M'Balia Thomas

School of Education - Curriculum & Teaching
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Program in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching. Major: Language Use, Minor: Linguistic Analysis, University of Arizona
Primary office:
Joseph R. Pearson Hall
Room 308
University of Kansas
1122 West Campus Rd
Lawrence, KS 66045

M’Balia B. Thomas, Assistant Professor of TESOL, joined the KU faculty in the fall of 2014. Dr. Thomas holds a PhD in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching from the University of Arizona. As an Applied Linguist, Dr. Thomas investigates language use by speakers of English as a second/foreign language. Her work adopts a critical and social theoretical approach to topics in these areas, exploring the effect of discourse and language ideologies on the interaction, performance and stylization of language among EFL/ESL speakers.

Dr. Thomas specializes in TESOL.


Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Program in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching. Major: Language Use, Minor: Linguistic Analysis, University of Arizona

M.A., Advertising, Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid

A.B., Sociology, with Honors, Stanford University



C&T 896 The Internationalized Curriculum

C&T 818 Language, Discourse and Ideology

C&T 817 Contact, Change & American English

C&T 491/825 TESOL Practicum / Advanced TESOL Practicum

C&T 331 Instructional Approaches to TESOL in Middle/Secondary


Critical and social theoretical approaches to topics in SLA and Applied Linguistics

Selected Publications

Thomas, M. (2016). A Dialogic Approach to Supervision in the Practicum ATE-K The Advocate. ATE-K, 23(2).

Thomas, M. (2015). Linguist List [Review of the book The Unspeakable: Narratives of Trauma, M.Stroinska, V. Cecchetto, K. Szymanski (eds)]. Linguist List, https://linguistlist.org/issues/26/26-3788.html. https://linguistlist.org/issues/26/26-3788.html

Thomas, M. (2014). A Dialogic Approach to Oral Narrative Storytelling Analysis in English as a Foreign Language Research. Proquest

Waugh, L. Aldemar Alvarez, J. Do, T. Michelson, K. & Thomas, M. (2013). Chapter 27: Meaning in texts and contexts. In . (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of the History of Linguistics.

Thomas, M. (2013). The problematization of racial/ethnic minority student participation in US study abroad. Applied Linguistics Review, 4(2), 365-390.

Thomas, M. (2009). WORDS AS WEAPONS: The metaphorical attack of Michelle Obama in US print headlines (A critical discourse analysis). In Proceedings of the Symposium on Language and Society in Austin (SALSA), (pp. 39-49). Austin, TX.

» Show All Publications

Selected Presentations

Thomas, M. . (10/18/2017). "Space, Place, & Race in Antoine Dodson's 'Bed Intruder': A Stylistic Analysis". Wichita State University Language and Linguistics Colloquium Series. Wichita, KS

Thomas, M. . (10/02/2017). "Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL): The 'Pragmatism' of Documenting and Assessing Teaching and Learning". Women in Educational Leadership Conference. Lincoln, NE. Available Here

Thomas, M. & Fox, M. E. (09/29/2017). "Teaching TESOL Methods through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter". MidTESOL Conference. Kansas City, MO

Thomas, M. . (07/31/2017). "Space Invasion: A Text World Appraoch to Exploring Language, Race and Space in 'Bed Intruder'". Special Interest Panel: African and Diasporic Literatures. Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA). West Chester, PA

Thomas, M. . (02/15/2017). Literature and the Advancement of Human Rights in TESOL Education: Capitalizing on student empathy toward the Harry Potter Universe in Pre-service Teacher Education. Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA). Albuquerque, NM

Thomas, M. . (07/29/2016). "Victimization, signification and misrecognition in the deviantly curious case of internet sensation Antoine Dodson" . Poetics & Linguistics Society (PALA). Cagliari, Sardinia, Itlaly

Thomas, M. . (03/03/2016). "Exploring the uses of mobile technology in child language use, play, and the socialization of affect". Child Language Proseminar. Dole 3048

Thomas, M. . (02/19/2016). "Immigration, Migration and Transnational Flows: Intercultural Competence & Internationalization in Higher Education". University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Dept of Teaching, Learning & Teacher Ed. Lincoln, NE

Thomas, M. Darban, B. & Tonnies, K. . (01/29/2016). "100 Questions & the Quest for Citizenship Ethnographic Data Collection in a Citizenship Education Program in Northeast Kansas" . School of Education Research Conference . JRP

Selected Grants

, , "The Greater Good: Engaging with K-12 Content-Based TESOL Methods through the Harry Potter Wizarding World"., $5,122, (07/01/2017 - 06/30/2018) . State of Kansas. Status: Funded.

Thomas, M'Balia, (Principal), Internationalizing Higher Education for International Student "Success": A study of Metaphor in Short Story Narratives of International Students at a midwest University, $6,535, Submitted 02/01/2016 (05/15/2016 - 08/31/2017) . Not-for-Profit (not Foundation). Status: Funded.

Thomas, M'Balia, (Principal), Ethnographic Study of Instruction and Assessment within the Citizenship Education Program of a local Religious-based Organization in Kansas City., $7,931, Submitted 07/06/2015 (09/01/2015 - 04/30/2017) . State of Kansas. Status: Funded.

Thomas, M'Balia, (Principal), Transgressive Classroom Talk and the Pursuit of a Dialogic Stance in the English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Practicum Observation, School of Education, Submitted 01/01/2015 (05/15/2015 - 12/31/2015) . To complete one manuscript to submit for publication in the early Fall 2015. University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded.

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