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Photo of Potowski, Kim

Kim Potowski, Ph.D.

Dr. & Professor

Hispanic and Italian Studies

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Building & Room:

1707 UH


601 S. Morgan St.

Office Phone:

(312) 996-8524

Related Sites:


Director of the Language in Context Research Group

Major Interests
Heritage language development; Spanish in the U.S.; language & identity; dual immersion education.

Selected Publications


  • Handbook of Spanish as a heritage/minority language. (2017) (Edited) Routledge.
  • Intra-Latino language and identity: MexiRicans in Chicago. (2016). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • El español de los Estados Unidos.(2015).  With Anna María Escobar.  Cambridge University Press.
  • Heritage language teaching: Research and practice. (2014).  With Beaudrie, S., Ducar, C.  McGraw-Hill.
  • Language diversity in the U.S.A. (Edited). (2010). Cambridge University Press.
  • Conversaciones escritas: Spanish composition for heritage and L2 students. (2010). John Wiley & Sons.
  • Bilingual youth: Spanish-speakers in English-speaking countries. (2010). Edited with Jason Rothman. John Benjamins.
  • Spanish in Contact: Educational, Linguistic, and Social Inquiries. (2007). Edited with Richard Cameron. John Benjamins.
  • Dicho y hecho, 8th edition. With Laila Dawson & Silvia Sobral. (2007). John Wiley & Sons.
  • Language and identity in a dual immersion school. (2007). Multilingual Matters.
  • Fundamentos de la enseñanza del español a los hablantes natives en los Estados Unidos(Foundations in teaching Spanish to native speakers in the United States). (2005).  Arco/Libros.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • Potowski, K. (2016). Bilingual youth: Spanish-speakers at the beginning of the 21st century. Language and Linguistics Compass, 10 (6), 272-283.
  • O’Rourke, E. & Potowski, K. (2016). Phonetic accommodation in a situation of Spanish dialect contact: /s/ and /r/ in Chicago. Journal of Hispanic and Lusopone Linguistics.
  • Potowski, K. & Lynch, A. (2014). La enseñanza del español a los hablantes de herencia: Teoría y praxis. Journal of Spanish Language Teaching, 1 (2), 154-170.
  • Lynch, A. & Potowski, K. (2014). La valoración del habla bilingüe en Estados Unidos: Fundamentos sociolingüísticos y pedagógicos en Hablando bien se entiende la gente. Hispania, 97 (1), 32-46.
  • Potowski, K, Dillon, K, Kagan, O, McGinnis, S. and Peyton, J. (2013). Teachers of heritage language speakers: Perturbing assumptions and possible solutions. Conference proceedings, Language Teacher Education 2009 and 2011. National Capital Language Resource Center.
  • Potowski, K.  (2013). Language Maintenance and Shift.  In R. Bayley, R. Cameron & C. Lucas (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics (321-339).  Oxford University Press.
  • Potowski, K., Parada, M., & Morgan-Short, K. (2012). Developing an online placement exam for Spanish heritage speakers and L2 students. Heritage Language Journal, 9 (1), 51-76.
  • Potowski, K.  (2012).  Identity and heritage learners: Moving beyond essentializations.  In S. Beaudrie & M. Fairclough (Eds.), Spanish as a Heritage Language in the US: State of the Science (283-304). Georgetown University Press.
  • Carreira, M. & Potowski, K. (2011). Commentary: Pedagogical implications of experimental SNS research. Invited article, special issue on Spanish linguistics. Heritage Language Journal, 8 (1), 134-151.
  • Potowski, K. (2011). Intrafamilial dialect contact. In Díaz-Campos, M. (Ed.), Handbook of Hispanic Sociolinguistics. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Potowski, K. and Gorman, L. (2011). Quinceañeras: Hybridized tradition, language use, and identity in the U.S. In Potowski, K. & Rothman, J. (Eds.), Bilingual youth: Spanish in English-speaking societies. John Benjamins.
  • Potowski, K. (2011).  “Spanglish” greeting cards as linguistic and cultural performance.  International Journal of Multilingualism, 8 (4), 1-21.
  • Potowski, K. (2009). Forms and functions of code-switching by dual immersion students: A comparison of heritage speaker and L2 children. In M. Turnbull & Miles & J. Dailey-O’Cain (Eds.), First Language Use in Second and Foreign Language Learning (87-114). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
  • Potowski, K., Jegerski, J. & Morgan-Short, K. (2009). The effects of instruction on subjunctive development among Spanish heritage language speakers. Language Learning 59 (3): 537-579.
  • Torres, L. & Potowski, K. (2008). A comparative study of bilingual discourse markers in Chicago Mexican, Puerto Rican, and MexiRican Spanish. International Journal of Bilingualism, 12 (4), 263-279.
  • Potowski, K. (2008) ¿Por qué ofrecen una clase para hispanohablantes? In Jennifer Ewald & Anne Edstrom (Eds.), El español a través de la lingüística: Preguntas y respuestas. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla (228-241).
  • Potowski, K., Berne, J., Clark, A. and Hammerand, A. (2008). Spanish for K-8 Heritage Speakers: A Standards-Based Curriculum Project. Hispania, 91 (1), 25-41.
  • Potowsk, K. (2008). “I was raised talking like my mom”: The influence of mothers in the development of MexiRicans’ phonological and lexical features. In J. Rothman & M. Niño-Murcia (Eds.), Linguistic Identity and Bilingualism in Different Hispanic Contexts. New York: John Benjamins (201-220).
  • Montrul, S. & Potowski, K. (2007). Command of gender agreement in school-age Spanish-English Bilingual Children. International Journal of Bilingualism, 11 (3), 301-328.
  • Potowski, K. (2004). Spanish language shift in Chicago. Southwest Journal of Linguistics, 23 (1), 87-116.
  • Potowski, K. (2004). Student Spanish use and investment in a dual immersion classroom: Implications for second language acquisition and heritage language maintenance. Modern Language Journal, 88 (1), 75-101.
  • Potowski, K. (2003). Chicago’s Heritage Language Teacher Corps: A model for improving Spanish teacher development. Hispania, 86 (2), 302-311.
  • Potowski, K. (2002). Experiences of Spanish heritage speakers in university foreign language courses and implications for teacher training. ADFL Bulletin, 33 (3), 35-42.

Journal Editing

  • Executive editor, Spanish in Context
  • Co-editor, Heritage Language Journal (2010-2013)

Other work

Notable Honors

January-June, 2016, Fellowship - "Maximizing Latino Spanish proficiency through dual language education.”, City University of New York Advanced Research Collaborative

2013-2014, Faculty Fellowship - Project title: “Do you bleed salsa or sofrito?”: Inter-Latino language and identity among “MexiRicans”, University of Illinois at Chicago, Institute for the Humanities

2012, Faculty Scholarship Support Program and Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Award for Faculty Research in the Humanities. Project title: “Transnational youth.”, University of Illinois at Chicago

August 2011-June 2012, Fulbright Research Fellow: Oaxaca, Mexico. Project title: "Transnational youth: Los 'retornados' a México.", United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs


PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign