Associate Professor of Russian, and Director of the Russian Language Program


Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College

Field of Specialty

Heritage languages (Russian), bilingualism, bilingual code-switching
Second language acquisition general and language specific (Russian)
Methods of second language instruction; language teacher education

Contact Information

Shiffman Humanities Center 206

Irina Y Dubinina

I have a deep professional and personal interest in bilingualism and, more specifically, in its particular type known as "heritage bilingualism" which describes speakers who grow up with two languages, but whose chronologically first language follows a divergent acquisitional path as a result of an interruption by the introduction of a societally dominant language. Such situations are common in immigrant families all over the world where the home language of bilingual child becomes his or her heritage language which is much weaker than the dominant societal language of the host country. My work in the area of heritage bilingualism has focused on the production and comprehension of requests by speakers of heritage Russian in the U.S. I am also involved in research on bilingual children's language development (comparing data collected in Russia for monolingual children, and data collected in Germany and the USA for bilingual data) and in research on word order patterns (discourse pragmatics) in oral narratives of heritage speakers of Russian.


Dengub, E., Dubininina, I., & J. Merrill (eds.). The Art of Teaching Russian. Chicago: Slavica Publishers, 2018. (forthcoming)

Dubinina, I. & O.Kisselev. My Language/ Rodnaya Rech: An introductory course for heritage learners of Russian. Georgetown UP, 2018. (forthcoming)

Dubinina, I. "A self-aware learner: motivating students’ language learning, performance, and persistence." Annual Conference of the American Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages. Washington DC. 02/03/2018.

Dubinina, I. & O. Kisselev. "Introductory Textbook for Russian Heritage Learners and Principles of Heritage Language Pedagogy." Annual Conference of the American Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages. Washington DC. 02/03/2018.

Dubinina, I. & S. Malamud. "Variability in Input: A corpus study of discourse markers in immigrant parents’ speech." Third International Conference on Heritage and Community Languages. UCLA. 02/17/2018.

Dubinina, I., Kisselev, O., & M. Polinsky. "From the Linguistics Lab to the Language Classroom: Toward Research-based Heritage Language Pedagogy." ACTR Newsletter 1-7.

Laleko, O. & Dubinina, I. "Word order production in heritage Russian: Perspectives from linguistics and pedagogy." Connecting Across Languages And Cultures: A Heritage Language, Festchrift In Honor Of Olga Kagan. Ed. Bauckus, S. & S. Kresin. Chicago: Slavica Publishers, 2018. 191-215.

Dubinina, I. & Malamud, S. "Emergent communicative norm in a contact language: indirect requests in Heritage Russian." Linguistics Journal, An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language Study 55. (2017): 67-116.

Kisselev, O. & Dubinina, I. "Toward Research-Based Heritage Language Pedagogy." ACTFL 50th Annual Convention and World Languages Expo. Nashville, TN. 11/18/2017.

Dubinina, I. "Annotated corpus of child, émigré, and heritage Russian: a resource for study of incomplete acquisition and attrition." Ninth Heritage Language Research Institute, Seattle, WA. 06/16/2016.

Dubinina, I. "PROJECT-BASED LEARNING WITH HERITAGE LANGUAGE LEARNERS: WHY, WHAT, AND HOW." American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages (Annual Convention). Boston. 11/18/2016.

Dubinina, I. "The Russian Language Outside the Nation." Rev. of The Russian Language Outside the Nation, by Lara Ryazanova-Clarke, ed. Slavic and East European Journal vol. 59.4 (Winter 2015) 2016: 663-664.

Dubinina, I. & Polinsky, M. "Russian in the USA." Slavic Languages in Migration. Ed. M.Moser. Wien: University of Vienna, 2012

Dubinina, I. "How to ask for a favor: A pilot study in Heritage Russian pragmatics.." Instrumentarium of Linguistics: Sociolinguistic Approaches to Non-Standard Russian. vol. 40 Ed. A. Mustajoki, E.Protassova, and N. Vakhtin. Helsinki: University of Helsinki, 2011. 418-431.

Dubinina, I. & Polinsky, M. "Russkiy yazyk v SShA." The Russian Language Outside Russia. Moscow: RGGU, 2011

in cooperation with I. Dubinina, authors Maria Lekic, Dan Davidson, Kira Gore. Russian Stage One: Live from Russia, vol. 1 & 2. Second ed. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2009.

Dubinina, Irina Y. Prisposoblenie k interesam sobesednika: vybor jazyka dla mezhlichnostnogo obschenia v Respublike Moldova. Proc. of Russkii jazyk v Respublike Moldova: realii i perspectivy (Russian Language in the Republic of Moldova: realias and perspectives). Chishinau, Moldova: Tsentr russkoi kultury v RM, 2007.

Courses Taught

EL 94a Experiential Learning Practicum
RUS 10a Beginning Russian I
RUS 20b Beginning Russian II
RUS 29b Russian Language for Russian Speakers
RUS 30a Intermediate Russian I
RUS 105a Russia Today: Advanced Language Skills through Contemporary Culture
RUS 106b Advanced Russian Language through Film
RUS 115b Topics in Russian Culture and Society
RUS 150b Advanced Russian Language through 20th Century Literature
RUS 153a Advanced Russian Language through 19th Century Literature
RUS 160b Russian/Soviet Jews: Dual Identities in Text, Image and Music