Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Netta Avineri

Assistant Professor

I am passionate about civic engagement, in which students connect course curriculum with purposeful reflection and meaningful work in broader communities. I seek to facilitate students’ discovery of ways to use their knowledge and expertise in order to positively affect populations around them. I believe that civic engagement provides a forum for all voices to be heard, and I am committed to creating rich environments where this polyphony can take shape.

I enjoy providing opportunities for students to see the ways that linguistic, anthropological, and educational concepts have relevance to their daily lives. I believe it is critical for students to see the myriad connections between their class materials and the outside world. I also enjoying having students recognize how every classroom is a culture, with its own community norms, social hierarchies, and personal narratives/stories. I aim to provide students with the tools to become both participants in and observers of these classroom cultures, and examine how language and discourse are central to the construction of these cultures. In so doing, they can appreciate the emergent nature of interaction during processes of socialization.

I see myself as a publicly engaged scholar, consistently finding ways to have my research, teaching, and service mutually inform one another. I am enjoying my time as visiting professor at MIIS because of its international focus and outward thinking that encourages students to “be the solution”. This ethos of connecting theory to practice while maintaining a global outlook is very appealing to me. As the Intercultural Competency Steering Committee Chair, I have the opportunity work with others around campus to help develop students’ intercultural skills. It is stimulating to work in an academic environment that prides itself on creating next generation’s leaders, and I am enjoying the opportunity to collaborate with others in this dynamic setting. I plan to continue teaching and research that provide key perspectives on how language shapes and is shaped by broader social processes within communities. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with diverse colleagues, and encouraging students to engage in endeavors that are significant to them both personally and professionally.

Recent Accomplishments

  • 2014 Russ Campbell Young Scholars Award in Heritage Language Research
  • 2011-2012 UCLA Campus-wide Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award Dissertation Year Fellowship
  • UCLA Applied Linguistics Department’s 1st & 2nd Annual Public Conferences: 2011 “Language and Migration” (Chair) & 2010 “Linguistic Diversity in American Classrooms” (Co-Chair)
  • 2010 American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award

Previous Work

I was born in Israel and grew up in a multilingual household in the United States with a Romanian father, an American mother of German parents, and many siblings. Having been socialized early on into an appreciation of diversity and complexity, I have explored academic pursuits at the intersection of multiple disciplines that are meaningful both personally and intellectually. I earned my BA in Anthropology and a French minor at UCLA, and completed an Honors thesis on Yiddish among a community of older adult women. During my Master’s program I wrote a thesis on socialization into argument as a moral reasoning practice in a religious school setting, in addition to earning my TESL certificate. I earned my PhD at UCLA in 2012. During that program, I engaged in a collaborative research project examining interactions among dementia patients and their caregivers and doctors. My dissertation, “Heritage Language Socialization Practices in Secular Yiddish Educational Contexts: The Creation of a Metalinguistic Community,” expanded my previous focus on institutional interaction to include practices in traditional learning environments and community-based educational settings, among university-age through older adult learners. I have presented these and other projects at nearly 40 national and international conferences.

After my Bachelor’s program I taught and tutored English, French, and Spanish in various contexts. In graduate school I was heavily involved in the UCLA Graduate Writing Center, Graduate Students Association, and Test of Oral Proficiency Program. In 2012-2013 I served as the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies Postdoctoral Research Association, focused on service-learning and civic engagement. At UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, CSU Long Beach, Pierce College, and MIIS, I have taught Anthropology, Applied Linguistics, Education, ESL/Writing Programs, History, Linguistics, and Sociology courses.

I am currently the MIIS Campus-wide Intercultural Competence Committee Chair, Monterey Bay Foreign Language Education Symposium (FLEDS) Primary Faculty Advisor, CA-TESOL Steinbeck Chapter Coordinator-Elect, and Core Member of the American Anthropological Association’s Task Force on Language and Social Justice. I am a reviewer for the journals Applied Language Learning, CA-TESOL Journal, Ethos, Heritage Language Journal, Issues in Applied Linguistics, Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, the AAAL and IARSLCE conferences, and the publisher Pearson Publishers, as well as article editor for SageOpen. I am also an external reviewer for the TIRF Doctoral Dissertation Grants. I have presented my research at over fifty national and international conferences in a range of fields.


Avineri, N. & S. Avni (2015, forthcoming). Introduction to N. Avineri & S. Avni (Eds.), Language Policy and the Reconceptualization of Religions as and in Institutions. [Special Issue]. Language Policy.

Avineri, N. & E. Johnson (2015, forthcoming). Introduction to N. Avineri & E. Johnson (Eds.). The “Language Gap”: Linguistic Anthropological Perspectives. [Forum]. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology.

Avineri, N. (2015, forthcoming). Review Article “Yiddish Language Socialization across Communities: Ideologies, Religion, and Variation”. Religion and Variation [Special Issue]. Language & Communication.

Avineri, N. & P.V. Kroskrity (2014). On the (Re-)Production and Representation of Endangered Language Communities: Social Boundaries and Temporal Borders. In N. Avineri & P.V. Kroskrity (Eds.) Reconceptualizing Endangered Language Communities: Crossing Borders and Constructing Boundaries. [Special Issue]. Language & Communication 38: 1-7.

Avineri, N. (2014). Yiddish Endangerment as Phenomenological Reality and Discursive Strategy: Crossing into the Past and Crossing Out the Present. In N. Avineri & P. V. Kroskrity (Eds.), Reconceptualizing Endangered Language Communities: Crossing Borders and Constructing Boundaries. [Special Issue]. Language & Communication 38: 18-32.

Avineri, N. (2014). Book Review of L. Wright Fogle’s Second Language Socialization: Adoptive Family Talk. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 24(1): 98-100.

Avineri, N. (2014). Yiddish: A Jewish Language in the Diaspora. In T. Wiley, J. Kreeft-Peyton, D. Christian, S.K. Moore, & N. Liu (Eds.), Handbook of Heritage, Community, and Native American Languages in the United States: Research, Educational Practice, and Policy. (pp. 263-271). Routledge Publishers.

Avineri, N. (January 2014). Engaging the “Other” in Expanded Communities of Practice: Identity, Indexicality, and Epistemics in Academic-Public Interactions. Anthropology News Series “Future Publics, Current Engagements”.

Avineri, N. (2014). Yiddish: A Jewish Language in the Diaspora. In T. Wiley, J. Kreeft-Peyton, D. Christian, S.K. Moore, & N. Liu (Eds.), Handbook of Heritage, Community, and Native American Languages in the United States: Research, Educational Practice, and Policy. Routledge Publishers.


PhD in Applied Linguistics, UCLA, June 2012

M.A. in Applied Linguistics/Teaching English as a Second Language, Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language, UCLA, June 2007

B.A. in Anthropology (emphasis: linguistic anthropology), Minorin French, UCLA, June 2001

YIVO/NYU Uriel Weinreich Program in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture, June-July 2010

UCLA Summer Sessions in France, June-July 1999


Applied Linguistics, Ethnography, Heritage & Endangered Languages, Institutional Discourse Analysis, Interviews, Language Socialization, Linguistic Anthropology, Narrative, Service-Learning, Sociology, Student & Teacher Identities, Teacher Education, Teaching Methodologies, Teaching Writing

Course List

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

EDUC8510 - Educational Research Methods      

Introduces social science research design, descriptive and analytic procedures, basic statistics, and their application to research on language learning and teaching.

Fall 2017 - MIIS

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EDUC8579 - CALLCURRIC:TeachingLangOnline      

This 2-unit course is offered in-person over two weekends, and there will also be one online synchronous session offered between the two weekends. The course focuses on general approaches to teaching online (as entirely online courses, hybrid/blended models, and online elements for face-to-face classes) as well as specific approaches to teaching languages online. Discussions and class activities will focus on debates around online education; relationships among SLA theories, teaching philosophies, and online teaching; and online language teaching/learning tools. Students will have the opportunity to create and deliver an online lesson, and build online language learning units that match their pedagogical & professional interests.

Spring 2016 - MIIS

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EDUC8660 - Intro to Language Prog Admin      

Presents a practical overview of problems, situations and issues occurring in the management of language programs. Provides participants with an opportunity to shadow a language program administrator and later to complete an administrative internship.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only, Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only

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EDUC8670 - Practicum Capstone      

The Practicum Capstone combines reflective practice and professional development in preparing students for a career in language education. Participants integrate theory, research, and conceptual foundations into a coherent and well-informed approach to planning and executing lessons. They also incorporate these three components when developing and deploying instructional materials and assessment instruments. Activities and products prepare participants for entering the language teaching professional and performing admirably therein.

Practicum Capstone Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

Articulate their approach to language learning and teaching with explicit reference to sound pedagogical principles

Demonstrate their expert knowledge of language, learning, and teaching

Select appropriate materials for effective language instruction

Plan productive instructional units and lessons to maximize second language learning in all skill areas

Assess student learning meaningfully using a range of formative and summative tools

Reflect critically on their teaching practice in order to build on their strengths and address areas for improvement

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

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IEMG8605 / DPPG9605 - Survey Design      

This course focuses on the various ways that surveys can be used to collect necessary information for program design, development, and assessment. The course will begin with a discussion of the research process (establishing an area of interest, conducting a literature review, developing research questions, selecting an appropriate research design, data collection, data analysis, sharing of findings, building an argument, identifying implications). After a consideration of the possibilities and limitations associated with surveys, we will discuss the macro- and micro-level details of survey design (organization, question order, question types, word choice) and analysis (qualitative, quantitative). We will also consider online tools for collecting survey data, as well as discuss how survey data can be used in conjunction with other data collection methods. Throughout the course students will have an opportunity to evaluate existing surveys and create their own surveys for particular purposes related to their professional interests and goals.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only, Fall 2016 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only, Fall 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

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LING8510 - Intro to Sociolinguistics      

Introduces the interplay between language and society. Discusses regional and social dialects as well as the role of linguistic attitudes and language variation in language learning and teaching.

Fall 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS

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LING8630 - Second Language Acquisition      

Surveys, in seminar format, research in second-language learning relating to language teaching and learning. Discusses the role of affective variables, interaction, learner strategies, and learner factors in the language acquisition process. Prerequisite: Language Analysis

Spring 2016 - MIIS

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LING8640 - Applied Linguistics Research      

Requires original research to be conducted by the student on issues such as language attitudes, cultural variables, language learning, or other topics from sociolinguistics and second language acquisition. Introduces a range of research methods, including exposure to various data collection and analysis procedures in both the qualitative and quantitative research traditions.

Fall 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

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