DMU logo

Dr Karen Malan

Job: Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Leicester Castle Business School

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 257 6561




Personal profile

Dr Karen Malan is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Programme Leader for the MSc in Intercultural Business Communication.

She is module leader for the MSc’s core modules (Intercultural Communication Theories and Practices, Research Methods, Dissertation) and leads the Intercultural Work Experience programme. She also leads three applied linguistics modules for the undergraduate Speech & Language Therapy programme (Introduction to Applied Linguistics & English Grammar, Clinical Linguistic Assessments, and Speech/Language Therapy research project. She is a supervisor for a number of MSc and PhD dissertations.

Karen has worked in the fields of applied linguistics, education and intercultural communication both in the UK and South Africa. In previous academic posts, at the universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch, Queen Mary (University of London) and London Metropolitan University, she has led teaching programmes and trained teachers, educators, clinicians and other professionals in applied language fields. She has also held an appointment as Visiting Scholar at Harvard University in connection with her PhD research on narrative discourse. She has also served as moderator and examiner at several universities and is currently External Examiner for the MA in English Language Teaching at Kingston University.

In connection with her teaching and research Karen has led the project design and execution of a literacy development programme for teachers in disadvantaged South African primary schools, served as director of a Language Unit for children with specific language and learning impairments, advised on language and literacy policy for local and national education departments, and been invited to present numerous short courses, workshops and talks. 

Research group affiliations

  • Centre for Intercultural Research in Communication and Learning (CIRCL)
  • Teacher Learning for European Literacy Education (TeL4ELE)

Research interests/expertise

  • Narrative analysis
  • Narrative acquisition in cross-cultural contexts
  • Intercultural discourse
  • Discourse and the construction of knowledge
  • Spoken discourse and literacy 

Areas of teaching

  • Language acquisition and second/additional language learning
  • Discourse analysis: the dynamics of communicative interactions in conversation, classrooms, the media and business
  • Sociolinguistics: global patterns of language use in multi-lingual societies; gender, culture and identity
  • Intercultural communication theory and practice
  • Language and literacy in education and learning
  • Research methods in the social sciences
  • Clinical and applied linguistics


  • BSc in Speech & Language Pathology (University of Cape Town)
  • MA in Applied Linguistics (University of Reading)PhD in Linguistics (University of Cape Town)

Courses taught

Module leader for:

  • Intercultural Communication Theories and Practices (ALHE5001)
  • Research Methods (ALHE5003)
  • Intercultural Working Experience (ALHE5002)
  • MSc Dissertation (ALHE5004)
  • SALT1002 Introduction To Applied Linguistics & English Grammar
  • SALT3008 Speech and Language Therapy Project: Part 1
  • SALT2004 Clinical Linguistic Assessments
Karen Malan

Search Who's Who


News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Events target area image

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.