Professor Kachru has pioneered, shaped, and defined the scholarly field of world Englishes. He is the founder and coeditor of World Englishes, associate editor of the The Oxford Companion to the English Language, and contributor to the Cambridge History of the English Language. His research on world Englishes, the Kashmiri language and literature, and theoretical and applied studies on language and society has resulted in more than 25 authored and edited volumes and more than 100 research papers, review articles, and reviews.
He received the Joint First Prize in the Duke of Edinburgh Book Competition for The Alchemy of English (1986) and has held fellowships and awards from, among others, the British Council, the Ford Foundation, the East-West Center, The Institute of International Studies, and the American Institute of Indian Studies. Before his retirement he held joint appointments with the College of Education, Program in Comparative and World Literature, and Division of English as an International Language. He headed the Department of Linguistics (1968-79), directed the Division of English as an International Language (1985-91), and was director of the Center for Advanced Study (June 1996-January 2000). He was director of the Linguistic Institute of the Linguistic Society of America (1978), president of American Association of Applied Linguistics (1984), and president of the International Association for World Englishes (1997-99). He was named Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Illinois in 1992; Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund Visiting Professor at Hong Kong University in 1998; and Honorary Fellow of the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, (now English and Foreign Language University) in Hyderabad, India, in 2001.
In October 2002 Illinois hosted the International Association for World Englishes annual conference, which included a one-day symposium titled “World Englishes: Perspective on the 21st-Century” and dedicated to Professor Kachru. He has been a member of the editorial boards several scholarly journal, including Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, and Linguistics and the Human Sciences, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, and Asian Englishes. His recently authored and coedited volumes include Asian Englishes: Beyond the Canon (2004; South Asian Edition 2005), World Englishes: Critical Concepts (6 vols., 2006), and The Handbook of World Englishes (2006), and Language in South Asia (2008; South Asian Edition 2011).