Karen Smith

Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes & Study Skills

School of Language and Global Studies

Harris Building, HB114 and Adelphi Building, AB140

+44 (0) 1772 89 3146

Subject Areas: Education, English and Linguistics, Languages and International Studies

Karen is a member of the WISER team and responsible for supporting student academic development throughout the University. She teaches on the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) BA and MA programmes in the School of Journalism, Language & Communication. She is Module Leader for Research Methods, the Dissertation & Language Analysis.

Wiser Website 

Full Profile

Karen joined UCLan in 2008 with more than a decade of international teaching experience. She previously taught English as a Foreign Language and delivered teacher training in Portugal, New Zealand and in UK summer schools, then ESOL & Literacy in the Further Education sector. Her present role at UCLan focuses on developing students’ academic literacy and other related study skills.

Karen is a member of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


B.A. (Hons.) European Languages, University of Wales Aberystwyth, 1995
Maîtrise Français Langue Etrangère, Université Lumière Lyon 2, 1996
P.G.C.E. Modern Languages, Lancaster University, 1996
Diploma Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, International Teaching & Training Centre, Bournemouth, 2006
English Subject Specialist ESOL, Bolton Community College, 2008


Jones, C, Lees, M, Donohue, N and Smith, K (2015) Teaching Spoken English at Junior High School: A Comparison of TPR and PPP. The Language Teacher, 39 (1). pp. 3-9.


Karen is primarily interested in teaching practices; improving learning and teaching, as well as developing students’ critical thinking and expression skills, particularly the development of effective communication in writing.


Her role in WISER is to help both native and non-native speakers of English develop essential thinking and communication skills for academic life and future employability. She runs academic writing workshops across the University and provides 1-to-1 feedback on students’ assignments. In the School of Journalism, Media and Performance she teaches on the BA & MA TESOL programmes as Module Leader for Research Methods and Project Planning/Dissertation. She also teaches Language Analysis on the MA TESOL with Applied Linguistics and is a teacher observer for the teaching practicum on the Trinity TESOL Certificate courses.


IATEFL Manchester April 2015 “How spiky can a spiky profile be?”

ESL professionals often assess language competence within the paradigm of the 4 skills. The term ‘spiky- profile’ is used when a learner performs erratically in one of these skill areas. Using test data from UCLan’s English Examinations, the shapes of spiky profiles were investigated, focussing on the productive skills of speaking and writing.