paris 3, Sorbonne nouvelle) and Prof. Anne Dister (St Louis).  In 2022, Emmanuelle was one of three AHRC fellows for the Future of Language(s) Research with Prof. Michelle MacLeod (Aberdeen) and Prof. Nicola McLelland (Nottingham). Her project, Birmingham Research for Upholding Multilingualism (BRUM for short), looked at the local presence of and need for languages in education, business, public services and communities. BRUM has led to extensive contacts within the community. Emmanuelle secured in Autumn 2022 a grant from the Birmingham Voluntary Services Council as part of the Engage for Ukraine scheme to help refugees to overcome language barriers in the UK. Together with Dr Yvonne Fowler (a former public services interpreter [PSI] trainer) and PSI Rekha Narula, she ran three Emergency Interpreting Trainings and relaunched in December 22 the Aston Interpreters that is proving extremely popular. In recognition of her work, Emmanuelle has been invited to join the Birmingham City Healthcare EDI committee and she is planning training for healthcare professionals for 2023… To be continued…


    Emmanuelle is keen to share her passion for languages with colleagues and students alike. Indeed, she has been involved in the Association for French Language Study (of which she is currently the President) since 2001 to promote French in academia, and she has organised over 20 academic conferences. She also likes to share her research in class, and to make her students budding researchers! At the University level, she was instrumental in the development of the University Wide Language Programme (that she led through a 10-fold development between 2007 and 2014) and initiated the launch of Languages for All, a scheme that was shortlisted for the Guardian University Awards 2013.

    Emmanuelle has been convening Learning through Languages UK since 2018 and secured funding to organise teaching training in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) for schoolteachers. She hosts since November 2020 a monthly online seminar, CLIL Mondays.

    Emmanuelle is currently the Director of the Aston Centre for Applied Linguistics and the representation of the Academic Assembly at the University Council since November 2022.

    Research Interests

    • Tense, aspect and mood in French as a first and a second language
    • French language (history and evolution)
    • French in Belgium and in Brussels

    Teaching Activity

    • French Language Skills (LF1005) (course convenor)
    • Hiistoire de la langue française (LF2014)
    • Contemporary French (LF3007)
    • Intepreting French (LI3203)

    PhD Supervision

    • Inès Saddour: The expression of simultaneity in Tunisian Arabic L1, French L1 and French L2 by Tunisian Arabic adult learners 
    • Said Djama Dirie (2011-): Market Languages in the Horn of Africa. 
    • Qiaochao Zhang (2009- :Developing a Pedagogical Framework for teaching the Chinese aspect marking system – a comparative study of translation method and communication method


    • PhD: The Acquisition of French past tenses by tutored Anglophone advanced learners: is aspect enough? (Aston University 2003)
    • Master degree: Licence spéciale en science de l’information et de la documentation (Université libre de Bruxelles). Grade: distinction
    • Certificat d’aptitude à l’enseignement du français, langue étrangère (Institut de Phonétique de l’ULB): grade scientifique. (Teaching French as a second language)
    • Agrégation de l’Enseignement secondaire supérieur (ULB). Grade: grande distinction. (Teaching French as a first language)
    • Licence (4 year course) en philologie romane (ULB). Grade: grande distinction.


    Director of the University Wide Language Programme (2007-2014)

    Acting Director of PG Research Programme (2015)

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    External positions

    2020, Newcastle University

    2020 → …

    2016, Aberystwyth University


    2012, Heriot-Watt University

    … → 2016

    2013, Open University

    … → 2017

    2009 -2013, University of the West of England


    • PC Romance languages


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