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Photo of Morgan-Short, Kara

Kara Morgan-Short, PhD


Hispanic and Italian Studies

Psychology - Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Pronouns: she/her/ella


Building & Room:

1706 UH


601 S Morgan St.

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

Buffington, J., Demos, A., & Morgan-Short, K. (2021). The reliability and validity of procedural memory assessments used in second language acquisition research. Studies in Second Language Acquisition. 1-28.


Morgan-Short, K. (2021). Considering the updated Input Hypothesis from a neurolinguistic perspective: A response to Lichtman and VanPatten. Foreign Language Annals, 1–7.


Luque, A., & Morgan-Short, K. (2021). The relationship between cognitive control and second language proficiency. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 57, 100956.


Morgan-Short, K. (2020). Insights into the neural mechanisms of becoming bilingual: A brief synthesis of second language research with artificial linguistic systems. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 23(1), 87-91.


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.


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.


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.


Faretta–Stutenberg, M., & Morgan–Short, K. (2018). The interplay of individual differences and context of learning in behavioral and neurocognitive second language development. Second Language Research, 34(1), 67-101.


Morgan–Short, K. (2014). Electrophysiological approaches to understanding second language acquisition: A field reaching its potential. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 34, 15–36.


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.

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

Editorial Board, Research Methods in Applied Linguistics

Notable Honors

2013, Graduate Mentoring Award, Graduate College, UIC

2017, Honors College Capstone Advisor of the Year, Honors College

2009, Harold N. Glassman Dissertation Award, Georgetown University

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


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