Dr Karen L. Tharrington

Picture of Dr Karen L. Tharrington

Teaching Assistant Professor


A Cincinnati native, Professor Tharrington has lived in North Carolina since attending NCSU as an undergrad.  She received a Master's degree in Spanish Language and Literature at NC State and later, a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, where she conducted research on the value of Professional Learning Networks on Twitter for Pre-Service Teacher candidates. Dr. Tharrington developed and teaches the FLS 102 online Spanish course, as well as FLS 332 on campus. She is the Foreign Language Undergraduate Methods Instructor, oversees the Foreign Language Education Program, and serves as an advisor for students interested in adding a teaching option to their language major.

Teaching and Research Interests

Foreign Language teacher preparation, support, and retention; Professional Learning Networks and Twitter; Building a technology-rich classroom (online and face-to-face) that supports second-language acquisition and builds language proficiency.


#Teach2Teach for World Language Pre-Service Teachers

2017-18 DELTA Distance Education Course Grant recipient

Extension and Community Engagement


Past President of FLANC

National Board Certification in World Languages Other Than English 2002- 2012

ACTFL OPI certified (2012-2019)

AAPPL certified

edTPA evaluation certification


Tharrington, K. (2017). Engaging Language Learners in the Digital Age. Bonn University, Bonn, Germany.

Tharrington, K. (2016).  Golden Oldies: Fifity Years (or More!) of Methods. Session at FLANC Conference, Raleigh, NC.

Tharrington, K., & Sexton, L. (2016) Novices Can L2 Too. Session at SCOLT Conference, Charlotte, NC. 

Tharrington, K. (2015, 2016).  Developing Language Performance in the Classroom: Novice to Intermediate.  Workshop at ACTFL Convention, San Diego, CA; Boston, MA.

Tharrington, K. (2014)  Everyone Has a Story to Tell: Using Digital Storytelling in the L2 Classroom.  Session at ACTFL Convention, San Antonio, TX; Workshop at FLANC Annual Conference, Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Focus: integrating digital storytelling and communication language teaching and learning.

Tharrington, K.  (2012)  Best of SCOLT: Technology-Enhanced Communicative Languge Teaching. Presentation at the ACTFL Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA, USA.  Focus: Integrating 21st Century skills, 5 C's, and Communicative Language teaching techniques. 

Tharrington, K.  (2012)  Technology-Enhanced Communicative Languge Teaching.  Presentation at the SCOLT Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA, USA.  Focus: Integrating 21st Century skills, 5 C's, and Communicative Language teaching techniques. 

Tharrington, K., & Wust, V.  (2010, April). To Correct or Not to Correct?: The 5 Ws of Feedback on L2 Writing. Paper presented at the SCOLT Annual Conference, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.  Focus: student writing and corrective feedback.

Tharrington, K., & Gillen, L.  (2009)  Taking Elementary Spanish online. Paper presented at the Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference.  Focus: the format and technology of an online Spanish course.


Program Coordinator for the Foreign Language Education concentration; Academic Advisor for Foreign Language  Education students; Spanish instructor.

Advising website: https://fll.chass.ncsu.edu/undergraduate/education/advising.php


Masters Project Chair: Madeline Chambers, Hannah Bollinger 



  • MA in Spanish Language and Literature from NCSU, 2006
  • PhD in Curriculum & Instruction - Digital Learning and Teaching from NCSU, 2017