Assistant Professor of Russian and Director, 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.


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

Dubinina, Irina Y. "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, Irina Y. & Sophia A. Malamud. ""Emergent communicative norm in a contact language: indirect requests in Heritage Russian"." Linguistics Journal, An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language Study 55. 1 (2017): 67-116.

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

Dubinina, Irina. "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.

in cooperation with Irina Dubinina, authors Maria Lekic, Dan Davidson, Kira Gore. Live from Russia. Second Edition 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