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 an invited speaker to universities in Greece, Norway,  Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, the UK and the USA. Most of my published work has been on the L2/L3  acquisition of English morphosyntax (generative perspective) and the study of conversational interaction and L2 learning (interactionist approach). I am also interested in bilingual/multilingual education and the age factor. I have supervised eleven Ph.D. dissertations (all of them with the highest distinction and four 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.

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 Goverment (IT311-10, 2010-2015; IT904-16, 2016-2021)) for excellence in research in the field. I belong to the Editorial Board of  the EUROSLA Yearbook (John Benjamins), Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics (John Benjamins), the journals Language Teaching for Young Learners (John Benjamins) and Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism (John Benjamins), the Continuum series on Instructed Second Language Research,  and VIAL (Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics). I am also a reviewer for all the major journals in the SLA field.

I am 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) and 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