John Means

Picture of J. Thomas Means

Modern Languages


Office: S-601V

Office Hours: Winter 2023: T/TH 10:30-12:00 in room S601M; new phone x6639

Phone: +1 (212) 220-8000;ext=5275

Professor J. Thomas Means, Modern Languages Department, BMCC/CUNY, is an expert in language teaching and world cinema.

He holds a Ph.D. in Italian and Second Language Acquisition from Rutgers and he has published widely in the field of language teaching and learning. He is trilingual (English, Italian, Spanish) and also has basic competency in French and German. His research and practice focus on effectiveness of teaching approaches.


Second-Language Acquisition, Italian, Applied Linguistics, Italian Cinema, French Cinema


  • 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

Courses Taught

Research and Projects

  • From Italian Neorealism to French New Wave
  • Italian Cinema, from neorealism to the present
  • Transforming a grammar-oriented syllabus of Italian into a task-based syllabus
  • Task-based teaching modules for elementary through intermediate Italian



Honors, Awards and Affiliations

  • Featured podcast guest, “L’italiano vero,” Episode 62, 2021
  • Featured podcast guest, “El reto bilingue,” Episode 133, 2020
  • Featured podcast guest, “L’italiano vero,” Episode 47, 2020
  • Shortlisted, Cambridge University Press Award for Best Doctoral Thesis in the Field of Second Language Learning and Teaching, 2008, “Christopher Brumfit Ph.D./Ed.D. Thesis Award”
  • Shortlisted, Best Doctoral Dissertation Research in Foreign Language Education, 2007, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, “Emma Marie Birkmaier Award”
  • National Foreign Language Teacher of the Year, 2004, SCOLA Network
  • Feature story, New York Post, “Talking the Language of Success,” 2003

Additional Information

I have always been passionate about languages, film, and travel. I hope to share some of this excitement with my students, in the hopes of pushing them to new experiences and understandings.