Language and Speech Laboratory

María del Pilar García Mayo

I am a Full Professor of English Language and Linguistics in the Department of  English and German Philology at the University of the Basque Country, of which I am currently the Head. I hold a B.A. in Germanic Philology from the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela and an M.A. (TESOL and Linguistics) and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Iowa (thesis: On certain null operator constructions in English and Spanish).  I have been invited to universities in Canada, China, Germany, Greece, Norway,  Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, the UK and the USA.  My publications span the areas of  second (L2)/third language (L3) acquisition of English morphosyntax  and the study of conversational interaction in EFL. I am also interested in bilingual/multilingual education and the age factor. I have supervised twelve Ph.D. dissertations (all of them with the highest distinction and five awarded 'Extraordinary Ph.D. Prize') and  ten more are in progress. I have also served in numerous national and international Ph.D., MA  and promotion committees. Since September 2018, I am co-editor of the journal Language Teaching Research (Sage- Q1).

My teaching includes undergraduate courses on English syntax and an MA course on the acquisition of morphosyntax in the MA program in Language Acquisition in Multilingual Settings (LAMS) at the UPV/EHU. I have been awarded the UPV/EHU's prize for excellence in teaching.

I am currently the director of the research group Language and Speech (, noted  by the Basque Government (IT311-10, 2010-2015; IT904-16, 2016-2021) for excellence in research in the field. I belong to the Editorial Board of  the volumes EUROSLA Yearbook and Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics and those of the journals Language Teaching for Young Learners and Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism (all of them published by John Benjamins), the Continuum series on Instructed Second Language Research European Journal of Applied Linguistics (EuJAL) - De Gruyter- and VIAL (Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics). I am also a reviewer for all the major journals in the SLA field.

Since 2009 I have been  the director of the MA program Language Acquisition in Multilingual Settings ( with access to doctoral studies (Ph.D.). The Ph.D. program has been awarded Distinction of Excellence  by the Spanish Ministry of Education. I was also the International Relations representative of the Spanish Association of Applied Linguistics (AESLA) and a member of the AILA (International Association of Applied Linguistics) Executive Board - International Committee (EBIC) (2011-2017). I am also an assessor for ANEP (Spanish Evaluation and Foresight Agency) and ANECA (Spanish National Agency of Quality Evaluation and Accreditation). From June 2016 to July 2019  I was the coordinator of  the Modern Languages section and the Language and Linguistics section in the Spanish Research Agency.  I am an Honorary Consultant for the Shanghai Center for Research in English Language Education (SCRELE).  

Research Interests

Generative second/third language acquisition Syntax Morphology Psycholinguistics Classroom discourse analysis