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Dr Karin Zotzmann PhD, MA German as a Foreign Language / Intercultural Business Communication / Psychology, MA Cultural Studies, MA Spanish as a Foreign Language

Associate Professor, Director of Doctoral Programmes

Dr Karin Zotzmann's photo

Dr Karin Zotzmann is Associate Professor within Modern Languages at the University of Southampton.

I completed a first Master of Arts in German as a Foreign Language (major), Intercultural Business Communication and Social Psychology (both minors) at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany. My second MA in Cultural Studies at the University of Lancaster was followed by a PhD in Linguistics at the same institution and a third MA in Spanish as a Foreign Language at the University of Jaén (Spain).

As a language teacher, I taught German and English at various universities and language institutes in Germany, the USA, Australia and Mexico. I worked as a lecturer for several years in Applied Linguistics at different universities in Mexico and more recently as a research officer at the Institute of Education, University of London. I joined Modern Languages and Linguistics at Southampton in January 2011.


Research interests

My research interests include the ways socio-economic, political and institutional factors and processes impact upon the teaching and learning of foreign languages and teacher education. I am particularly interested in how neoliberalism and globalism play out in theories of intercultural education, how the managerialization of higher education impacts upon academic writing practices, how international students or students from marginalized economic backgrounds respond to established academic practices and expectations and how teachers try to balance their subject and pedagogic knowledge with institutional and political constraints and affordances. My work is theoretically informed by Critical Realism.

I welcome PhD research proposals in the area of Critical Realism, intercultural education, foreign language teaching and learning, teacher development, Critical Discourse Analysis and academic literacy/writing.

I have extensive experience of being a successful PhD supervisor and examiner in an exceptionally wide range of topics, e.g. language teacher learning and identity, language teaching in resource-poor contexts, Critical Discourse Analysis, Critical Pedagogy, Language policy, and academic literacy practices of international students (UK, Thailand). In Southampton, In total, I have so far been involved either as the main or the second supervisor in twenty-five PhD projects.

I am a board member of the Centre for Critical Realism and of the BAAL (British Association of Applied Linguistics) Intercultural Communication SIG. I am also a member of BAAL, and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Affiliate research groups:
Centre for Transnational Studies
MexSu – Centre for Mexico-Southampton Collaboration
CLLEAR - Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research

Research projects:
Calibrating self-beliefs: International students’ perceptions of assessment genres in the field of Applied Linguistics

Research group

Southampton Critical Realist Group

Conference organization

I was the main organizer for the annual conference of IACR (International Association of Critical Realism) in Southampton in 2019, the Deputy organizer for the BAAL SIG conference on language teaching and learning in 2018 and the Co-organizer for the BAAL conference 2012 in Southampton

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Book Chapters


Currently I teach and convene LING 6013 Current Issues in Language Teaching Methodology and LING 6012 Critical Appraisal of Language Teaching Methodologies. 

Selected Conference Presentations (from 2010)

Aplicaciones del realism critico a la politica de lenguaje. Video conference at the Department of Applied Linguistics, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), January 2020.

Corruption: A Critical Realist Discourse Analysis. Keynote at the IV International Colloquium on Language Critique at Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM), November 2019.

Intersectionality: A Critical Realist perspective. Presentation at the BAAL SIG (Intercultural Communication) seminar ‘Intersectionality in Intercultural Encounters’, University of Sheffield, UK, May 2019.

Codes of Corruption: A Critical Realist Discourse Analysis. 21nd International Association of Critical Realism annual conference, Lillehammer, Norway, August 2018.

Brexit and the internationalization of UK universities: The views of academic staff from EU member states. 20th International Association of Critical Realism annual conference, Turin, Italy, July 2017.

Reflexiones teórico-metodológicas sobre interculturalidad. Invited guest speaker at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Aragón, Mexico, September 2015.

Promoting intercultural competencies at the university level: A CDA analysis of legitimation strategies. Presented at the CDA panel of the 9th International  Interpretive Policy Analysis Conference 2014 in Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Digital literacy as a tool for self-authoring: Teaching reluctant student writers through redesign and ‘regenering’ (together with Dr. Gregorio Hernandez-Zamora). Discourse, Resistance and Power (DPR) 2013, University of Greenwich.
The Politics of Recognition versus the Politics of Redistribution in Intercultural Education. BAAL SIG seminar on Intercultural Communication 2012, Open University.
Codes of Corruption. Discourse – Communication – Conversation Conference,
University of Loughborough 2012.
The Concept of Social Class and Its Importance for the Theory and Practice of Intercultural Communication. The 24th conference of the German Society of Foreign Language Research (DGFF) 2011, University of Hamburg.
The Creation of a Transitional Discourse Community to Enhance  Academic Writing. EATAW (European Association of Teaching Academic Writing) 2011 at the University of Limerick, Ireland.
Change in Higher Education and Genre Hybridization. CERLIS: Genre Variation in English Academic Communication Conference 2011 at the University of Bergamo, Italy.
Análisis de clase en la formación de profesores de lenguas a distancia.
 XXIX Forum of Higher Education Specialists in Foreign Language
Pedagogy (FEULE) 2010 in Querétaro, Mexico.
Classroom Discourse Analysis for Foreign Language Teachers: Walsh’s (2006) Model. 10th International Conference of the Association for Language Awareness 2010. University of Kassel.

Dr Karin Zotzmann
Building 65 Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Room Number : 65/3065

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