The Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition Program at Rutgers-New Brunswick has as its main goal to conduct research on the linguistic and cognitive processes involved in bilingual and second language acquisition in children and adults. 


  • Kendra V. Dickinson

    Office: AB-5171
    Phone: 848.932.9232
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  • Nuria Sagarra

    Office: AB- 5177
    Phone: 848.932.6954
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  • Thomas M. Stephens

    Office: AB-5162
    Phone: 848.932.6903
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On-Going Research Projects:

  1. Acquisition of Idioms in Heritage Speakers.  Prof. Jose Camacho.
  2. Adverb Placement in Second Language Acquisition.  Prof. Jose Camacho.
  3. Bilingual development of Spanish-English children in Union City, NJ.  Prof. Jennifer Austin, Prof. Liliana Sanchez and Prof. Gretchen Van de Walle (Rutgers Newark).
  4. Focus and Topicalization in Peruvian Spanish Heritage speakers in the US.  In collaboration with Prof. Jacqueline Toribio (University of Texas, Austin), Prof. Ana de Prada (University of Florida) and Aaron Roggia (Utah Statement University).
  5. Focus and Topic marking in Bilingual Quechua.  Prof. Liliana Sanchez.
  6. Semantic Transfer of null object properties in Chinese-Spanish adult bilinguals.  In collaboration with Prof. Ana Teresa Perez-Leroux (University of toronto) and Prof. Alejandro Cuza (Purdue University)
  7. The acquisition of morphosyntax in Basque/Spanish bilingual children.  Prof. Jennifer Austin.

Current Research Projects on Heritage Speakers  

Prof. Jennifer B. Austin 

  1. The interpretation of scalar implicatures by heritage Spanish/English bilingual children (PRAB). Collaborators: Prof. Liliana Sánchez, Prof. Kristen Syrett, Anne Lingwall (graduate student), Silvia Perez-Cortés (graduate student).
  2. The development of Spanish and English in child heritage speakers of Spanish (Union City). Collaborators: Prof. Liliana Sánchez, David Giancaspro (graduate student), Silvia Perez-Cortés (graduate student).
  3. L1 attrition in adult heritage Russian bilinguals (fMRICollaborators: Crystal Marull (graduate student) and Olga Bourkina (post-doc)
  4. Cognitive effects of bilingualism in adult heritage speakers ofCollaborator: Alena Kirova (graduate student)


Prof. Nuria Sagarra

  1. Anaphora resolution in early and late bilinguals (technique: self-paced reading).  Collaborator: Prof. Aurora Bel, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain.
  2. Heritage speakers' processing of relative clauses (technique: self-paced reading).Collaborator: Prof. Aurora Bel, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain, Prof. Liliana Sánchez.
  3. Heritage speakers' use of phonotactic cues to predict morphosyntactic information (technique: eye-tracking).  Collaborator: Prof. Karin Stromswold, Dept of Psychology, Rutgers University.
  4. Spanish and Russian heritage speakers´processing of sentences in English (technique: eye-tracking). Collaborator: Prof. Anastasia Stoops, Dept of Psychology. Univ of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



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