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Viktoria Byczkiewicz Cutler

Senior Lecturer

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-8309
Office: JEF 116


Biographical Sketch

Victoria Byczkiewicz Cutler holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from UC Santa Barbara and held candidacy for an MA in the Anthropology of Visual Communication from Temple University, where she studied and practiced documentary filmmaking with a particular emphasis on native-generated image-making and issues of social justice. She helped build grassroots video activism networks to highlight the AIDS epidemic and worked with the group LISN (League of Indigenous Sovereign Nations). Victoria taught English and worked as a translator and editor for six years in post-unification Berlin, Germany, then returned to her home city of Los Angeles in 2000 to earn an MA in TESOL at Cal State LA in 2005.

Victoria has long experience as an editor and writer for both commercial and academic publications. Within applied linguistics, her interests include classroom discourse analysis, language and identity issues, and oral language assessment. She is committed to developing engaging content-based instructional materials.

At present, she serves the American Language Institute at USC as a Lecturer and as a Testing Coordinator. In the latter capacity, she is committed to the continual development of the ALI's in-house English language proficiency examination, and has amassed a significant database which provides the basis for a variety of research projects. She also works for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) supervising Raters for the TOEFLIbT Speaking Test.

The philosophical foundations of Victoria's work as an educator lie in two important concepts: (1) democracy and democratic values as the basis for the best possible education, and for the creation and sustaining of strong educational institutions, and (2) mindfulness as key in promoting a healthy academic environment.

In 2014, Victoria is pleased to present her edited collection of articles from international scholars titled Democracy & Education: Collected Perspectives, to be printed in April/May 2014. She has also completed a Mindfulness Faciltator's Training via the Office of Religious Studies and is committed to working to promote the Provost's initiative toward creating a "mindful university" by facilitating mindful meditation practice for both students and faculty.



M.A. TESOL / Applied Linguistics, California State University, Los Angeles, 6/2005
B.A. Cultural Anthropology, University of California, 6/1987
M.A. Visual Anthropology, Temple University

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Professor Byczkiewicz's research interests include the critical analysis of discourse in a variety of contexts specific to the teaching, learning, and testing of English as a Second Language. She has done action-research based on weekly online discussion forums in her advanced writing workshops. These discussion forums are integral to the development of written academic discourse skills by providing a crucial "semi public" forum in which nonnative and multilingual English speakers can practice argumentation and negotiation skills. The forums are based on weekly course readings and/or student-selected themes and articles pertaining to a variety of current cross-cultural issues, including identity, ethnicity, immigration matters, nationality and integration/assimilation/acculturation. Byczkiewicz is interested in international students' constructions of identity relate to nationality, ethnicity, and language, and how these factors interact to reify an articulation or shared articulation of identity within the foreign language-learning and academic cultural context of the university. An additional question is how international students teach and learn from one another in this online setting, with the aim of exploring the importance of peer interaction in the development of writing skills. Further research is in her work in teaching pronunciation using technology as medium to examine whether technology-mediated teaching is advantageous or more efficacious than face-to-face pronunciation teaching. Additional research is in second language proficiency assessment, examining how questioning in interview settings impacts examinee performance. Additional research is related to the predictability of in-house test scores and placement with reference to the TOEFLiBT Speaking examination.

Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

John Dewey Center for Democracy and Education, Member; Editor of the series Democracy & Education: Collected Perspectives,

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"The Discursive Construction of Student Bodies", CATESOL Statewide Conference, 2009, Talk/Oral Presentation, Pasadena, California, 2008-2009   



Byczkiewicz, V. (2014). Democracy & Education: Collected Perspectives. (Vol. 1, (Viktoria Byczkiewicz, Ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Trébol Press.
Byczkiewicz, V. (2013). Blaming, Shaming, and Framing the Immigrant as Other in U.S.-Mexico Borderlands Cinema. Los Angeles, CA: Trébol Press.

Journal Article

Byczkiewicz Cutler, B. (2004). Filmic portrayals of cheating or fraud in examinations and competitions. Language Assessment Quarterly.. Vol. 1(2&3), pp. 195-204.

Service to the University


Member, Faculty Committee, American Language Institute., 2013-2014   

Other Service to the University

Faculty Advisor, Chinese Gourmet Association (student organization), 2008-2009   

Service to the Profession

Editorships and Editorial Boards

Editor, Democracy & Education: Collected Perspectives, 04/01/2013-  

Professional Offices

Chief of Copyediting, Trébol Press, 03/01/2013-  
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