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M'Balia Thomas, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Primary office:
Joseph R. Pearson Hall, 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.



C&T 896 The Internationalized Curriculum

C&T 818 Language, Discourse and Ideology

C&T 817 Contact, Change & American English

C&T 816 Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

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

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


  • Critical Social Theory, Teaching, and Teacher Education
  • Citizenship, Immigration, Migration and Refugee Education
  • Discourse ad Critical Discourse Approaches to Language Research Methods
  • Narrative Storytelling, Style and Verbal Ability among Marked Users of English
  • Intercultural Competence of Teachers and within Teacher Education
  • Study Abroad and Foreign Language Education

Selected Publications

  • Thomas, M. (2014). Girl Talk: A dialogic approach to oral narrative storytelling analysis in English as a foreign language research. ProQuest, UMI Dissertations. http://search.proquest.com/docview/1629825666/
  • Thomas, M. (2013). The problematization of racial/ethnic minority student participation in U.S. study abroad. Applied Linguistics Review, Special Issue: Critiquing Applied Linguistics, 4(2): 361-386.
  • Thomas, M. (2009). WORDS AS WEAPONS: The metaphorical attack of Michelle Obama in US print headlines (A critical discourse analysis). Proceedings of the Symposium on Language and Society in Austin (SALSA), Austin, TX.http://studentorgs.utexas.edu/salsa/proceedings/2009/05_TLS53_Thomas.pdf

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D. University of Arizona, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, 2014
  • M.A., Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid, Spain, Advertising, 1996
  • A.B., Stanford University, Sociology (with honors), 1993

Courses Taught

  • C&T 798 Language, Discourse and Ideology
  • C&T 820 TESL Methods
  • C&T 491/825 TESOL Practicum
  • C&T 331 Instructional Approaches to TESOL in Middle/Secondary




  • KU New Faculty General Research Fund Award, Fall 2015
  • School of Education Summer Writing Support, Summer 2015