Jeffrey Steele

Associate Professor, French Studies (on leave)
Language Studies

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Jeffrey has had a passion for language – French, in particular – since a very young age. Trained as a formal linguist with a special interest in sound structure, his research investigates both the ways in which people acquire second languages as well as various aspects of the French sound system. He is also a musician and holds two performer’s diplomas (Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto; Premier prix, Conservatoire international de musique, Paris).

Areas of Academic Interest

  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Experimental Phonology
  • Second Language Assessment
  • French Linguistics

Grants, Fellowships and Awards

Reading Comprehension among Majority and Minority Language Children in French Immersion: The Contribution of Oral Language Skills and Reading Strategies (2022-27; SSHRC Insight Development) – Co-Investigator: Examination of the role L1 & L2 skills, metalinguistic awareness and cognitive individual differences on the acquisition of French reading among later elementary school children

Language Experience and Linguistic Skills among Multilingual Learners in Higher Education (2018-23; SSHRC Insight Development) – Co-Investigator: Examination of the role of previous language experience on the learning of French and Spanish linguistic competence

PhD, Linguistics (McGill)
MA, French Linguistics (Queen’s)
BA Hons., French, (Manitoba)


  • Patience, M., & Steele, J. (2022). Relative difficulty in the acquisition of the phonetic parameters of obstruent coda voicing: Evidence from Mandarin-speaking learners of French. Language & Speech. 238309221114143–238309221114143. https://doi.org/10.1177/00238309221114143.
  • Krenca, K., Segers, P. C. J., Verhoeven, L. T. W., Steele, J., Shakory, S., & Chen, X. (2022). Lexical restructuring stimulates phonological awareness among emerging English-French bilingual children’s literacy. Journal of Child Language, 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000922000083
  • Colantoni, L., Kochetov, A., & Steele, J. (2021). Articulatory settings and L2 English coronal consonants. Phonetica78(4), 273-316. https://doi.org/10.1515/phon-2021-2007
  • Colantoni, L., Steele, J., & Escudero, P. (2015). Second language speech: Theory & practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Steele, J., & Collaborators. (2013-22). University of Toronto Test of Frenchhttps://uttf.artsci.utoronto.ca/login
  • Colantoni, L., & Steele, J. (2004-22). University of Toronto Romance Phonetics Databasehttps://rpd.artsci.utoronto.ca


second language acquisition, phonetics, phonology, language assessment, evidence-based pedagogy, pronunciation instruction, bilingual literacyent


French Studies, Linguistic Studies
Current Courses
Structure of Modern French, French Phonology & Phonetics, Bilingualism, Multilingualism & Second Language Acquisition, Romance Laboratory Phonology