Professor Barbara Skinner

Professor of TESOL and Education

School of Education

Coleraine campus

Room I219,
Cromore Road,
Co. Londonderry,
BT52 1SA,
Professor of TESOL and Education

Professor Barbara Skinner


Dr Barbara Skinner is a Senior Lecturer in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) in the School of Education at Ulster University. She was the first lecturer in Ulster’s Centre for English Language Teaching (CELT) and moved to the School of Education to take up the role of Course Director of MA TESOL in 2006. She is originally from Cornwall, has taught ESOL and EAP as well as being an UCLES examiner and IELTS examiner; she graduated from the University of Bristol with a Doctorate of Education in 2014.

Dr Skinner’s research findings have been published in key international journals including the English Language Teaching Journal, Journal of Studies in International Education and Journal of Education for Teaching. She has secured £11,516 from external funders such as the British Council and UKISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) and £56,460 from clients in Spain and Korea for knowledge transfer consultancy work.

Her work explores issues concerning language teacher education, higher education pedagogy and intercultural competence. Projects have included the EAL training needs of initial teacher trainees in Northern Ireland, cross cultural partnerships for international and home students; cultural diversity in primary schools through international playground games; embedding the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for language proficiency in online language teaching materials and the assessment of non-native speaking student teachers’ practicum.  She has also developed an ‘English Language Teacher Training’ DVD and booklet of accompanying tasks for Gyeonggi-do Institute for Foreign Language Educationin Korea.

Dr Skinner reviews for Technology, Pedagogy and Education, Teacher Development, the Journal of Studies in International Higher Education and Studies in Higher Education and as a member of the Editorial board of the Asian English as a Foreign Language Journal. She reviews articles and mentors new reviewers from all over the world.

She is also a member of the British Association of Applied Linguistics teaching and learning SIG, was a member of the Editorial advisory board for the English Language Teaching Journal and editor of the University’s teaching and learning journal Perspectives on Pedagogy and Practice.

Dr Skinner’s research interests focus on teacher talk, and second language classroom interaction, especially themes relating to conversation analysis, threshold concepts, teacher identity, teacher education.

Other research interests include teaching practice supervision, developing reflective practice, cross cultural influences and teacher education.

Currently she is working with the Administrative Data Research Network team in Northern Ireland to analyse the profile of pupils for whom English is an Additional Language (EAL) in Northern Ireland.