John T Means
Office Hours: Thursday 11:00-12:00; Friday 1:00-3:00
Phone: +1 (212) 220-8000;ext=5275
Professor J. Thomas Means, Modern Languages Department, BMCC/CUNY, is an expert in foreign language learning and teaching.
He holds a Ph.D. in Italian and Second Language Acquisition from Rutgers and he has published widely in the field of foreign language pedagogy. He is trilingual (English, Italian, Spanish) and also has basic competency in French and German. His research and practice focus on how languages are best learned and maintained, including the role of technology in language learning and teaching.
Teacher Education, Second-Language Acquisition, Italian, Applied Linguistics
- B.A. Rutgers College, Rutgers University, English; Italian,1997
- M.A. Rutgers University, Italian Literature,1999
- Ph.D. Rutgers University, Italian and Second Language Acquisition,2006
- This course is for students who have had no previous background in Italian. Grammar is taught inductively and simple texts are read. Skills in comprehension, speaking, reading and writing are developed.
- In this continuation of Italian I, grammar, composition, conversation, and reading of Italian texts are covered. Prerequisite: ITL 101 or departmental approval
- This liberal arts elective is an introduction to the evolution and development of Italian culture and civilization through the literary and artistic features, geared to the understanding of present day problems of modern European Italy and the Italian-American people. Readings are in English, and term papers are in English.
- Study in this course includes a review of grammar and of composition. Modern prose is read, discussed and analyzed.
- This intensive writing course emphasizes comprehension, writing, and analysis of Italian contemporary and classical texts.
- This course is for students who have had no previous background in Spanish. Grammar is taught inductively and simple texts are read. Speaking, reading and writing are emphasized
- In this continuation of Spanish I, grammar, composition and oral comprehension are developed and supplemented by readings or Spanish texts. Students who have taken SPN 103 will not receive credit for this course. Prerequisite: SPN 101 or departmental approval
Research and Projects
- Transforming a grammar-oriented syllabus of Italian into a task-based syllabus
- Task-based teaching modules for elementary through intermediate Italian
- 2020: Instant Italian Vocabulary Builder, Third Edition, Hippocrene Books
- 2018: “Input-heavy Task-Based Language Teaching,” Teaching Italian Language and Culture Annual. Special Issue. 49-67
- 2018: Instant Spanish Vocabulary Builder, Hippocrene Books
- 2018: Ingles Instantaneo: Instant English Vocabulary Builder, Hippocrene Books.
- 2016: “Interlanguage Stretching within a Task-based Empirical Pedagogy (co-authored with Larry Selinker),” Teaching Italian Language and Culture Annual, 2. 1-18
- 2015: “Significant Growth in Italian Enrollment at a Hispanic-Serving Institution,” Italica, 92.3. 736-746
- 2014: “Students Learning through Recording, Transcribing and Editing Their Task Performances in Second-Semester Italian“,Italica, 91.1 (2014): 29-42
- 2013: Allora, Corso di italiano (Contributor and English Language Editor), New York University Press
- 2011: A Comparative Study of the Effectiveness of Task-based versus Traditional Instruction of Intermediate Italian, Mellen Press
- 2008: New Approaches to Teaching Italian Language and Culture (Author of Chapter Two), Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
- Shortlisted, 2007, ACTFL-MLJ Emma Marie Birkmaier Award for Doctoral Dissertation Research in Foreign Language Education
The Emma Marie Birkmaier Award was established in 1980 to recognize an author of doctoral dissertation research in foreign language education that contributes significantly to the advancement of the profession.
- SCOLA, National Foreign Language Teacher of the Year, 2004
SCOLA is a non-profit educational organization. SCOLA receives and re-transmits foreign TV programming from around the world and provides other foreign language resources, language lessons, and learning material on its website.
- Shortlisted, 2008, Cambridge University Press Christopher Brumfit Ph.D./Ed.D. Thesis Award
To recognize doctoral thesis research that makes a significant and original contribution to the field of Second Language Acquisition and/or foreign/second language learning and teaching.
I have always been passionate about languages, travel, and teaching. I hope to share some of this excitement with my students, in the hopes of pushing them to new experiences and understandings.