Sharon Avni

Associate Professor
Academic Literacy and Linguistics



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Phone: 220-1396

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Associate Professor Sharon Avni is an applied linguist whose research on language, religion and education draws on a range of academic traditions and theoretical frameworks including linguistic anthropology, historical analysis, and cultural studies.

Her research has examined how ideologies of language, heritage, diaspora and peoplehood are constructed and negotiated through educational practices and policies in formal and experiential educational sites for Jewish American urban youth. With a focus on the teaching and learning of Hebrew, she conducted an 18-month ethnographic and linguistic study of American Jewish teenagers attending a Jewish day school in New York City and participating in a homeland tour in Israel. Building on theories of language policy and language socialization, she examined the myriad ways in which these youths construct and negotiate ethnic and religious identities and practices through linguistic, ideological and material practices.

Working with Kate Menken, a professor of linguistics at the CUNY Graduate Center and at Queens College, and funded by the Spencer Foundation, Professor Avni is researching the expansion of dual language, Hebrew-English programs in New York City public schools. She is also a research affiliate at the Mandel Center at Brandeis University, working with Sarah Benor and Jonathan Krasner, to examine the use of Hebrew at Jewish overnight camping. Their forthcoming book on Hebrew practices at Jewish American overnight camps is under contract with Rutgers University Press. Professor Avni is also am in the preliminary steps of researching Israeli teenage youth in New Jersey and their language practices.


Language and religion, Community Colleges, Applied Linguistics


Courses Taught

Research and Projects


Honors, Awards and Affiliations

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