Skip to content


Harriet Bowden

Associate Professor
601B McClung Tower

Phone: (865) 974-7099

Harriet Wood Bowden is Associate Professor of Spanish, specializing in Second Language Acquisition. She is also Language Program Director of Intermediate Spanish at UT. She received her Ph.D. from Georgetown University in Spanish Linguistics, where her dissertation research, supported by grants from the NIH and NSF, investigated the role of experience and proficiency in late-acquired language neurocognition. In her current research, Dr. Bowden examines first, second, and heritage language acquisition and neurocognition. She is particularly interested in examining the interaction of multiple learner-internal and external factors influencing these processes including cognitive (relative strengths of declarative, procedural, and working memory; age-related; bilingualism/multilingualism; attention and awareness), pedagogical (influence of more and less explicit instruction), contextual study abroad vs. foreign language learning contexts), and linguistic (grammatical vs. lexical).

  • Ph.D., Georgetown University
  • Neurolinguistic Approaches to Spanish as a Heritage Language. Bowden, H. W., & Issa, B. I. (2018). In K. Potowski (Ed.), Handbook of Spanish as a Minority/Heritage Language. Routledge.
  • One Size Fits All? Learning Conditions and Working Memory Capacity in Ab Initio Language Development. Sanz, C., Lin, H. -J., Lado, B., Stafford, C. A., & Bowden, H. W. (2016). Applied Linguistics, 37(5), 669-692. doi:10.1093/applin/amu058
  • Assessing second-language oral proficiency for research: The elicited imitation task. Bowden, H. W. (2016). Studies in Second Language Acquisition, doi: 10.1017/S0272263115000443
  • One size fits all? Learning Conditions and Working Memory Capacity in Ab Initio Language Development. Sanz, C., Lin, H.-J., Lado, B., Stafford, C. A. & Bowden, H. W. (2014). Applied Linguistics, doi: 10.1093/applin/amu058.
  • A fine-grained analysis of the effects of negative evidence with and without metalinguistic information in language development. Lado, B., Bowden, H. W., Stafford, C. A., Sanz, C. (2014). Language Teaching Research, 18(3), 220-244.
  • Native-like brain processing of syntax can be attained by university foreign language learners. Bowden, H. W., Steinhauer, K., Sanz, C. & Ullman, M. T. (2013). Neuropsychologia, 51(13), 2492-2511.
  • Optimizing Language Instruction: Matters of Explicitness, Practice, and Cue Learning. Stafford, C. A., Bowden, H. W. and Sanz, C. (2012). Language Learning, 62(3), 741-768.
  • An Experimental Study of Early L3 Development: Age, Bilingualism and Classroom Exposure. Stafford, C. A., Sanz, C. & Bowden, H. W. (2010). International Journal of Multilingualism.
  • Verbal Inflectional Morphology in L1 and L2 Spanish: A Frequency Effects Study Examining Storage versus Composition. Bowden, H. W., Gelfand, M. P., Sanz, C. & Ullman, M. T. (2010). Language Learning, 60 (1),44-87. 
  • Concurrent Verbalizations, Pedagogical Conditions and Reactivity:  Two CALL Studies. Sanz, C., Lin, H., Lado, B., Stafford, C. A. & Bowden, H. W. (2009). Language Learning, 59(1), 33-71.
  • Processing Instruction and Meaningful Output-Based Instruction: Effects on Second Language Development. Morgan-Short, K. & Bowden, H. W. (2006). Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 28(1), 31-65.
  • Individual Differences: Age, Sex, Working Memory, and Prior Knowledge. Bowden, H. W., Sanz, C. & Stafford, C. A. (2005). In Sanz, C. (Ed.). Mind and Context in Adult Second Language Acquisition: Methods, Theory and Practice, (pp. 105-140).Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.


The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.