Karen Lichtman - NIU - Foreign Languages & Literatures


Karen Lichtman

Karen Lichtman

PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Linguistics
MA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Linguistics
BA, Williams College, Spanish and Psychology

My research focuses on age effects in second language acquisition. Children are thought to learn languages effortlessly and reliably, whereas adults learn faster in the early stages of L2 acquisition but ultimately fall short of nativelike attainment. How can we explain these phenomena? I examine both learner-internal factors, such as maturationally based cognitive changes in implicit and explicit learning, and learner-external factors, such as the amount of language input and type of instruction, that could cause adults to learn languages differently from children. I am also interested in whether these differences are inevitable. This research has implications for theories of language learning, curriculum design, and language teaching for learners of different ages.


Lichtman, K. In press. "Developmental Comparisons of Implicit and Explicit Language Learning." To appear in Language Acquisition in 2013.

Winters, S. & Lichtman, K. In press. "The role of linguistic knowledge in the encoding of words and voices in memory." SLRF (Second Language Research Forum) proceedings.

Lichtman, K. 2012. Review of Teaching Linguistics: Reflections on Practice (Koenraad Kuiper, ed.) in Journal of Sociolinguistics, 16:5.

Lichtman, K. 2012. Research on TPR Storytelling. In B. Ray & C. Seely, Fluency Through TPR Storytelling (304-311). Berkeley: Command Performance Language Institute.

Lichtman, K.; Chang, S.; Cramer, J.; Crespo del Rio, C.; Hallett, J.; Huensch, A.; & Morales, A. 2010. "IPA Illustration of Q'anjob'al." Studies in the Linguistic Sciences: Illinois Working Papers 2010: 1-23. Peer reviewed. Available at https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/17090

Lichtman, K. 2009. "Acquisition of Attributive and Predicative Adjective Agreement in L2 Spanish." Proceedings of the 10th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2009), edited by Melissa Bowles, Tania Ionin, Silvina Montrul, and Annie Tremblay. Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA. Available at http://www.lingref.com/cpp/gasla/10/abstract2273.html

Lichtman, K. 2009. "Deutsche Sprache, Schwere Sprache: Germany's Immigrant Language Policy." Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education, 12, 1, 43-67.


My personal website

E-mail Karen Lichtman
Watson Hall 112
(815) 753-6443