Carrie Bonilla

Carrie Bonilla

Carrie Bonilla

Basic Spanish Program Coordinator

Associate Professor

Spanish: Second language acquisition, individual differences, explicit and implicit instruction, third language acquisition, community-based learning

Carrie Bonilla is the Basic Spanish Program Coordinator. She completed her graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh (Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics) and at New York University in Madrid (MA in Spanish Language and Translation). Her current research focuses on second 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, community-based learning, and study abroad.

Current publications include a classroom study analyzing students' language learning experiences in a community-based learning experience (Bonilla, 2021) as well as an analysis of independent variables that contribute to success in acquiring a variety of languages through autonomous self-study (Bonilla, 2021). Prior studies 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

Marcos Miguel, N. & Bonilla, C. (2023). Utilización de corpus de español L1 en el aula de LE/L2/LH: ¿por qué y para qué?, Journal of Spanish Language Teaching. 

Bonilla, C. 2021. Navigating interactions, identifying gaps, and setting self-study goals: Acquisition of Spanish via community-based learning in interprofessional clinics. Journal of Spanish Language Teaching.

Bonilla, C., Hughes, M. M., Tare, M., & Vatz, K. (2021). Self‐ study in language learning: Relationships among time, activities, and learning outcomes. Foreign Language Annals, 1–24.

Bonilla, C. (2020). Processability Theory. In N. Tracy-Ventura & M. Paquot, Routledge Handbook of SLA and Corpora.

Linck, J., Doughty, C., Mecham, T., Bonilla, C., Clark, M., Golonka, E., & Burns, W. (2020). Autonomous Portuguese L3 learning through an innovative, adaptive language learning platform. In K. Molsing, C. Perna, A. Ibaños (Eds.), Linguistic approaches to Portuguese as an additional language.

Bonilla, C., Golonka, E., Pandza, N., Michael, E., Linck, J., Clark, M., Lancaster, A. (2020). 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.

Tare, M., Golonka, E., Lancaster, A.K., Bonilla, C., Doughty, C.J., Belnap, R.K., & Jackson, S.R. (2018). The role of cognitive aptitudes in a study abroad language-learning environment.  In C. Sanz & A. Morales-Front (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of study abroad research and practice (pp. 406-420). New York, NY: Routledge.

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.

Bonilla, C. (2011). The Conversational Historical Present in Oral Spanish Narratives.  Hispania 94: 429-442.

Bonilla, C. (2006). El papel de la gramática en la adquisición de segundas lenguas: un estudio sobre el uso de conectores discursivos en estudiantes avanzados de español.  Gaceta Hispánica de Madrid.


Grants and Fellowships

George Mason Term Faculty Development Grant (Summer, 2018)

Curriculum Impact Grant (2019, 2020) 

Courses Taught

SPAN110: Elementary Spanish

SPAN101-DL: Elementary Spanish

SPAN115: Review of Elementary Spanish 

SPAN201: Intermediate Spanish (face-to-face, asynchronous online, hybrid)

SPAN250: Gateway to Advanced Spanish

SPAN305: Spanish in Context I (online asynchronous)

SPAN306: Spanish in Context II (online asynchronous)

SPAN315: Spanish for Heritage Speakers

SPAN370-DL: Spanish Writing and Stylistics 

SPAN385: Introduction to Spanish Linguistics

SPAN455: Spanish-English Translation & Interpretation (online asynchronous)

SPAN472: Spanish Phonetics & Phonology

SPAN485 Topics for Community-Based Spanish 

SPAN576: Spanish-English Translation & Interpretation (online asynchronous)