Dr. Suneeta Thomas



Role: Faculty
Campus: Springfield

Postal mail

Missouri State University
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, MO 65897


Dr. Thomas is Associate Professor of English - TESOL/Linguistics and Coordinator of TESOL Programs at Missouri State University. As a sociocultural linguist with research interests in World Englishes, she investigates patterns in English language use and its users in transnational Middle Eastern, South-Asian, and East-Asian contexts and assesses how these patterns are influenced by multiple social, cultural, economic, racial, and political forces. Currently, she researches migrant/foreign/immigrant identities both in the Middle East and the USA. Her secondary area of research is in second language writing and the challenges L2 writers face in the classroom. Dr. Thomas also employs corpus linguistics and conversation analysis methodology in some of her research investigations. Her publications appear in Critical Insights: Amy Tan, World Englishes, Journal of Contemporary Philology, Educational Technology & Society, and TESOL's SLW News. She regularly mentors and supervises graduate student research and teaches a myriad range of graduate and undergraduate-level courses in Applied Linguistics and Linguistics/Grammar.



  • PhD, English, Second Language Studies/ESL, Purdue University
  • MA, English, Literary Studies, Purdue University


  • ENG 793 Seminar in Linguistics (Grammatical Analysis)
  • ENG 793 Seminar in Linguistics (World Englishes)
  • ENG 793 Seminar in Linguistics (Introduction to Corpus Linguistics)
  • ENG 792 Linguistics in Rhetoric and Composition (Second Language Writing/ESL/Translingualism focus)
  • ENG 591/691 Linguistics Theory
  • ENG 595/695 Principles in Second Language Acquisition
  • ENG 592/688 Sociolinguistics for Language Teaching
  • ENG 590/690 Grammatical Analysis
  • ENG 494 Dialects of American English
  • ENG 390 Modern English Grammar
  • ENG 296 Introduction to Linguistics

Professional experience

  • MLA, Language Studies and Linguistics, Global English Forum Executive Committee, 2025-2030
  • Reviewer for textbook in Language and Linguistics, Cambridge University Press, 2024
  • Faculty Writing Retreats FLC Facilitator, Faculty Center of Teaching & Learning, Missouri State University, 2023-2024
  • Graduate Faculty Research Mentoring (2017-present): 19 graduate students (as Research Director), 21 graduate students (as Reader). 
  • Coordinator of TESOL Programs and Sole Academic Advisor of seated TESOL & ESOL Programs, Missouri State University, 2022-present
  • RCASH College Representative, Inclusive Engagement Council, Missouri State University, 2023-
  • Editorial Board, Ozarks Studies Institute, 2023-
  • University Committee on Faculty Concerns, Missouri State University, 2022-present
  • Graduate Committee; Planning Committee, Department of English, Missouri State University, 2022-present
  • RCOAL Diversity, Inclusion, Anti-Racism Council, Missouri State University, 2020-2023
  • Conference Proposal Reviewer, TESOL 2023, 2022, 2021, and 2015 International Convention
  • Journal Manuscript Reviewer: Frontiers in Communication, 2024SALTJournal of Contemporary Philology, 2020-present; World Englishes, 2020.
  • Curriculum Committee, Department of English, Missouri State University, 2018-2023
  • Co-Academic Advisor with Dr. Yili Shi, seated TESOL/ESOL programs, Missouri State University, 2018-2021
  • Personnel Committee, Department of English, Missouri State University, 2017-2021
  • Linguistics Program Committee, Missouri State University, 2016-present
  • Content Developer, Online Writing Lab (OWL), Purdue University, 2015-2016
  • Chair, Second Language Studies/ESL Graduate Symposium, Purdue University, 2015
  • Certified Rater, Purdue University's Oral English Proficiency Test (OEPT), 2014-2016
  • Graduate Instructor, Content Developer, Oral English Proficiency Program (OEPP), Purdue University, 2014-2016
  • Chair, ESL Speaker Series, Second Language Studies/ESL Graduate Organization, Purdue University, 2013-2014
  • Instructor, Introductory Composition at Purdue (ICaP) Program, Department of English, Purdue University, 2010-2014

Research and professional interests

  • World Englishes/sociolinguistics
  • Second language writing/writing studies
  • Corpus linguistics
  • Applied linguistics

Selected publications

  • Thomas, S. (forthcoming). Professional and cultural identity performances in transnational, middle-class migrants: A sociolinguistic case study of the United Arab Emirates. Atlantic Studies.
  • Thomas, S. (2021). Perceiving Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue” through Sociolinguistic and World Englishes lenses. In K. West &  L. T. Moser (Eds.), Critical Insights: Amy Tan (pp. 42-57). Amenia, NY: Salem Press.
  • Thomas, S. (2021). Code-switching in spoken Indian English: A case study of sociopolitical talk. Journal of Contemporary Philology, 4(1), 7-40. https://doi.org/10.37834/JCP2141007t
  • Thomas, S. (2021). English in the United Arab Emirates. World Englishes, 1-27. https://doi.org/10.1111/weng.12560
  • Thomas, S. (2017). Journalogue: Voicing student challenges in writing through a classroom blog. Educational Technology & Society, 20(1), 112-122.
  • Thomas, S. (2016). [Review of the book Teaching and Learning English in the Arabic-Speaking World]. World Englishes, 35(4), 618-621.
  • Silva, T., Thomas, S., Park, H. K., & Zhang, C. (Sept, 2014). Scholarship on L2 Writing in 2013: The Year in Review, SLW News. http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/tesolslwis/issues/2014-09-24/6.html
  • Silva, T., Lin, M-H., & Thomas, S. (Oct, 2013). Scholarship on L2 Writing in 2012: The Year in Review, SLW News. http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/tesolslwis/issues/2013-10-07/9.html

Awards and honors

  • Judy Award for Graduate Mentorship, Reynolds College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Missouri State University, 2023.
  • Assessment Grant, Missouri State University, 2021
  • Diversity Scholar Award, Missouri State University, 2020
  • Assessment Grant, Missouri State University, 2020
  • Master Advisor, Missouri State University, 2019
  • Faculty Travel Grant, Missouri State University, 2019
  • Faculty Travel Grant, Missouri State University, 2017
  • College of Arts and Letters Faculty Summer Fellowship, Missouri State University, 2017
  • Master Advisor, Missouri State University, 2016
  • Mary Gitzen Memorial OEPP Excellence in Teaching Award, Oral English Proficiency Program, Purdue University, Spring 2016, Fall 2015 and Spring 2015
  • Introductory Composition at Purdue (ICaP) Pedagogical Travel Grant, Purdue University, Spring 2016
  • Summer Grant, Purdue Research Foundation, Purdue University, 2015
  • Instructor Travel Award, Oral English Proficiency Program, Purdue University, 2014-2016
  • Teaching Assistantship, Oral English Proficiency Program, Purdue University, 2014-2016
  • Q-Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Composition Program, Department of English, Purdue University, 2014
  • Emerging Scholar Award, The Graduate Student English Association, Purdue University, 2014
  • Graduate Student Travel Award, Department of English, Purdue University, 2013 and 2014
  • Teaching Assistantship, Introductory Composition at Purdue (ICaP), Department of English, Purdue University, 2010-2014