M'Balia Thomas
  • Assistant Professor

Contact Info

Joseph R. Pearson Hall, room #308


M’Balia B. Thomas, Assistant Professor of TESOL, is a Critical Applied Linguist housed within a Department of Curriculum & Teaching where she specialize in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). While her teaching duties lie in TESOL, her research examines teaching, learning, and language use broadly.

As a Critical Applied Linguist, Dr. Thomas draws upon language-based qualitative methods (discourse, conversation, and narrative analyses; rhetorical-stylistic analysis; thematic analysis) to address the testimonial injustices (Fricker, 2007) committed against social actors in particular individuals considered nonnative and nonstandard speakers of American English.

Dr. Thomas is active in the Self-Study SIG of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), and the Poetics & Linguistics Association (PALA).


Interdisciplinary Program in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching. Major: Language Use, Minor: Linguistic Analysis, University of Arizona, 2014, Tucson, AZ
Advertising, Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid, 1996, Madrid, Spain
Sociology, with Honors, Stanford University, 1993, Palo Alto, CA


Critical Applied Linguistics, Everyday Creativity, Harry Potter Studies


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

Selected Publications

Thomas, M. (2021). The everyday creativity of authentic classroom assessments. LEARNing Landscapes Journal.
Thomas, M. (2021). From “slow” to “being ‘lazy’ and slowing down” and the impact on student learning. Teaching and Learning Inquiry.
Thomas, M. (2020). Virtual Teaching in the Time of COVID-19: Rethinking our WEIRD Pedagogical Commitments to Teacher Education. Frontiers Journal. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2020.595574.
Thomas, M. (2020). Rendering the Untellable, Tellable: The Cooperative Work of Face in Conversational Storytelling. Narrative Inquiry - Issue 2 | Volume 30. https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.18055.tho.
Thomas, M. (2018). Trauma, Harry Potter, and the Demented World of Academia. Journal of Educational Thought (JET) - Issue 2 | Volume 51. https://doi.org/10.11575/jet.v51i2.58452.

Selected Presentations

Popular culture as a vehicle to shared, prior knowledge in an undergraduate teacher education course. - The Center for Teaching Excellence Teaching Conference. Location: Lawrence, KS. (5-01-2018).
“Being ‘Lazy’ and Slowing Down” in an Evening Graduate Teacher Education Course" - International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Location: Bergen, Norway. (10-01-2018).
"Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL): The 'Pragmatism' of Documenting and Assessing Teaching and Learning" - Women in Educational Leadership Conference. Location: Lincoln, NE. (10-02-2017).
"Teaching TESOL Methods through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter" - MidTESOL Conference. Location: Kansas City, MO. (9-29-2017).
"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). Location: West Chester, PA. (7-01-2017).
"Victimization, signification and misrecognition in the deviantly curious case of internet sensation Antoine Dodson" - Poetics & Linguistics Society (PALA). Location: Cagliari, Sardinia, Itlaly. (7-29-2016).
The Great Dumbledore Debate: A Corpus-Stylistic Inquiry into the Epistemic Repertoire of Albus Dumbledore. - Poetics and Linguistics Association. Location: University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK. (5-15-2019).
The Secret, Sacred, & Cover Stories of Albus Dumbledore. - Southwest Popular and American Culture Association (SWPACA). Location: Virtual. (2-01-2021).
Embracing the Humanities in the field of Education - School of Education Research Conference. Location: Lawrence. (2-01-2020).