Sharon Childs

Sharon Childs

Teaching Professor of Applied Linguistics
Chair, MA TESL Program
Program Director, TESOL Minor & Integrated UG program in Applied Linguistics
(814) 865-1919
Area(s) of Specialization: Language Teacher Cognition, Language Teacher Education, Online Instruction
Sharon Childs


Ph.D., Applied Linguistics, The Pennsylvania State University

Professional Bio

Dr. Sharon Childs is an associate teaching professor whose research interests include L2 teacher learning and cognition from a Vygotskian sociocultural theory (VSCT) perspective and L2 teacher professional development. She works with undergraduate and master’s level students and teaches courses including First-Year Seminar (APLNG83), Teaching American English Pronunciation (APLNG410), Theory: Second Language Acquisition (APLNG491), Teaching English as a Second Language (APLNG493), and Practice Teaching in ESL (APLNG500).  She has also taught in the International Teaching Assistants (ITA) program and the former On-Line Graduate Certificate in TESOL program. In addition to her teaching, Dr. Childs participates regularly in collaborative research, scholarship, mentoring, and pedagogical opportunities. Most recently, she served as a global language coordinator for an international virtual exchange project through Penn State’s EDGE, Experiential Digital Global Engagement. This project was funded by the American Councils for International Education and connected Penn State STEM professors and undergraduate students with students and professors at four Central Asian universities. She has also co-authored a book using original research with colleagues Dr. Karen E. Johnson and Dr. Deryn P. Verity, Praxis-oriented Pedagogy for Novice L2 Teacher: Developing Teacher Reasoning (2022, Routledge).


Select Recent Articles and Book Chapters

Shiver, R., Madany-Saa, M., Sweeney, E., Smolcic, E., Childs, S., Loja Criollo, A., & Loja Criollo, Y. (2022). Re-imagining immersion for teachers: Exploring the seedlings of decolonial roots within Ecuadorian/United States partnerships. In G. Barkhuizen & R. Wette (Eds.), Multilingual Matters Series: Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching, Language teachers studying abroad: Identities, emotions and disruptions. UK: Multilingual Matters.

Johnson, K.E., Verity, D.P., & Childs, S.S. (2020). Praxis-oriented pedagogy and the development of L2 novice teacher expertise. The European Journal of Applied Linguistics and TEFL 9(2).

Sweeney, E., & Childs, S. (2019). Voices together: Perspectives from the host and sojourner communities. In D. Martin & E. Smolcic (Eds.), Redefining Competence Through Cultural Immersion:  Teacher Preparation for Linguistic and Culturally Diverse Classrooms. England:  Palgrave Macmillan.

Smith, E.P., Wise, E., Rosen, H., Rosen, A., Childs, S., & McManus, M. (April 2014). Top-down, bottom-up, and around the jungle gym: A social exchange and networks approach to engaging afterschool programs in implementing evidence-based practices.  American Journal of Community Psychology, 53, DOI: 10.1007/s10464-014-9656-0.

Childs, S. (2013). The Pennsylvania State University’s Online Graduate Certificate Program in TESOLOnline English Language Teacher Education: Case Reports of Innovative OnlineDelivery. TIRF – The International Research Foundation for English Language Education, [].

Childs, S. (2010). ”Seeing” L2 teacher learning: The power of context on conceptualizing teaching.  In K. E. Johnson & P. Golombek (Eds.), Research on second language teacher education: Exploring the complexities of professional development (pp. 67-85). New York: Routledge.



Praxis-oriented Pedagogy for Novice L2 Teachers. Developing Teacher Resources by Karen E. Johnson, Deryn P. Verity, and Sharon S. Childs.