Professor Bella A. Cohen has over 37 years of experience in the US and abroad in the fields of foreign language teaching, testing, teacher training, optimized and adaptive-to-needs curriculum development, and management (across languages). She also developed new approaches in teaching and assessing performance. She has worked for institutions such as the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, where she implemented quality assurance and train-the-trainer processes for resident and non-resident DLIFLC teachers, and the United States Secret Service in Washington, D.C. where she facilitated cross-cultural dialogue between the US and Russia. 

Since 2018, she has taught at the Middlebury Institute, where her American and foreign students learn skills integration, just-in-time grammar, vocabulary in meaningful contexts and many methods she developed. She has also created entrance, mid-course, and final tests for different modalities focusing on current issues and meaningful topics such as security, politics, nonproliferation, etc. 

She is the recipient of several awards and fellowships: 

  • Performance Awards, Defense Language Institute, every year, 1990 through 2014. 
  • Commandant’s Coins of Excellence, Defense Language Institute, 1991, 2014.
  • Award for Excellence in Teaching, Kiwanis Club of Monterey, 1997. 
  • Instructor of the Year, Defense Language Institute, 1997. 
  • Army Training and Doctrine (TRADOC) Instructor of the Year nominee, 1997.

Academic Degrees

Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages, Moscow, USSR (Also known as Moscow State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Language). Master of Arts Degree, 1979


Willis, D., & Willis, J. (2007). Doing Task-based Teaching. Oxford University Press. (contributed)

Cohen, B. (2003). Diagnostic assessment at the superior-distinguished threshold. Msi Press.

Cohen, B. (2003, Spring). DA: A unique tool for combining successful foreign language teaching and testing in the near future; front page dialog. ACTR letter.