Associate Professor



PhD University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

BA, MA Universitat de Barcelona, Spain


 Carpender Hall 207


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Nuria Sagarra’s research straddles the domains of cognitive science, linguistics, and second language acquisition, seeking to identify what factors explain adults’ difficulty learning morphosyntax in a foreign language, with the aim of informing linguistic and cognitive models, as well as instructional practices. She investigates these topics using self-paced reading, eye tracking, and more recently, event-related potentials.


Ministry of Science and Innovation, Spain. FF12012-35058. Co-investigator. Aurora Bel (PI), Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Title: Variation, Complexity and Linguistic Experience in Language Acquisition and Bilingualism. 2012-2015.

National Science Foundation. 0717557: Perception, Action and Cognition. Funding rate: 18%.

PI with Nick C. Ellis (also PI), University of Michigan. Title: Attention, Blocking and Transfer in Language Acquisition. 2008-2011.

ARTICLES (2007 to present)

Sagarra, N. and Ellis, N. (Forthcoming, 2013). From seeing adverbs to seeing morphology. Language experience and adult acquisition of L2 tense. Special issue “Eye tracking and SLA” (Eds. A. Godfroid, S. Gass, & P. Winke). Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35(2).

Sagarra, N. and Herschensohn, J. (Forthcoming, 2013). Processing of gender and number agreement in late Spanish bilinguals. Special issue “Examining the acquisition of the  determiner phrase in Romance languages in simultaneous and sequential bilingualism” (Ed. P. Guijarro). International Journal of Bilingualism, 17(4).

Sagarra, N. and Abbuhl, R. (Forthcoming, 2013). Computer-delivered feedback and L2 development: The role of explicitness and working memory. In C. Sanz & B. Lado (Eds.) Individual Differences, L2 Development & Language Program Administration: From Theory to Practice. AAUSC annual volume. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Sagarra, N. and Abbuhl, R. (Forthcoming, 2013). Optimizing the noticing of face-to-face recasts via computer-delivered feedback: Evidence that oral input enhancement and working memory help L2 learning. Modern Language Journal.

Ellis, N., Hafeez, K., Martin, K. I., Chen, L., Boland, J., and Sagarra, N. (Forthcoming, 2013). Learned attention in adult language acquisition: Overt then covert. Applied Psycholinguistics.

Presson, N., Sagarra, N., MacWhinney, B. (Forthcoming). Self-paced reading and verb production as converging measures of L2 verb conjugation learning. Special issue “Parsing to learn a second language” (Eds. L. Dekydtspotter & C. Renaud). Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism.

Presson, N., Sagarra, N., MacWhinney, B., & Kowalski, J. (2012). Compositional production in Spanish second language conjugation. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, December, 1-21.

Sagarra, N. and Herschensohn, J. (2011). Proficiency and animacy effects on L2 gender agreement processes during comprehension. Language Learning, 61(1), 80-116.

Sagarra, N. & Seibert Hanson, A. (2011).  Eyetracking methodology: a user’s guide for linguistic research. Viewpoints section on “Technology in linguistics” (Ed. T. Face). Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 4(2), 543-555.

Ellis, N. and Sagarra, N. (2011). Learned attention in adult language acquisition: A replication and generalization study and meta-analysis. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 33(4), 589-624.

Ellis, N. and Sagarra, N. (2010). Learned attention effects in L2 temporal reference: The first hour and the next eight semesters. Special issue “The earliest stages of language learning” (Eds. P. Indefrey & M. Gullberg). Language Learning, 60(2), 85-108.

Ellis, N. and Sagarra, N. (2010). The bounds of adult language acquisition: Blocking and learned attention. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32(4), 1-28.

Sagarra, N. and Herschensohn, J. (2010). The role of proficiency and working memory in gender and number agreement processing in L1 and L2 Spanish. Lingua, 20, 2022-2039.

Sagarra, N. and Zapata, G. C. (2008). Computer-assisted instruction and L2 grammar accuracy. Hispania, 91(1), 93-109.

Sagarra, N. and Zapata, G. C. (2008). Blending classroom instruction with online homework: A study of student perceptions of computer-assisted L2 learning. ReCALL, 20(2), 208-224.

Zapata, G. C. and Sagarra, N. (2007). CALL on hold: The delayed benefits of an online workbook on L2 vocabulary learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 20(2), 153-171.

Dussias, P. E. and Sagarra, N. (2007). The effect of exposure on syntactic parsing in Spanish-English bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 10(1), 101-116.

CHAPTERS (2007 to present):

Sagarra, N. (Forthcoming, 2013). Working memory in second language acquisition. In C.A. Chapelle (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Sagarra, N. and Herschensohn, J. (2011). Asymmetries in gender and number agreement processing in late bilinguals. In L.A. Ortiz-López (Ed.), Selected Proceedings of the 13th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium (pp. 169-177). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Sagarra, N. and Herschensohn, J. (2008). Processing gender in L2 Spanish. In H. Chan, H. Jacob, & E. Kapia (Eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 427-437). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Sagarra, N. (2008). Working memory and L2 processing of redundant grammatical forms. In Z. Han (Ed.), Understanding Second Language Process (pp. 133-147). Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Sagarra, N. (2007). Online processing of gender agreement in low proficient English-Spanish late bilinguals. In M. J. Cabrera, J. Camacho, V. Déprez, N. Flores, & L. Sánchez (Eds.), Current Issues in Linguistic Theory Series. (pp. 241-254). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Sagarra, N. (2007). From CALL to face-to-face interaction: The effect of computer-delivered recasts and working memory on L2 development. In A. Mackey (Ed.), Conversational Interaction in Second Language Acquisition (pp. 229-248). Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Sagarra, N. (2005) [course developer]. Mosaicos: Online Instruction for Hybrid Courses. 4th edition. Electronic textbook with more than 400 online activities to learn elementary Spanish. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.






Welcome! Bienvenidos! Bem-vindos!

Do you want to communicate with 400 million speakers? Do you want to learn about the languages, cultures and peoples of over 25 countries? Take advantage of the benefits of being bilingual!

Our department offers a wide variety of options for students interested in studying Spanish and Portuguese language culture and translation!

Faculty Publications



  • Mac Wilson has accepted a tenure-track position in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at Brigham Young University. Congratulations!
  • Joseph Agbnenyegah, Aaron Lacayo and Crystal Marull received a pre-dissertation award from the Graduate School for research in Ghana, Nicaragua and Argentina respectively. Congratulations!


  • Mónica Ríos has won a fellowship for the Institute for Research on Women (2013-2014)
  • Summer Study Abroad programs in Perú y Spain (2014)
  • Juan Pablo Cominguez, Alena Kirova and Silvia Pérez-Cortés will be presenting at the Linguistic
    Symposium on Romance Languages.    
  • Marcy Schwartz has been awarded the prestigious ACLS and NEH felllowships (2014-2015)

Contact Us

carpender new
Carpender House -Douglass Campus
105 George St.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1414

P  848-932-9323
F  732-932-9837