Carolyn Kristjansson, PhD

Associate Professor of Linguistics; Acting Director, MA TESOL (Fall 2023)
I have lived on three continents, taught English as a Second and Foreign language, and been involved in teacher education in North America and Asia. As I see it, learning is more than the acquisition of knowledge and skills. It is personal and professional growth that is grounded in, and emerges from, formative ways of relating to God, self, others, learning opportunities, and the wider world in which these experiences are embedded. I have chosen to be at TWU because this is a place where I am able to give expression to my understanding that spiritual values, professional practice, and scholarship are deeply intertwined.

Carolyn was born in Canada, grew up in Brazil, and lived in Iceland for 12 years as an adult. Her educational pursuits have resulted in a BTh, TESL Certificate, and a PhD in Language Education with specialization in TESL. She is also a Certified Executive Coach and Certified Core Strengths Facilitator. She teaches in the resident and online tracks of the MA TESOL program in the School of Education and enjoys using strength-based perspectives and coaching to help graduate students, teachers, and other leaders maximize their potential and that of those around them.


  • PhD in Language Education (University of British Columbia; 2004) 
  • MA TESOL Coursework (Iowa State University & University of British Columbia; 1994 & 1997)
  • TESL Certificate (Trinity Western University; 1997)
  • BTh (Summit Pacific College; 1984)

Professional Licensures & Certifications

  • Certified Core Strengths 2.0 Facilitator (2020)
  • Individual Team Coaching Accreditation (ITCA) (European Mentoring & Coaching Council; 2020)
  • Certified Executive Coach (Royal Roads University; 2017)
  • TESL Ontario Approved TESL Trainer/PCTC Instructor (2015)


Language education, graduate education, collaborative problem-based learning, curriculum development, church-sponsored ESL, discourse analysis, core strengths assessment, online leadership coaching

Research Interests

Ecological Perspectives in Language Education; Identity and Interpersonal Dimensions of Learning Communities (F2F and Online) evidenced in Discourse; Influence of Teachers' and Students'  Spiritual Beliefs and Values in Language Education; Coaching in Teaching and Leadership Development

Awards & Honors

  • Provost Innovative Teaching Award (Trinity Western University; 2019)
  • BC TEAL 50 at 50 EAL Educator (BC TEAL; 2017) 
  • Mary Ashworth Scholarship (BC TEAL; 2003)

Recent Publications


  • Wong, M. S., Kristjánsson, C., & Dornyei, Z. (Eds.). (2013). Christian faith and English language teaching and learning: Research on the interrelationship of religion and ELT. Routledge.

Book Chapters

  • Jule, A., Kristjánsson, C., Lee, Y., & Mirchandani, K. (in press). Who am I now? Spirituality in a faith-based teacher education program in Canada. In T. Lucey, & M. Lin (Eds.), Rekindling the embers of the soul: An examination of spirituality issues related to teacher education. Information Age Publishing.
  • Kristjánsson, C., & Mohan, B. (2023). Coaching as a social practice. In T. Slater (Ed.), Social practices in higher education: A knowledge framework approach to linguistic research & teaching. Equinox.
  • Kristjánsson, C. (2018). Church-sponsored ESL in western Canada: Grassroots expressions of social and spiritual practice. In M. S. Wong & A. Mahboob (Eds.), Spirituality & language teaching: Religious explorations of teacher identity, pedagogy, context, and content. (pp. 172–194). Multilingual Matters.
  • Wong, M., Dornyei, Z., & Kristjánsson, C. (2013). Introduction: The faithful fence. In M. S. Wong, C. Kristjansson, & Z. Dornyei, (Eds.), Christian faith and English language teaching and learning: Research on the interrelationship of religion and ELT (pp. 1–7). Routledge
  • Dornyei, Z., Wong, M., & Kristjánsson, C. (2013). Conclusion: SLA: An emerging area of inquiry. In M. S. Wong, C. Kristjansson, & Z. Dornyei (Eds.), Christian faith and English language teaching and learning: Research on the interrelationship of religion and ELT (pp. 267–272). Routledge.
  • Kristjánsson, C. (2013). Inside, between, and beyond: Agency and identity in language learning. In J. Arnold & T. Murphey (Eds.), Meaningful action: Earl Stevick’s influence on language teaching (pp. 11– 28). Cambridge University Press.
  • Kristjánsson, C. (2013). A way with words: Perspectives on the contributions and influence of Earl W. Stevick. In J. Arnold & T. Murphey (Eds.), Meaningful action: Earl Stevick’s influence on language teaching (pp. 304–311). Cambridge University Press.
  • Kristjánsson, C. (2010). Collaborating with a (non)collaborator: Interpersonal dynamics and constructions of identity in graduate online learning. In J.R. Park & E. Abels (Eds.), Interpersonal relations and social patterns in communication technologies: Discourse norms, language structures and cultural variables (pp. 305–327). IGI Global.
  • Stevick, E., & Kristjánsson, C. (2009). Afterword: The dilemma. In M. S. Wong & S. Canagarjah (Eds.), Christian educators and critical practitioners in dialogue: Ethical dilemmas in English language teaching (pp. 292-297). Routledge
  • Kristjánsson, C. (2007). The word in the world: So to speak (a Freirean legacy). In D. Smith & T. Osborn, (Eds.), Spirituality, social justice and language learning (pp. 133–153). Information Age Publishing.

Journal Articles

  • Kristjánsson, C. (2019). English language teaching: locating faith in the context of local and global dynamics. International Journal of Christianity and English Language Teaching, 6(1), 21–52.
  • Kristjánsson, C. (2015). Earl W. Stevick: Keeping the faith in theory and practice. International Journal of Christianity and English Language Teaching, (2), 62–66.
  • Kristjánsson, C. (2013). (In)visible agents in the academy: Locating the discussion of faiths and practices. Journal of Christianity and Foreign Languages, (XIV), 51–61.
  • Stevick, E., & Kristjánsson, C. (2013). Faiths and practices in language teaching. Journal of Christianity and Foreign Languages, (XIV), 62–86.
  • Goertzen, P., & Kristjánsson, C. (2007). Interpersonal dimensions of community in graduate online learning: Exploring social presence through the lens of systemic functional linguistics. The Internet and Higher Education, 10(4), 212–230.
  • Shi, L., Reeder, K., Slater, T., & Kristjánsson, C. (2004). Tensions in learning content and technology: The experience of education students in a web-based research project. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 13(1), 42–60.

Affiliations & Memberships

  • Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada (AASSC)
  • Christian English Language Educators Association (CELEA)
  • Open/Technology in Education, Scholarship, and Society Association (OTESSA)
  • Teaching English as a Second Language in Canada Federation (TESL Canada)
  • The Association of BC Teachers of English as an Additional Language (BC TEAL)

Language Education

  • LING 512 Second Language Acquisition (Developer & Instructor)
  • LING 514 Materials Evaluation & Design (Co-developer & Instructor)
  • LING 518 Curriculum Development & Program Design (Co-developer & Instructor)
  • LING 531 Issues in Applied Linguistics: Faith-informed Language Teaching – A Seminar with Earl Stevick (Coordinator & Co-Instructor)
  • LING 535 Teaching Beginners (Developer & Instructor)
  • LING 540 Diversity in Language Education (Developer & Instructor)
  • LING 630 English for Academic Purposes (Co-developer & Lead Instructor)
  • LING 640 MA TESOL Internship (Developer & Instructor)
  • LING 641 e-Mentor Consultation (Developer & Instructor)
  • LING 800 Independent Study in TESL (Co-developer & Instructor)


  • In-house Coach Team (Instruction & Development)
  • Online Orientation Strength-Based Webinar Series (Developer & Instructor)
  • MA TESOL Coaching Curriculum (Developer and Coordinator)