Sharon is a Teacher of English for Academic Purposes at the Centre for Academic English (CfAE). As lead for speaking skills development, she designs courses, develops materials and oversees provision to support the student experience. She is responsible for the design and development of the CfAE's successful suite of technical speaking courses for doctoral students. She coordinates tailored, individual support for academic staff and researchers. She also collaborates with departments designing and running courses and workshops to respond to specific needs. Sharon is a Senior Fellow of the Advance HE
Her main area of expertise is the effective oral communication of STEMM research. She supports staff and students in developing the skills necessary to talk about their research and knowledge in a range of academic contexts. Her focus is not solely on what is appropriate to say and do in a specific academic setting but importantly on how to achieve the most effective communication in a given setting. This involves working on areas such as logic and clarity of structure; flexibility and responsiveness to the setting and audience; clarity of the message (focussing on the main point, emphasising ideas, demonstrating rigour); clarity and effectiveness of delivery. Through an iterative approach to practice and maximising the benefits of peer review (on courses) and targeted teacher feedback, she aims to provide students and staff with the space and opportunities to develop their speaking skills.
Building on her success here at Imperial, she has also worked abroad, delivering a series of workshops on presentation skills in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Szeged.
RECENT CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
Smith, S (2021) Staging Speaking Provision along the Doctoral Journey [Conference] NFEAP Conference: Stages. OsloMet. 3-4 June 2021.
Chiu, L and Smith, S (2021) Teaching Speaking Online in the post-Covid era: opportunities and unexpected benefits [Conference] BALEAP Conference: Exploring Pedagogical Approaches in EAP Teaching. University of Glasgow. 6-10 April 2021.
Smith, S (2018) Time-relevant support for PhD students in STEMM: developing interactional competence within a range of academic scenarios along the PhD journey, [Conference] BALEAP Conference: Speaking. Newcastle University. 9 June 2018.