Photo of Morgan-Short, Kara

Kara Morgan-Short, PhD


Hispanic and Italian Studies; Psychology

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Building & Room:

1706 UH

Office Phone:

(312) 996-5743

CV Download:



Kara Morgan-Short (Ph.D., Georgetown University) is Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), with a joint appointment in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies and the Department of Psychology where she directs the Cognition of Second Language Acquisition Laboratory. Kara is also affiliated with the Laboratory of Integrative Neuroscience at UIC, is currently an Associate Editor for Language Learning, and serves on editorial boards. Informed by the fields of linguistics, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, Kara Morgan-Short’s research aims to elucidate the linguistic and cognitive processes underlying late-learned second language acquisition and use. Further, her research explores how these processes may be moderated by the effects or interactions of factors external to the learner, such as the context under which a second language is learned, and factors internal to the learner, such as learners’ level of proficiency or learners’ individual cognitive abilities (e.g., working memory, declarative/procedural memory, attention). These issues are examined using a set of complementary behavioral (e.g., accuracy on spoken language tasks) and electrophysiological (event-related potentials, ERPs) approaches. Results of her work have been published in such journals as Language Learning, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, and Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Selected Grants

National Science Foundation, Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (BCS #1941189, 2020-2022), PI; co-PI David Abugaber

National Science Foundation, Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (BCS #1823898, 2018-2020), PI; co-PI Alicia Luque

Language Learning, The Language Learning Small Grants Research Program (2014-2016), PI; co–PI Emma Marsden

National Science Foundation, Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (BCS #1348964, 2018-2020), PI; co-PI Bernard Issa

Selected Publications

Pili-Moss, D., Brill-Schuetz, K. A., Faretta–Stutenberg, M., & Morgan-Short, K. (2020). Contributions of declarative and procedural memory to accuracy and automatization during L2 practice. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 23(3), 639-651. doi:10.1017/S1366728919000543

Issa, B., & Morgan–Short, K. (2019). Effects of external and internal attentional allocation on second language grammar development: An eye-tracking study. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 41(2), 389-417. doi:10.1017/S027226311800013X

Morgan-Short, K., Marsden, E., Heil, J., Issa, B., Mikhaylova, A., Mikołajczak, S., Moreno, N., Leow, R., Slabakova, R., & Szudarski, P. (2018). Multi-site replication in SLA research: Attention to form during listening and reading comprehension in Spanish L2. Language Learning, 68(2), 392-437. doi:10.1111/lang.12292

Marsden, E., Morgan-Short, K., Thompson, S., & Abugaber, D. (2018). Self-labelled replication in second language research: Narrative and systematic reviews, and recommendations for the field. Language Learning, 68(2), 321-391. doi:10.1111/lang.12286

Faretta–Stutenberg, M., & Morgan–Short, K. (2018). Individual differences in context: A neurolinguistic investigation of the role of memory and language use in naturalistic learning contexts. Second Language Research, 34(1), 67-101. doi:10.1177/0267658316684903

Morgan–Short, K., Deng, Z., Brill–Schuetz, K. A., Faretta–Stutenberg, M., Wong, P. C. M., & Wong, F. C. K. (2015). A view of the neural representation of second language syntax through artificial language learning under implicit contexts of exposure. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 27(2), 383–419. doi:10.1017/S0272263115000030

Ettlinger, M., Morgan–Short, K., *Faretta–Stutenberg, M., & Wong, P. C. M. (2015). The relationship between artificial and natural language learning. Cognitive Science, 40(4), 822–847. PMCID: PMC4723295. doi:10.1111/cogs.12257

Tanner, D., Morgan–Short, K., & Luck, S. J. (2015). How inappropriate high–pass filters can produce artifactual effects and incorrect conclusions in studies of language and cognition. Psychophysiology 52(8), 997–1009. PMCID: PMC4506207. doi:10.1111/psyp.12437

Morgan–Short, K., Faretta–Stutenberg, M., Brill, K. A., Carpenter, H., & Wong, P. C. M. (2014). Declarative and procedural memory as individual differences in second language acquisition. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. 17(1), 56–72. doi:10.1017/S1366728912000715

Morgan–Short, K., Steinhauer, K., Sanz, C., & Ullman, M. T. (2012). Explicit and implicit second language training differentially affect the achievement of native–like brain activation patterns. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(4), 933–947. PMCID: PMC3558940. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00119

Publication Aggregators

Service to Community

Founding member, Bilingualism Matters Chicago

Professional Leadership

Associate Editor, Language Learning

Editorial Board, Studies in Second Language Acquisition

Editorial Board, Bilingual Processing and Acquisition Book Series

Notable Honors

2018, Award for Excellence in Teaching, Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago

2017, Honors College Capstone Advisor of the Year, Honors College, University of Illinois at Chicago

2013, Graduate Mentoring Award, Graduate College, University of Illinois at Chicago

2009, Harold N. Glassman Dissertation Award for Social Sciences, Georgetown University


2007, PhD, Spanish Linguistics, Georgetown University
1998, MATL, Spanish, University of Southern Mississippi at Hattiesburg
1991, BA, Humanities, The University of Texas at Austin

Selected Presentations