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Bal Krishna Sharma

Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics. Affiliate Faculty, Habib Institute for Asian Studies


Brink Hall 128

  • Ph.D., Second Language Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016
  • M.A., Second Language Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011
  • M. Ed., English Education, Tribhuvan University, Nepal 2004
  • B. Ed., English Education, Tribhuvan University, Nepal 2001

I joined the Department of English at the University of Idaho in 2016. My scholarship focuses on the study of language in the context of transnational mobility, with a particular emphasis on the social, cultural, and political dimensions of second language learning, teaching, and use within various contexts such as work, education, and new media. I employ ethnography and discourse analysis as primary research methods. Theoretically, my work draws extensively from interdisciplinary scholarship on globalization, transnationalism, neoliberalism, and new materialism.

In my primary research project, I examined the mobility of language, culture, and people from the Global North to the Global South, with a specific focus on crucial questions surrounding communication, multilingualism, and the political economy of language from the perspectives of tourism workers. This research on tourism communication ignited my interest in exploring another dimension of transnational mobility and labor: the movement from the Global South to the Global North. Over the past several years, I have been studying the language learning and professional development trajectories of international STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) scholars in the context of their academic work in the United States. Within this research, I investigate how international faculty members navigate their language expertise, address both perceived and real language-related challenges, and whether they conform to or challenge standard language norms in their professional communication. More recently, I have developed a keen interest in the ever-evolving domain of participatory popular culture and new media. My academic pursuits revolve around the intricate intersections of identity and language ideology, particularly within the context of multilingualism. I am dedicated to unraveling the complexities of linguistic inequalities in contemporary digital communication practices.

  • Multilingualism
  • Sociolinguistics 
  • Discourse analysis
  • Intercultural communication
  • Qualitative research methods

Edited Book

  • Sharma, B. & Gao, S (2021). Language and intercultural communication in tourism: Critical perspectives. New York, NY:  Routledge.

Special Journal Issues

  • Sharma, B. & Canagarajah, S. (Eds.) (2023). Spatial repertoires in the disciplinary communication of international STEM scholars. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 16 (6)
  • Lamb, G. & Sharma, B. (Eds.) (2021). Tourism spaces at the nexus of language, materiality and mobility. Applied Linguistics Review, 12 (1).
  • Sharma, B. (Ed.) (2018). Chinese as a global language. Global Chinese, 4(1).

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Sharma, B. (forthcoming). Translingual Englishes, participatory popular culture and social media in Nepal. World Englishes.
  • Sharma, B. (2023). A new materialist perspective to studying instructional interactions in material engineering. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 26, 689-707.
  • Sharma, B. & Sievers, M. (2022). Developing teacher awareness and action plans for teaching English as an international language. Language Awareness 
  • Sharma, B. (2022). Multimodal instructional communication in science and engineering in two university classrooms. Multimodal Communication, 11, 111-131.
  • Sharma, B. (2021). Retelling stories of desire in TESOL: English, imagination and encounters in tourism. TESOL Quarterly, 55, 80-104.
  • Sharma, B. (2021). The scarf, language, and other semiotic assemblages in the formation of a new  Chinatown. Applied Linguistics Review, 12, 65-91.
  • Sharma, B. (2020). Negotiating professional authority and power in tourist-guide communication in guided village tour. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 24, 656-674.

Book Chapters and Encyclopedia Entries

  • Lamb G. & Sharma, B. (forthcoming). (Eco)tourism tensions in the semiotic landscape. In R. Blackwood, S. Tufi and W. Amos (Eds.), Bloomsbury handbook of linguistic landscapes. New York: Bloomsbury.
  • Sharma, B. & Phyak, P. (2022). Visual multilingualism and the making of Chinese space in Nepal. In. J. W. Lee (Eds.), The sociolinguistics of global Asias (pp. 24-41). New York: Routledge.
  • Sharma, B. (2021). Tourism and intercultural communication. Oxford Bibliographies Online. Oxford: Oxford University.
  • Sharma, B. S. (2020). Greenspeak in tourism encounters and implications for sustainable TESOL. In J. Goulah & J. Katunich (Eds.), TESOL and sustainability: English language teaching in the Anthropocene era (pp. 133-150). New York: Bloomsbury.
  • Sharma, B. (2018). Economic market, “elite” multilingualism, and language policy in Nepali schools. In J. Crandall & K. Bailey (Eds.), Global perspectives on educational language policies (pp. 84-94). New York, NY: Routledge.

Find Bal Krishna Sharma in and Google Scholar

  • 2024: Student Organization Advisor Award
  • 2022 & 2018: CLASS Summer Research Grant, University of Idaho
  • 2020: Kurt O. Olsson Early Career Research Grant, University of Idaho
  • 2019: ORED RISE Arts & Humanities (A&H) Project Support Grant, University of Idaho
  • 2019: Confucius Institute Faculty Fellows Small Grant, University of Idaho.
  • 2019: GSSP Faculty Excellence in Internationalization, University of Idaho
  • 2019: CLASS Undergraduate Collaborative Key Grant, University of Idaho
  • 2018: Alumni Award for Excellence Inspirational Mentor, University of Idaho
  • 2018: Seed Grant, University of Idaho
  • 2015: Dai Ho Chun Fellowship, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • 2014: Doctoral Dissertation Grant, the International Research Foundation for English Language Education
  • 2014: Civil Society Scholar Award by the Open Society Foundations
  • 2008: East-West Center Graduate Degree Fellowship
  • 2001 & 2003: Mahendra Vidya Bhusan (Gold Medals by the King), Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Linguistic Transformation in Tourism Spaces

Presentation by Bal Krishna Sharma, Assistant Professor of English.

English Department

Physical Address:
200 Brink Hall

Mailing Address:
English Department
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1102
Moscow, Idaho 83844-1102

Phone: 208-885-6156


Web: English