Photo of Dr. Karolina Achirri

Dr. Karolina Achirri

Assistant Professor of ESL

563.876.3353 x375


Dr. Achirri comes from Poland where she received her BA and MA in English Philology. She taught English as a First, Second, and Foreign Language in Poland, England, and China for over 12 years. She has been an IELTS Speaking and Writing Examiner, certified by British Council. She published two books for IELTS test takers as well as a memoir with her experiences of living and teaching in China. Dr. Achirri earned her doctorate degree in Second Language Studies from Michigan State University, where she also taught future TESOL and K-12 teachers courses on Pedagogical Grammar, Teaching Methods and Second Language Learning. Dr. Achirri advocates for international students in the United States. Her research focuses on intercultural communication in ESL settings, pedagogy of kindness, teacher and student identities, and translanguaging.

Professional website:


B.A. - Pila Academy of Business, Poland (English Philogy)
M.A. - Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland (English Philogy)
Ph.D. - Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan (Second Lanuage Studies)

Classes taught at DWC

Reading and Communication classes on various levels, Directed Study


2020: A Dynamic Interplay of Professional Identities: Teacher-Researcher's Identity (Re)Construction. The Qualitative Report, Vol. 25, Number 6.
2017: Perceiving Identity through Accent Lenses: A Case Study of a Chinese English Speaker’s Perceptions of Her Pronunciation and Perceived Social Identity. MSU Working Papers in Second Language Studies, Vol. 8, Number 1.
2017: Interview with Professor Martha Bigelow. MSU Working Papers in Second Language Studies, Vol. 8, Number 1.

2017: Call me Li Nana: Memoirs of a foreigner in China.
2015: IELTS Band 9: An Academic Guide for Chinese Students. Vol I.
2015: IELTS Band 9: An Academic Guide for Chinese Students. Vol. II
2015: IELTS Examiner’s Tips: An Academic Guide to IELTS Speaking and Writing

Professional Affiliations

Illinois TESOL Bilingual Ed (ITBE)
Iowa World Languages Association
Association of Interdisciplinary Studies
National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity
Modern Language Association of Poland
Linguistic Society of America (LSA)
American Association of Applied Linguistics


Polish, English, Chinese, Russian, Ukrainian, Latin

Intercultural Experience

Learned 5 foreign languages
Taught in Poland, England, China
Conducted and published research on intercultural communication
Lives in an intercultural relationship

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