Skip to main content

Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies

Photo of Dr Lucie Riou

Dr Lucie Riou

Lecturer in French (E&S)


01392 724273


Lucie Riou is teaching in both the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures and the Language Centre at intermediate and advanced levels. She graduated in Language Teaching Methodology and Linguistics in 2007, and she has been teaching in various European places and contexts. She also carried out a PhD programme at the university of Exeter in French linguistics. Her research interests lie within the field of sociopragmatics of French, and more specifically politeness norms in France among friends.

Back to top


I am interested in the pragmatics of language, that is the language «in use». For my MA thesis, I explored the expression of digression in casual English. For my PhD, I built on the Politeness theory (Brown & Levinson, 1978, 1987) and the theory of Facework (Goffman, 1967), to explore the expression of disagreement and criticism in conversation between friends in French. I examined at how individuals manage to deal with these potentially conflictual speech acts, and avoid conflict through specific verbal mitigation strategies. I am also interested in the development of oral language corpora, and I built my own corpora of naturally occurring data for both my research projects.

Back to top


One of the major impacts of my research thesis lies in a classroom application of these politeness strategies, i.e. the incorporation of teaching of pragmatic skills. In the classroom, I also emphasize on the development of individual learning skills, as well as the use of social media tools as a means to contextualize the classes.

I also incorporate the principles of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in my teaching and assessments design, and am an accredited DELF-DALF assessor.

Modules taught

Back to top


Originally from Brittany, I graduated from Rennes 2 University. I first gained a BA (2005) in English Language, Literature and Culture and French as a Foreign Language Teaching Methodology. Then I completed an MA (2007) in Language Teaching Methodology (French and English) and Linguistics (Research) at the same institution.

During my MA, I had the opportunity to teach French in the Netherlands. After my studies, I moved to Glasgow, where I worked as a French teacher in various institutions (primary and secondary schools, Alliance Française and Glasgow University) with students of different ages and needs. In 2009, I started my PhD at the University of Exeter in the field of French linguistics, and I continued to teach French language over the course of my doctoral programme. I have completed my thesis on Sociopragmatics (Applied Linguistics) in 2013. The focus of my work was politeness phenomena in French between friends. In 2013, I was appointed Associate Lecturer (E&S) in French, in the Department of Modern Languages, where I now contribute to the development of French programmes, and teach French language and culture. I also work in the Language Centre where I teach at intermediate and advanced levels.

Back to top

 Edit profile