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Karen Smith

Lecturer in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
School of Humanities, Language & Global Studies

Karen teaches on the BA TESOL degree programme as a highly experienced English as a Foreign Language teacher and trainer.

She trains undergraduate students to become EFL teachers as part of their language degree, meaning that they can graduate with a Trinity Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, a professional qualification that is accepted globally. She is currently module lead for the final year Teaching Practicum, including being an assessor for the Trinity qualification. She is also module lead for Project Planning & Research Methods in the second year, with significant responsibility for supervising final year dissertation and independent research projects.

Karen joined the University of Central Lancashire in 2008, having spent the previous decade teaching EFL and delivering teacher training in Portugal, New Zealand and UK summer schools. She is experienced in teaching a wide range of learners of different ages and first language backgrounds, with differing needs to learn English. She also has experience of teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English literacy in the UK Further Education sector. Karen’s role at UCLan between 2008 and 2018 was split between teaching on the BA & MA TESOL programmes, and co-ordinating student academic support. As part of this, she gained expertise in how to develop students’ reading, writing and critical-thinking skills for successful study, in tandem with providing guidance and support for academics from across the institution to embed these elements within their curricula. Since 2011 she also mentored colleagues wishing to become Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, leading to becoming a Senior Fellow herself in 2016. Now focussed fully within TESOL, she continues to develop her expertise in teacher training and research methods for the classroom. She is currently investigating uneven competency in the four skills of language through a mixed-method study of international students at the university, with a view to improving teaching practice within the field of English for Specific and Academic Purposes. She continues to mentor colleagues seeking professional recognition.