Carrie Bonilla

Carrie Bonilla

Carrie Bonilla

Assistant Professor

Second language acquisition, individual differences, explicit and implicit instruction, third language acquisition

Carrie Bonilla completed her graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh (Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics in 2012) and at New York University in Madrid (MA in Spanish Language and Translation in 2007). Her current research focuses on second and third language acquisition, particularly pedagogical practices as related to the acquisition of syntax and morphology and individual differences such as cognitive aptitude. Her research has focused on questions of language learning in various learning environments, including online learning, classroom learning, and study abroad.

Upcoming and recent publications include an experimental vocabulary learning study with third language (L3) learners of Portuguese for second language (L2) Spanish speakers, a study investigating the role of cognitive aptitude in study abroad for L2 learners, an analysis of learner output via online chat vs. individual writing activities, and multiple studies investigating the sequence of language development and the effects of explicit language instruction on early L2 Spanish production.

Selected Publications

Bonilla, C., Golonka, E., Pandza, N., Michael, E., Linck, J., Clark, M., Lancaster, A. (accepted). Leveraging Spanish knowledge and cognitive aptitude in Portuguese learning. In K. Molsing, C. Perna, A. Ibaños (Eds.), Linguistic approaches to Portuguese as an additional language.

Golonka, E., Tare, M., & Bonilla, C. (2017). Language-related and cooperative episodes: Qualitative analysis of text chat transcripts. Language Learning & Technology 21(2), 157-178.

Bonilla, C. (2015) Instructing stages of Processability Theory in L2 Spanish: Next or next +1? In K. Baten, M. Herreweghe, A. Buyl, & K. Lochtman (Eds.), Theory development in Processability Theory. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Bonilla, C. (2014) From number agreement to the subjunctive: Evidence for Processability Theory in L2 Spanish. Second Language Research. doi:10.1177/0267658314537291

Tare, M., Golonka, E., Vatz, K., Bonilla, C., Crooks, C., & Strong, R. (2014). Effects of Interactive Chat vs. Independent Writing on L2 Learning. Language Learning & Technology, 18(3), 208-227.

Bonilla, C. (2013). Tense or Aspect?: Initial Past Tense Marking for Beginning Classroom Learners of Spanish. Hispania, 96, 4: 624-39. December special article: State-of-the-State.

Grants and Fellowships

George Mason Term Faculty Development Grant (Summer, 2018)

Courses Taught


SPAN110: Elementary Spanish

SPAN101-DL: Elementary Spanish

SPAN115: Review of Elementary Spanish

SPAN201: Intermediate Spanish

SPAN250: Gateway to Advanced Spanish

SPAN315: Spanish for Heritage Speakers

SPAN370-DL: Spanish Writing and Stylistics 

SPAN385: Introduction to Spanish Linguistics

SPAN472: Spanish Phonetics & Phonology

SPAN485 Topics for Community-Based Spanish