Holly Hansen-Thomas, PhD

Professor and Program Coordinator, Bilingual/ESL
Grant Director

Office: SH 111
Phone: 940-898-2265


PhD, University of Texas at San Antonio, Culture, Literacy and Language
MA, University of Texas at San Antonio, Bicultural/Bilingual Studies, emphasis in ESL
BA, University of Texas at Austin, Art History

Research Interests

ESL training for mainstream secondary level teachers; English Language Learners' development of academic language in mathematics and science; language awareness; teacher identity.


Holly Hansen-Thomas has been at Texas Woman's University since 2008. She is a professor in the Bilingual/ESL program area and serves as the program coordinator. She is a two-time Fulbright Scholar and has taught and/or worked with teachers of English Learners in Texas and New York, as well as in Spain, Hungary and Germany, among other places. Having successfully written and/or managed more than $7 million dollars in U.S. federal grant funding through the Department of Education - Office of English Language Acquisition, Hansen-Thomas has engaged in teacher training and research for content area teachers of ELLs for nearly two decades.

Selected Publications


Langman, J. & Hansen-Thomas, H. (Eds.). (2017). Discourse Analytic Perspectives on STEM Education. Netherlands: Springer.

Bright, A., Hansen-Thomas, H. & de Oliveira, L. (Eds.). (2015). The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics for English Language Learners: High School. Alexandria, VA: TESOL Press & NCTM.


Hansen-Thomas, H. (in press). Mini-novelas to incorporate culturally responsive literature with academic writing. In Sharkey, J. (Ed.). Putting Research into Practice: Elementary School. Alexandria, VA: TESOL Press.

Grosso Richins, L., & Hansen-Thomas, H. (2017). Heritage Language
Development of Pre-Service Bilingual Teachers: How a Practice Situated Intervention Promoted Multiliteracy. In & Zapata, G. & Lacorte, M. Multiliteracies Pedagogy and Language Learning. Teaching Spanish to Heritage Speakers. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Hansen-Thomas, H. & Gordon, J. (2015). Developing academic and social mathematical discourse through modeling and interaction: Creating a geometrical town. In Bright, A., Hansen-Thomas, H. & de Oliveira, L. (Eds.). The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics for English Language Learners: High School. Alexandria, VA: TESOL Press & NCTM.

Fredrickson, R. R., McMahan, S. K., & Hansen-Thomas, H. (2017). Triumvirate of Academia. In Thompson, S. & Perry, P. (Eds.). Coping with Gender Inequities: Critical Conversations of Women Faculty. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.

Hansen-Thomas, H. (2015). What types of resources can mathematics teachers who have ELLs/emergent bilinguals in their classes use to meaningfully engage these learners with the language demands of the CCSS? In Valdes, G., Menken, K. & Castro, M (Eds.). Common Core and ELLs/Emergent Bilinguals: A Guide for All Educators. Philadelphia: Caslon.

Handbook/Encyclopedia Entries

Hansen-Thomas, H (2017). Language Standards in the Classroom. In Liontas, J. The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Hansen-Thomas, H (2017). Rural ESL: I only have two students! In Liontas, J. The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Hansen-Thomas, H (2015). ELLs. In Thompson, S. (2015) The Encyclopedia of Diversity and Social Justice. (pp. 290-292). Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield

Hansen-Thomas, H (2015). ESL. In Thompson, S. (2015) The Encyclopedia of Diversity and Social Justice. (pp. 292-294). Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield.


Hansen-Thomas, H. & Langman, J. (2017).
Deictics and the construction of mathematics and science knowledge in the secondary school classroom. Classroom Discourse 8:2 122-138.

Stewart, M. & Hansen-Thomas, H. (2016). Translanguaging in the Secondary class through poetry: A case of a transnational youth. Research in the teaching of English 50:4 450-472.

Hansen-Thomas, H. & Grosso Richins, L. (2015). ESL Mentoring for secondary rural educators: Math and science teachers become second language specialists through collaboration. TESOL Journal, 6:4, 766-776.

Hansen-Thomas, H., & Alderman, H. (April/May 2016). Family Science Night /Earth Day Celebration: Parental Involvement for English Language Learners. The Science Teacher 83: 4, 37-40.

Hansen-Thomas, H. & Sourdot, L. (2015). High stakes plumbing in the 21st century. Fixing the cracks in the academic pipeline. The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. 8:2, 48-71.

Hansen-Thomas, H., McMahan, S., & Fredrickson, R.R. (2015). Experiential learning activities to promote higher education for At-Risk K-12 students. The International Journal of Education and Social Science, 2:4, 117-121.

Hansen-Thomas, H., Dunlap, K., Starrett, T. M., & Casey, P. (2014). Professional development and peer interaction: The creation of de facto teacher leaders as ELL experts and advocates. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research. Vol. 5. No. 1. [On-line]. Available: http://www.ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter

Hansen-Thomas; Grosso, L; Kakkar, K; & Okeyo, C. (2014). ‘I do not feel I am properly trained to help them!’ Rural teachers’ challenges and needs with English Language Learners. Professional Development in Education. DOI 10.1080/19415257.2014.973528

Hansen-Thomas, H., Casey. P., & Grosso, L. (2013). Multiplying the Effect of Professional Development: Teachers Training Teachers. TESOL Journal, 4:1, 129-150.

Hansen-Thomas, Grosso, L. (2013). How Second Language Acquisition Theory changes practice: Content area teachers of ELLs talk. MexTESOL Journal, Vol. 37-2 [On-line at http://www.mextesol.net/journal/index.php?page=journal&id_article=464]