John T. Means

Picture of J. Thomas Means

Modern Languages


Office: S-601V

Office Hours: Spring 2024: T/W/TH 11:00-12:00; 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, Spanish, 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

ITL 101 (Italian I)
ITL 102 (Italian II)
SPN 101 (Spanish I)
SPN 102 (Spanish II)

Research and Projects

  • Around the World in TV and Film
  • From Italian Neorealism to French New Wave
  • Italian Cinema, from neorealism to the present
  • Task-based teaching modules for Italian, Spanish, French



Honors, Awards and Affiliations

  • Segment on CUNY TV, “Books to Box Office,” discussion of “Where the Crawdads Sing.”
  • Featured podcast guest (in Italian), “L’italiano vero,” Episode 112, 2024 Episode 104, 2023; Episode 95, 2023; Episode 62, 2021; Episode 47, 2020
  • Featured podcast guest (in Spanish), “El reto bilingue,” Episode 133, 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, books, 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.