People

Lab Director

Kara Morgan-Short

Professor of Spanish Linguistics and Psychology
Director of the Cognition of Second Language Acquisition Laboratory‍

1706 University Hall
karams@uic.edu

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.

For more information and downloadable versions of available papers, please see Kara Morgan-Short’s Academia and ResearchGate pages.

Irene Finestrat-Martínez

Irene Finestrat-Martínez

Ph.D. Student

Hispanic Linguistics
Second Language Acquisition
ifines2@uic.edu

Irene is interested in examining the role of individual differences (IDs) in adult second language acquisition and how this connection is modulated by the training conditions under which the language is learned. Specifically, she is interested in the role played by learners’ mastery of their first language, both from the point of view of performance (using behavioral data) and language processing (ERPs). Irene graduated with honors from the University of Alicante (Spain) and she is currently pursuing a PhD in Hispanic Linguistics at UIC.

David Abugaber-Bowman

David Abugaber-Bowman

Ph.D. Student

Hispanic Linguistics
Second Language Acquisition
dabuga2@uic.edu

David is interested in how implicit/subconscious and explicit/conscious processes interact in second language learning, with a particular eye to how this can be inferred using next-generation electroencephalography data analysis methods such as Multivariate Pattern Analysis. Other interests include the role of frequency (i.e., how often words or grammatical constructions occur in a learner’s input) in second language acquisition, both in traditional second language learners and in “heritage speakers” from bicultural communities. Prior to coming to UIC, David studied linguistics as an undergrad at Princeton University and as a master’s student at the  University of Cambridge.

Josh Buffington

Josh Buffington

Ph.D. Student

Cognitive Psychology
bffngtn2@uic.edu

Josh’s research interests include investigating the contributions of long-term memory systems to second language acquisition, as well as understanding the role that different types of instruction play in affecting the cognitive strategies that learners use to acquire a second language. In particular, he is interested in work that will clarify the contributions made by declarative and procedural memory in second language acquisition, as well as understanding how differences in the content of instruction affect outcomes in second language acquisition. Prior to coming to UIC, Josh completed an M.A. in linguistics at Cornell University, and a B.A. in English with minors in Psychology and Spanish at Texas A&M University.

John Escalante

John Escalante

M.A. Student

Hispanic Linguistics
Second Language Acquisition
johnae2@uic.edu

John is currently interested in the effects that different types of training conditions may have in the processing of an adult second and/or third language and how social factors play a role in the acquisition of a second and/or third language.  Prior to coming to UIC, John completed his B.A. in Hispanic Studies (Linguistics) at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

  • Ana Carolina Hernandez, Double Degree in Psychology and Chemistry
  • Evelyn Almodovar, Education
  • Evelyn Delgado, Psychology/Criminology, Law, & Justice
  • Anahi Gante, Psychology and Sociology
  • Lydia Limas, Neuroscience
  • Victoria Ogunniyi, Psychology Professional Writing minor
  • William Camacho, Bioengineering and Math minor
  • Sahana Reddy, Biological Sciences major and a Disabilities and Human Development minor
  • Hannah Chaddha, Biological Sciences with a Spanish minor

CogSLA Alumni

Brianna Villegas, M.A.

Website: https://www.linkedin.com/in/briana-villegas-b82212b3/

 

Alicia Luque-Ferreras, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Spanish
Director of Heritage Language Program

Website: https://www.alicialuque.com/

 

Kate Brill-Schuetz, Ph.D.

Digital Quantitative Analyst, John Crane

Website: ResearchGate

 

Bernard Issa, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics
Department of Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures
University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Website: http://spanish.utk.edu/people/issa.php & ResearchGate

 

Mandy Faretta-Stutenberg, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics
Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures
Northern Illinois University

Website: http://niu.edu/forlangs/people/faretta-stutenberg.shtml & Academia & ResearchGate

 

Laura Bartlett, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Lecturer of Spanish, University of Chicago

 

Sara Fernandez-Cuenca, Ph.D.

M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago; Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Assistant Professor
Wake Forest University

Website: https://spanishitalian.wfu.edu/sara-fernandez-cuenca/

 

Janire Zalbidea, Ph.D.

M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago; Ph.D., Georgetown University

Assistant Professor
Temple University

Website: https://liberalarts.temple.edu/academics/faculty/zalbidea-janire