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. In addition to teaching advanced Spanish courses, Dr. Tharrington developed and teaches a beginning online Spanish course, which she is currently updating using a Gamification model. She is the Foreign Language Undergraduate Methods Instructor, coordinates the Foreign Language Education Program, and serves as an academic 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



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