About Me

  • Associate Professor of ESL and Linguistics, BMCC - City University of New York (CUNY)

  • New York University, PhD (2009)

I am an applied linguist whose research on language, religion, and education draws on a range of academic traditions and theoretical frameworks including linguistic anthropology, historical analysis, and cultural studies. My research has examined how ideologies of language, heritage, diaspora, and peoplehood are constructed and negotiated through educational practices and policies in formal and experiential educational sites for Jewish American urban youth. With a focus on the teaching and learning of Hebrew, I conducted an 18 month ethnographic and linguistic study of American Jewish teenagers attending a Jewish day school in New York City and participating in homeland tour in Israel. Building on theories of language policy and language socialization, I examine the myriad ways in which these youths construct and negotiate ethnic and religious identities and practices through linguistic, ideological, and material practices. Working with Kate Menken (CUNY Grad Center/Queens College) and funded by the Spencer Foundation, I am researching the expansion of dual language Hebrew-English programs in New York City public schools. I am also a research affiliate at the Mandel Center at Brandeis University, working with Sarah Benor and Jonathan Krasner, to examine the use of Hebrew at Jewish overnight camping. Our forthcoming book on Hebrew practices at Jewish American overnight camps is under contract with Rutgers University Press. I am currently examining the teaching and learning of Hebrew in traditional public and charter schools in the United States. 

My teaching experience is rooted in second language methods, theory, and pedagogy (with a strong interest in language assessment and testing). Prior to completing my doctorate, I taught ESL in public schools and educational institutions in the United States and abroad. I served as an adjunct instructor at Columbia University, CUNY, and New York University, and also worked in educational technology, designing and writing instructional and pedagogical material for the global ESL market. I began my position at BMCC-CUNY as Assistant Professor of ESL and Linguistics in 2009 upon completion of my doctoral work at NYU.