Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition Program Group

Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition Program Group


    • Portrait
    • Joseph Casillas
    • Associate Professor
    • Ph.D., University of Arizona
    • Office: AB-5174
    • Office Hours: By appt.
    • Phone: 848.932.6941
    • Email:



    • Portrait
    • Kendra V. Dickinson
    • Assistant Professor
    • Ph.D., Ohio State University
    • Office: AB-5171
    • Phone: 848.932.9232
    • Email:

    Kendra V. Dickinson received a BA in Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2011), an MA in Applied Linguistics from Boston University (2016), an MA in Hispanic Linguistics from the Ohio State University (2018), and a PhD in Hispanic Linguistics from the Ohio State University (2022).

    Her principal areas of interest include sociolinguistics and morphosyntactic variation. Her research applies diverse methodologies to the study of how relationships between linguistic systems and social contexts of language forms can elucidate the motivations for language variation and change. She has conducted research in a variety of areas, including past participle variation in Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese,  language contact on the internet, language brokering and academic outcomes among U.S. Latinx heritage Spanish speakers, subject pronoun expression in both adult and child Spanish, and direct objects in Brazilian Portuguese, all of which consider both the grammatical and social dimensions of language use. She employs a range of methodologies to these areas of research, including acceptability judgement and social evaluation tasks, corpus analysis, sociolinguistic interviews, and corpus analysis, as well as both quantitative and qualitative modes of investigation.


    • Portrait
    • Nuria Sagarra
    • Associate Professor/Chair
    • Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    • Office: AB- 5177
    • Office Hours: By appt.
    • Phone: 848.932.6954
    • Email:



    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.

    For more information on Professor Sagarra, please visit NuriaSagarraCV .




    • Portrait
    • Thomas M. Stephens
    • Professor/Acting Graduate Director
    • Ph.D. Michigan
    • Office: AB-5162
    • Office Hours: By appt. before class
    • Phone: 848.932.6903
    • Email:

    Website: Prof. Stephens

    A Professor of Spanish in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey since 1981, Stephens has served as Rutgers’ Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) to the NCAA since 2002. He holds a B.A. in Spanish Education and an M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of South Carolina and a Ph.D. in Romance Linguistics from the University of Michigan. His research and teaching focus on race and ethnicity in Latin America and questions of language in social contexts. He is author of Dictionary of Latin American Racial and Ethnic Terminology (University Press of Florida, 1989; 2nd edition, 1999) and A Game of Mirrors: The Changing Face of Ethno-racial Constructs and Language in the Americas (University Press of America, 2003) and of a number of journal articles.


    Currently, Stephens is compiling and editing the 3rd edition of his Dictionary with J. Maddox. This edition consists of hundreds of revisions, additions, and emendations and extends the corpus by including lexical items for categories that some may consider borderline ethnic lexemes, e.g., gays, lesbians, prostitutes, pimps, etc., as they relate to other racial and ethnic concepts. In addition, with M. Makris, he is working on a manuscript tentatively titled Convenient Untruths: Language, Race, Ethnicity, and Racism in a Non-Post-Racial Latin America. The latter project treats various topics relating to real language use and cultural cues that trigger racial, if not racist, reactions.


    Stephens, who assists his Department as Assistant Graduate Director, has served on many departmental, college, university, and national committees, including the Executive Council of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, the Executive Committee of the American Portuguese Studies Association, the Executive Committee of the Brazilian Studies Association, the Executive Board of the 1A FAR, t he Executive Board of the Faculty Athletics Representative Association, the Academic Oversight Committee for Intercollegiate Athletics at Rutgers, and the Big East Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as FAR liaison.