Professor Rika Ito received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Linguistics at Michigan State University and her B.A. in English from Hokusei Gakuen University, Sapporo, Japan. She joined St. Olaf since 2002.

Her recent research looks at the role of language in society by using sociocultural linguistics and language ideologies as a framework. She enjoys working with students to conduct research projects, including Collaborative Undergraduate Research Projects (CURI) and has presented at both national and international conferences with students.

She has published articles in Journal of Sociolinguistics (Tagiamonte and Ito, 2002), Language in Society (Ito and Tagliamonte, 2003), American Speech (Ito, 2010), and Japanese Language and Literature (Ito, 2017). She also has a book chapter on language assessment (Ito, 2013) and Hmong American English (Stanford, Ito, and Nibbs 2018). She just published a book chapter this summer that describes how she incorporates the Japanese language in her sociolinguistic class, ASIAN 126 (Ito, 2019). Her manuscript on the analysis of ideologies of English in NHK drama Massan will appear soon in Japanese Studies.

Rika regularly teaches Japanese (all levels), and courses in sociolinguistics and the Asian Conversations program. She is VERY excited about her new course in the spring--LNGST 245: Roles of Language in the context of Equity & Diversity. The books to be required include: Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, language, and race in the U.S. (Alim and Smitherman, 2012) and Language and Social Justice in Practice (Avineri et al., 2018).  

She is the chair of Asian Studies (2019-). On the weekend, she enjoys gardening and playing with her cat, Hana-chan.