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Ricardo Otheguy - Co-Director

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Ricardo Otheguy is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His work in theoretical and applied linguistics has appeared in major international journals such as Language, Language in Society, Spanish in Context, Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, the Modern Language Journal, and the Harvard Educational Review. His publications in theoretical linguistics are in the areas of language contact, variationist sociolinguistics, Columbia School linguistics, and the Spanish of the United States; in applied linguistics, his publications are in the area of bilingual education and the teaching of Spanish as a home language and as a second or foreign language. He was founding editor of the journal Spanish in Context. He is the author, with Ana Celia Zentella, of Spanish in New York: Language contact, dialectal leveling and structural continuity (Oxford University Press, 2012). 
Otheguy has developed textbook materials for the teaching of Spanish to Latino students in the United States and is coauthor of Tu Mundo: Curso para hispanohablantes. He has also written Spanish materials for English-speaking students and is coauthor of one the most widely used high school Spanish textbooks in the United States, Avancemos. 
Professor Otheguy is the founding director of CUNY’s Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society, which conducts basic and applied research in urban linguistics, bringing to bear the research resources of the City University of New York on urban language issues. He has been principal investigator in projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the New York State Department of Education. His project on Spanish in New York has produced several corpus-based doctoral dissertations and a number of papers in major refereed linguistic journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the City University of New York as well as degrees and diplomas in Spanish from Louisiana State University, the City College of New York, and the University of Madrid, Spain.

Relevant Publications: 

Otheguy, Ricardo, Ofelia García and Wallis Reid. 2018. A translanguaging view of the linguistic system of bilinguals. Applied Linguistics Review. 

Erker Daniel, Eduardo Ho-Fernández, Ricardo Otheguy, Naomi Lapidus Shin 2017. Continuity and change in Spanish among Cubans in New York: A study of subject placement with finite verbs. Cuban Spanish dialectology: Variation, contact, and change, ed. by Alejandro Cuza. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. 

Otheguy, Ricardo. 2017. La sociedad y el individuo en la competencia lingüística del bilingüe. ANAIS Congresso Internacional Seminário de Educação Bilíngue para Surdos. Universidade do Estado da Bahia. Departamento de Educação. Salvador/BA. Biblioteca Professor Edivaldo Machado Boaventura. CDD: 371.912 Volume 1, 2016. Páginas: 58-76. Publicação: 24 de Abril de 2017 ISSN: 2526-6195 

García, Ofelia & Ricardo Otheguy. 2016. Interrogating the language gap of young bilingual and bidialectal students. International Multilingual Research Journal 11.52-65. (Published online December 6, 2016, 

Otheguy, Ricardo. 2016. Foreword. Translanguaging with multilingual students: Learning from classroom moments, ed. by Ofelia García and Tatyana Kleyn. New York & London: Routledge Publishers, pp. xi - xiii. 

Erker, Daniel & Ricardo Otheguy. 2016. Contact and coherence: Dialectal leveling and structural convergence in New York City Spanish. Lingua 172-173.131-146. 

Otheguy, Ricardo. 2016. Espanglish. Enciclopedia de lingüística hispánica, ed. por Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach. London & New York: Routledge Publishers, Volumen 2, pp. 454-462. 

Otheguy, Ricardo. 2016. The linguistic competence of second-generation bilinguals: A critique of 'incomplete acquisition.' Romance Linguistics 2013. Selected papers from the 43rd Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), New York, 17-19 April, 2013, ed. by Tortora, Christina, Marcel den Dikken, Ignacio L. Montoya and Teresa O'Neill [RLLT 9]. John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 301-320.


Gita Martohardjono - Co-Director

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Gita Martohardjono’s research focuses on the development of syntax, semantics and phonology in adult second language acquisition and bilingualism. Her projects investigate the acquisition of gap structures, such as wh-questions, relative clauses, control structures and null pronouns in bilingual adults and children from a cross-linguistic perspective. In the area of semantics, her research investigates the acquisition of temporal and aspectual markers by child and adult bilinguals. In phonology, her work centers on the role of L1 phonotactics as a potential source of interference in L2 acquisition. A variety of languages have been examined, including Italian, Spanish, Indonesian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Recent projects investigate non-standard varieties of Italian and Spanish, as spoken by “heritage” speakers, and include the use of electrophysiology (ERP). A second research area is the development of literacy in emergent bilinguals. Since 2004, she has conducted research on immigrant students with low literacy in the native language, and has been a leader in the construction of academic language and literacy assessments benefiting this population. She is currently PI on several externally funded projects creating multilingual, online assessments for use in NY public schools.


Kate Menken - Research Fellow

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Kate Menken is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), and a Research Fellow at the Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She is Co-Principal Investigator of the CUNY-New York State Initiative for Emergent Bilinguals (NYSIEB) project (, and Associate Editor/Review Editor for the journal Language Policy. Previously, she was a researcher at the National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education and an English as a second language teacher. She holds an Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University and was first place recipient of Outstanding Dissertation Awards from the National Association for Bilingual Education and the American Educational Research Association. Her research interests include language education policy, bilingual education, and emergent bilinguals in secondary schools. Recent books are English Learners Left Behind: Standardized Testing as Language Policy (Multilingual Matters, 2008) andNegotiating Language Policies in Schools: Educators as Policymakers (co-edited with Ofelia García, Routledge, 2010). Her work also appears in several journals, including International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Language Policy, Theory into Practice, Bilingual Research Journal, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Educational Leadership, and International Multilingual Research Journal. Further information can be found on her website:

Laura Ascenzi-Moreno - Research Associate

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Laura Ascenzi-Moreno is an Assistant Professor and Bilingual Program Coordinator in the Childhood, Bilingual, and Special Education Department at Brooklyn College.  She received her doctorate in Urban Education from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 2012.  Prior to becoming a professor, she was a dual language, bilingual teacher and coach in New York City public schools for more than a decade.  Her research is focused on the literacy development of emergent bilingual students, the development of teacher knowledge, and how both of these intersect with equity.  Her research interests also include translanguaging, multi-modalities, assessment, and school governance.  She conducts case studies of teachers and schools to study the lived worlds of children and teachers.  She was also an Associate Investigator for the City University of New York New York State Initiative on Emergent Bilinguals (CUNY-NYSIEB) from 2012-16.  Her publications can be found in Literacy Research and Instruction, Language and Education, Schools: Studies in Education, and Language Arts.

Relevant Publications:

Ascenzi-Moreno, L.  (July 2018) Emergent Bilingual Readers Through the Lens of Possibility: A Translanguaging Perspective on Formative Reading Assessment.  Language Arts Journal95(6). 

Ascenzi-Moreno, L. & Espinosa, C.M. (2018). “Opening Up Spaces for their Whole Selves:” A Study Group’s Exploration of Translanguaging Practices in Writing.  New York State TESOL Journal. 

Ascenzi-Moreno, L. (2017). From deficit to diversity: How teachers of recently-arrived emergent bilinguals negotiate ideological and pedagogical change.  Schools: Studies in Education.

 Ascenzi-Moreno, L.  (2016). An exploration of elementary teachers' views of informal reading inventories in dual language bilingual programs.  Literacy Research and Instruction, Published on-line May 4, 2016.  DOI: 10.1080/19388071.2016.1165318

Lisa Auslander - Research Associate

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Lisa Auslander is the Principal Investigator and Project Director for Bridges. She leads the work of the curriculum and professional development teams and the daily management of team operations and team development. She is a former teacher, coach and administrator who has worked in NYC schools and at the district level for over 15 years. She served a range of emergent bilingual students in an inclusion setting in the middle and high school levels in New York City schools and then moved on to support teachers in literacy practices and teacher teams in curriculum planning and the collaborative inquiry process. She has also worked to support principals around a variety of initiatives including the Quality Review accountability process and strategic action planning for school wide improvement. Lisa received her PhD in Urban Education based on a study of culturally and linguistically responsive RtI for secondary English language learners. She is an Adjunct Asst Professor in Education at Hunter College.

Sharon Avni - Research Associate

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Sharon Anvi is Associate Professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) in the Academic Literacy and Linguistics department. Currently, she is completing a Spencer Foundation sponsored study that focuses on the expansion of dual language bilingual programs in New York City public schools with Kate Menken (CUNY Graduate Center/Queens College). In addition, she is co-PI of a study examining Hebrew programs in American public schools. She is also co-authoring a book with Sarah Benor (HUC) and Jonathon Krasner (Brandeis University) to be published by Rutgers University Press in 2019 that examines the role of Hebrew in Jewish overnight summer camps. Her previous scholarship has explored Hebrew language ideologies, policy, and socialization in Jewish and charter school contexts. She has also worked on areas of academic literacy, college readiness, and development education in community colleges.

Relevant Publications:

Avni, S. (2018) What can the study of Hebrew learning contribute to applied linguistics? Modern Language Journal, 102(2), 446-448.

Avni, S. & Finn, H.  (2017). Pedagogy and Curricular Choice in Community College Accelerated Writing Courses. Community College Journal of Research and Practice. DOI: 10.1080/10668926.2017.1398687 

Menken, K. & Avni, S. (2017) Challenging linguistic purism in dual language bilingual education:  A case study of Hebrew in a New York City public middle school. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 37, 185-202.

Avineri, N. & Avni, S. (2017). Language socialization in Jewish communities: Sites of religious, cultural and national identities. In P. Duff & S. May (eds.) Language socialization. In Series: Encyclopedia of Language and Education. 3rd Ed. Cham: Springer International. 323-338. 

Jacknick, C. & Avni, S. (2016). Shalom, bitches: Epistemic stance and identity work in an anonymous online forum. Discourse, Context, and Media. 15, 54-64.

Finn, H. & Avni, S. (2016) Negotiating Academic Literacy in Community College Developmental Writing, Current Issues in Language Planning 17(3-4), 369-384.

Avni, S. (2015). Negotiating language ownership: Hebrew charter schools and the American Jewish Press. Language and Communication 45, 83-95.

Avni, S. (2015) The meanings of Hebrew: Defining bilingual education in dual language charter school education. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 18(2), 188-202.

Avni, S. (2014) Hebrew in the North American linguistic landscape. In B. Spolsky, M. Tannenbaum, & O. Inbar (Eds.), Challenges for language education and policy: Making space for people (pp. 196-213). New York: Routledge.

Jennifer Chard - Research Associate


Jennifer Chard is the Project Director for the Multilingual Literacy SIFE Screener (MLS) at the Second Language Acquisition Laboratory. Her dissertation, entitled Mandarin assessment in Chinese-English bilingual preschoolers, examines Chinese/English bilingual children's sentence comprehension skills in Mandarin and English. It adds to the body of literature emphasizing that home language assessment is critical when evaluating young children who may have special needs, and it specifically demonstrates that care must be taken in identifying the home language so that children are not inappropriately tested. Jennifer has spent a lot of time working directly with teachers and administrators at the preschool through high school levels to help them understand the importance of using students' home language skills and abilities to design instruction, and promoting the maintenance and development of the home language in classroom settings. Jennifer is also the Project Manager for Bridges to Academic Success.

Ofelia García - Research Associate

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Ofelia García is Professor in the Ph.D. program of Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has been Professor of Bilingual Education at Columbia University´s Teachers College, and at The City College of New York; and has been Dean of the School of Education at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University. García has published widely in the areas of sociology of language, language policy, bilingualism, and bilingual education. She is the General Editor of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language and the co-editor of Language Policy (with H. Kelly-Holmes). Among her best-known books are Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective; and Translanguaging; Language, Bilingualism and Education (with Li Wei), which received the 2015 British Association of Applied Linguistics Award. For more information visit

Relevant Publications:

Elaine Klein - Research Associate


Dr. Elaine C. Klein is Associate Professor of linguistics at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, where she is co-director (with Gita Martohardjono) of the Second Language Research Laboratory.

Professor Klein teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy, second language acquisition, research methods, and English syntax, among other topics. The recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching at Queens College (2002), Professor Klein specializes in teaching graduate courses in the Masters program in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, preparing teachers for certification in New York State schools. Her courses include English syntax, research methods and second language acquisition. At the same time, she teaches in the linguistics program at the Graduate Center, including second language acquisition, second language literacy, research methods and sociolinguistics. A former New York City elementary and high school teacher, Professor Klein has focused her research on the development of non-native syntax and, more recently, on literacy among non-native speakers of English.

Professor Klein has given presentations at national and international conferences and has published two books and numerous papers on theoretical issues in her field. She has also been closely involved in the improvement of second language instructional practices and has conducted professional development workshops to teachers and administrators of English language programs in Mexico, Cyprus and Viet Nam. Closer to home, she has done staff development and created literacy curricula in NYC high schools for College Now!, an initiative to help high school students prepare for higher education. As Co-PI on the RISLUS SIFE project (with Gita Martohardjono), she has recently focused on the academic challenges faced by emergent bilinguals in the New York City schools, particularly those who come to school with special literacy needs. Since 2011, Prof Klein has been the principal investigator in a large project called Bridges to Academic Success, which addresses the language and literacy needs of adolescent newcomers to secondary schools in school districts around New York State.  The project, funded by the New York City Department of Education and the New York State Education Department, promotes bilingualism and bi-literacy among students whose native language literacy is minimal and who need specialized support to graduate from high school. 

Professor Klein received her Ph.D in Linguistics from the City University of New York, with a specialization in second language acquisition. She also has an MA in TESOL from Teachers College, Columbia.

Funded Projects:

  • Bridges to Academic Success: Accelerating language, literacy and content learning for emergent bilinguals with limited native language literacy
  • Understanding the Student with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE). A longitudinal study of SIFE skills, needs and achievement in different instructional settings.
  • Using Temporal Markers in Standard American English.
  • An investigation of reading skills among English language learners in high school.
  • The Role of First language, Age and Intervention in Second Language Acquisition.
  • Beyond Second Language Acquisition: A nine month longitudinal study of the development of English as a second vs. third language among Korean and Spanish speakers in New York City.

Tatyana Kleyn - Research Associate

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Tatyana Kleyn is associate professor and director of the Bilingual Education and TESOL Programs and faculty advisor to the Dream Team at The City College of New York. She has an Ed.D. in international educational development at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her dissertation – focused on the intersections of bilingual and multicultural education in Spanish, Haitian, Chinese, and Russian bilingual classrooms – earned an Outstanding Dissertation Award from the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE).

Tatyana received the early career award for the Bilingual Research SIG for the American Educational Research Association. For 2014-15 she served as president of the New York State Association for Bilingual Education and a Fulbright Scholar in Oaxaca, Mexico. Tatyana is co-PI for the Multilingual Learner Project, which works in collaboration with New Visions to prepare high school content teachers to better teach their bilingual students.  She was a research associate and acting co-PI for the CUNY New York State Initiative on Emergent Bilinguals (CUNY-NYSIEB), which supports educators across NY in developing using students bilingualism as a resource and creating school-wide multilingual ecologies.

Tatyana is author of “Immigration: The Ultimate Teen Guide,” co-author of “Teaching in Two Languages: A Guide for K-12 Bilingual Educators” (with Reyes) and co-editor of “Translanguaging with Multilingual Learners: Learning from Classroom Moments” (with García). She is the director and co-producer of the Living Undocumented documentary series and “Una Vida, Dos Países [One Life, Two Countries]: Children and Youth (Back) in Mexico.” Tatyana has published about the educational of the Garífuna in Honduras and students labeled ‘Long-Term English Learners’ in NYC secondary schools. She was an elementary school teacher in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and Atlanta, Georgia.

Relevant Publications:

Kleyn, T. & Stern, N. (2018). Labels as limitationsMinneTESOL Journal.​ (

Kleyn, T., Alulema, D., Khalifa, F., & Morales Romero, A. (2018).Learning from Undocumented Students Testimonios for Strategies to Support and ResistThe New Educator, 14(1).  DOI:10.1080/1547688X.2017.1404174​ (

Kleyn, T. (2017). Centering Transborder Students: Perspectives on Identity Languaging and Schooling Between the U S and MexicoMulticultural Perspectives, 19(2), 76-84DOI: 10.1080/15210960.2017.1302336​ (

García, O., & Kleyn, T.  (2016) (Eds.).  Translanguaging with multilingual students: Learning from classroom moments.  New York: Routledge​. (

Film with accompanying Teaching & Resource Guides:

The Living Undocumented Series:

Una Vida, Dos Países: Children and Youth (Back) in Mexico:

LeeAnn Stover - Assistant to the Directors


LeeAnn Stover is a PhD student in the Linguistics Program at the Graduate Center and the administrative assistant for RISLUS. Please direct any general inquiries to LeeAnn at