Academic Literacy and Linguistics
Phone: +1 (212) 220-8548
Sharon Avni is Professor of Academic Literacy and Linguistics at BMCC at the City University of New York (CUNY). Her current book project Speaking of Hebrew: Language and the American Jewish community explores the discursive, ideological, historical, and policy perspectives of contemporary Hebrew learning and usage in the United States. She is also co-PI of a study exploring religious learning in cultural arts settings, supported by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center at Brandeis University, where she is also a research affiliate. Her first co-authored book Hebrew Infusion: Language and Community at American Jewish Summer Camps was the winner of the 2020 National Jewish Book Award in Education and Jewish Identity. Her scholarship has been funded by the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Spencer Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and PSC CUNY. Professor Avni won the Distinguished Teaching Award at BMCC/CUNY (2018-2019). Her publications appear in a wide range of academic journals and edited volumes..
Language and religion, Ethnography, Applied Linguistics, Linguistic anthropology, English language learners at community colleges
- Ph.D. New York University
- This intensive writing course for ESL students focuses on basic components of effective writing, including paragraph development and structure, sentence structure, word choice, and content. Students read and respond to a variety of texts and use argumentation, narrative, and description as modes of developing ideas in writing.
- This course will introduce the student to the study of Language and Culture. The course will introduce related topics, such as bilingual/bidialectal families and bilingual education, language and gender, literacy in a changing, technological society, child language acquisition, and different dialects and registers of English. The readings will draw on works in linguistics, literature and related fields. Students will work on critical reading and produce writing based on the readings in connections with their own experiences and backgrounds.
- This three credit, 200-level course will explore the complex relationship between language and the law. The course critically considers the role of language and its power in the legal process. Three branches of forensic linguistics (handwriting, phonology, and discourse analysis) will be discussed. We will examine the work of dialectologists, creolists, and graphologists who have used linguistic evidence to interpret evidence (e.g., blackmail and ransom notes), and voice and spectrogram analysis will also be discussed. The course will also examine how linguists are involved in the legal process when they serve as expert witnesses. Prerequisite: ENG 201
Research and Projects
- Menken, K., Espinet, I., & Avni, S. (2023). “There Was Nothing Here”: School Leaders Using Dual Language Bilingual Education Programs as a Formula to Re-Engineer Student Populations for School Turnaround. Educational Policy, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/08959048231159919
- Avni, S. American Jewish summer camps as translanguaging thirdspaces. 2021. In Octu-Grillman, B. & Borjian, M. Remaking Multilingualism: A Translanguaging Approach. Multilingual Matters (pp. 212-228). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
- Finn, H. B., & Avni, S. (2021). Linguistically Responsive Instruction in Corequisite Courses at Community Colleges. TESOL Quarterly, 55(4), 1221-1246.
- Yares, L., Avni, S. “Saturday Night Seder” and the Affordances of Cultural Arts during COVID-19. Cont Jewry (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12397-021-09378-y
- Avni, S. & Menken, K. (2021). Hebrew dual language bilingual education: The intersection of race, language and religion. In N. Flores, A. Tseng & N. Subtirelu (eds), Bilingualism for All? Raciolinguistic Perspectives on Dual Language Education in the United States (pp. 156-176) Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
- NEH Summer Stipend. 2022
- Jewish Book Council, National Jewish Book Award in Education and Jewish Identity, 2020
- Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, 2021-2022, 2023-2024
- Mellon/ACLS Fellowship for Community College Faculty, 2020-2021,
- PSC CUNY Grant, (2019; 2023)
- BMCC Faculty Development Grant, (2018)
- Distinguished Teaching Award, BMCC, 2018-2019 (student nominated)