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

E: kmalan@dmu.ac.uk

W: https://www.dmu.ac.uk/alliedhealthsciences


Personal profile

Dr Karen Malan is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for the MSc in Intercultural Business Communication at Leicester Castle Business School.

She leads core modules for the Global MBA and other PG programmes in the business school: Business Across Cultures, Understanding Communication in a Globalised World, Key Skills for International Communication, and contributes to Knowing and Developing Yourself for Professional Success.

Karen is responsible for developing and providing academic and language support to international post-graduate students. 

She has qualified as an intercultural trainer for business clients and contributes to the Leicester Castle Business School Executive Education programme and is also a supervisor for a number of MSc and PhD dissertations. 

Karen has worked in the fields of applied linguistics, education and intercultural communication 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 business professionals in applied language fields. She 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

  • SIETAR Europa (Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research
  • Centre for Intercultural Research in Communication and Learning (CIRCL)
  • Teacher Learning for European Literacy Education (TeL4ELE)

Research interests/expertise

  • Cross-cultural narratives
  • Discourse analysis
  • Intercultural discourse
  • Spoken discourse and literacy

Areas of teaching

  • Global sociolinguistics: language(s) and communication in a globalized world
  • Communication for business and professional careers
  • Intercultural communication in business
  • Discourse analysis: the dynamics of communicative interactions in conversation, classrooms, the media and business
  • Intercultural communication theory and practice
  • Academic practices for succeeding at university
  • 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)
  • PhD Linguistics (University of Cape Town)

Courses taught

Module leader for:

  • Business Across Cultures (LCBS5042)
  • Understanding Communication in a Globalised World (LCBS5041)
  • Key Skills for International Communication (LCBS5043)
  • Introduction to Applied Linguistics & English Grammar (SALT1002)
Karen Malan