Dr Karen Ludke

Senior Lecturer in English Language and International Co-ordinator

Department of English, History & Creative Writing


I am a Senior Lecturer in English Language at Edge Hill University. Previously, I worked at the University of Prince Edward Island (Canada), the University of Salford (England), and the University of Edinburgh (Scotland). I earned my doctorate from the University of Edinburgh in 2010, having previously obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and French from the University of Michigan.

My teaching includes topics in first and second language learning, bilingualism and psycholinguistics. I teach English Language modules at every level, leading the level 4 module about language, mind and communication, the level 5 module on child language development, and the level 6 module about psycholinguistics. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

In addition, I am the International Co-ordinator for English students within the department and I am happy to speak to students who are considering study abroad opportunities.

Research interests

My research and publications focus on the inclusion of the arts to support language learning, particularly through musical activities and singing. In particular, my published work describes experimental studies designed to teach words and phrases in a new language. One experiment compared performance in three ‘listen-and-repeat’ learning conditions: speaking, rhythmic speaking and singing. It showed that the ‘listen-and-sing’ training resulted in the highest scores, especially on two foreign-language speaking tests.

In addition, I have developed a range of pedagogical resources and articles for primary school teachers about the European Music Portfolio – A Creative Way into Languages project.

I am interested to hear proposals from potential MRes. and PhD students interested in conducting interdisciplinary research, particularly projects that combine language learning with the arts and music.


  • PhD, University of Edinburgh, 2010
  • MScRes, University of Edinburgh, 2006
  • BA in English and French, University of Michigan, 2002


  • Child language development
  • Foreign and second language education and bilingualism
  • Integrating music and singing into the language curriculum
  • Teacher education and knowledge exchange
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Psychology of music


Current teaching as module leader for:

  • LNG1020 Language, Mind & Communication
  • LNG2139 Child Language Development
  • LNG3133 Psycholinguistics


LUDKE, K.M., & MORGAN, K. (accepted). Pop music in informal foreign language learning: A search for learner perspectives. International Journal of Applied Linguistics (Special Issue).

LUDKE, K.M., 2020. Book review of ‘Integrated music education: Challenges of teaching and teacher training’ co-edited by Cslovjecsek, C. & Zulauf, M. (2018). Didacticae 8: 213-216. DOI: 10.1344/did.2020.8.213-216

GUDMUNDSDOTTIR, H., BEYNON, C., LUDKE, K.M. (co-editors) and COHEN, A.J. (series editor), 2020. The Routledge Companion to Interdisciplinary Studies in Singing, Volume II: Education, Routledge. ISBN: 9781138061149.

COHEN, A.J., PAN, B-Y., & LUDKE, K.M., 2020. Development of multicultural choirs on college campuses: Theory and practice. In Heydon, R., Fancourt, D., & Cohen, A.J. (co-editors) The Routledge Companion to Interdisciplinary Studies in Singing, Volume III: Wellbeing, Routledge. ISBN: 9781138061224.

LUDKE, K.M., 2020. Songs and Music. In Dressman, M. & Sadler, R.W. (eds). The Handbook of Informal Language Learning, Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 9781119472445.

MAWTUS, B., RODRIGUEZ-CUADRADO, S., LUDKE, K.M., & NICOLSON, R.I., 2019. Developing creative thinking skills in adolescents through play-based pedagogic planning principles. Psychology Teaching Review, 25 (2), 89-92. ERIC: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1231524

COHEN, A.J. & LUDKE, K.M., 2019. Digital libraries for singing: The example of the AIRS project. In: Graham, W.Howard, D. M. and Nix, J. (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Singing. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199660773 DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199660773.001.0001

LUDKE, K.M., 2018. Singing and arts activities in support of foreign language learning: An exploratory study. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching 12 (4): 371-386. DOI: 10.1080/17501229.2016.1253700

DUNLOP, A.-W.FRAME, K.GOODIER, J.MILES, C.RENTON, K.SMALL, M.ADIE, J. and LUDKE, K., 2016. ‘Sustaining the Ambition’: The contribution of GTCS-registered teachers as part of the Early Learning and Childcare Workforce in Scotland. Project Report. Educational Institute of Scotland.

LUDKE, K.M., FERREIRA, F. & OVERY, K., 2014. Singing can facilitate foreign language learning. Memory & Cognition, 42 (1), pp. 41-52. Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/s13421-013-0342-5.

AKHTAR, G.L., LUDKE, K.M. & MORAN, N., 2013. Integrated Music and Language Learning: The European Music Portfolio – A Creative Way into Languages. National Association of Music Educators, pp. 22-25.

LUDKE, K.M. & WEINMANN, H. (Eds.), 2012. The European Music Portfolio – A Creative Way into Languages: Teacher’s Handbook, pp. 1-57.

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