Status Part-time Faculty

Home Department of Educational Psychology

Phone 244-1090


Address 2125 Beckman Institute, 405 North Mathews Avenue

  • Biography

    Kiel Christianson is professor and department chair of the Department of Educational Psychology, with 0-time appointments in Linguistics and Psychology. He began at the University of Illinois in 2004. Prior to his doctoral studies, he was a member of the founding faculty at the University of Aizu, in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima, Japan, where he taught and conducted research for four years. His fields of research center on psycholinguistics and reading, including syntactic parsing, visual word recognition, language production, shallow (or "good enough") processing in language comprehension, and bilingual language processing. Other areas of interest include second language acquisition and the integration of linguistic and non-linguistic information. He is currently Co-Director of the Illinois Language & Literacy Initiative (ILLI) at the Beckman Institute, Director of the Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education (SLATE) Doctoral Concentration in LAS, and Director of the EdPsych Psycholinguistics Lab at the Beckman Institute.


    • Ph.D., linguistics, Michigan State University, 2002

  • Honors
    • 2020: Illinois Colleg eof Educaiton David Zola Career Teaching Excellence Award 
    • 2019: University of Illinois College of Education Distinguished Senior Scholar
    • 2019: UIUC Campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research
    • 2012: UIUC College of Education Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching and Mentoring
  • Research

    Research interests:

    • psycholinguistics

    Kiel Christianson's Educational Psychology Psycholinguistics Lab is located wholly within the Beckman Institute. At present, he and his graduate research assistants are conducting experiments in sentence comprehension and production, syntactic reanalysis of garden-path sentences, visual word recognition in Mandarin, and implicit lexical and syntactic learning in a foreign language.

  • 2019

    • Brehm, L., Hussey, E. K., & Christianson, K. (in press, 2019). The role of word frequency and morpho-orthography in agreement processing. Language, Cognition, & Neuroscience.
    • Huang, X., Kim, N., & Christianson, K. (2019). Gesture and vocabulary learning in a second language. Language Learning, 69, 177-197.
    • Kang, H-S., Kim, N., & Christianson, K. (2019, in press). Grammatical aspect and world knowledge in second language reading. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching (IRAL).
    • Stoops, A. & Christianson, K. (2019). Syntactic predictability modulates parafoveal processing of inflectional morphology in Russian: A within-word boundary-change paradigm. Vision Research, 158, 1-10.
    • Zhou, P., Garnsey, S., & Christianson, K. (2019). Is imagining a voice like listening to it? Evidence from ERPs. Cognition, 182, 227-241.


    • Luke, S. G. & Christianson, K. (2018). The Provo Corpus: A Large Eye-Tracking Corpus with Predictability Norms. Behavior Research Methods, 50, 826-833.
    • Qian, Z., Garnsey, S., & Christianson, K. (2018) A comparison of online and offline measures of good-enough processing in garden-path sentences. Language, Cognition, & Neuroscience, 33, 227-254.
    • Zhou, P., Yao, Y., & Christianson, K. (2018). When structure competes with semantics: Reading Chinese relative clauses. Collabra: Psychology, 4(1), 22, DOI:


    • Christianson, K., Luke, S. G., Hussey, E. K. & Wochna, K. (2017). Why reread? Evidence from garden-path and local coherence structures. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70, 1380-1405.
    • Christianson, K., Zhou, P., Palmer, C., & Raizen, A. (2017). Effects of context and individual differences on the processing of taboo words. Acta Psychologica, 178, 73-86.
    • Hussey, E. K., Christianson, K., Treiman, D. M., Smith, K. A., & Steinmetz, P. N. (2017, Aug. 23 publication). Single neuron recordings of bilinguals performing in a continuous recognition memory task. PLoS One,
    • Kim, J-H. & Christianson, K. (2017). Working memory effects on the L1 and L2 processing of ambiguous relative clauses by Korean L2 learners of English. Second Language Research, 33, 365-388.
    • Stoops, A. & Christianson, K. (2017). Parafoveal processing of inflectional morphology on Russian nouns. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 29, 653-669.


    • Christianson, K., When Language Comprehension Goes Wrong for the Right Reasons: Good-Enough, Underspecified, or Shallow Language Processing. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 2016, 69, (5), 817-828.
    • Den Ouden, D. B.; Dickey, M. W.; Anderson, C.; Christianson, K., Neural Correlates of Early-Closure Garden-Path Processing: Effects of Prosody and Plausibility. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 2016, 69, (5), 926-949.
    • Ferreira, F.; Christianson, K., Is Now-or-Never Language Processing Good Enough? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 2016, 39, 72.
    • Huang, Z.; Li, Q.; Christianson, K., Visual Attention toward Tourism Photographs with Text: An Eye-Tracking Study. Tourism Management 2016, 54, 243-258.
    • Zhou, P. Y.; Christianson, K., I "Hear" What You're "Saying": Auditory Perceptual Simulation, Reading Speed, and Reading Comprehension. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 2016, 69, (5), 972-995.


    • Hussey, E. K.; Ward, N.; Christianson, K.; Kramer, A. F., Language and memory improvements following tDCS of executive-control brain regions. PLOS One. In press.
    • Hussey, E. K.; Ward, N.; Christianson, K.; Kramer, A. F., Language and Memory Improvements Following TDCS of Left Lateral Prefrontal Cortex. PLOS One 2015, 10, (11).
    • Kim, S-A.; Christianson, K.; Packard, J., Working memory in L2 character processing: The case of learning to read Chinese. In W. Zhisheng, M. Mota, & A. McNeill (Eds.), Working Memory in Second Language Acquisition and Processing: Theory, Research and Practice, 2015, pp. 85-104. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
    • Lim, J.-H.; Christianson, K., L2 Sensitivity to Agreement Errors: Evidence from Eye Movements During Comprehension and Translation. Applied Psycholinguistics 2015, 36, 1283-1315.
    • Luke, S. G.; Christianson, K., Predicting Inflectional Morphology from Context. Language Cognition and Neuroscience 2015, 30, (6), 735-748, DOI:10.1080/23273798.2015.1009918.


    • Payne, B. R.; Grison, S.; Gao, X. F.; Christianson, K.; Morrow, D. G.; Stine-Morrow, E. A. L., Aging and Individual Differences in Binding During Sentence Understanding: Evidence from Temporary and Global Syntactic Attachment Ambiguities. Cognition 2014, 130, (2), 157-173, DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2013.10.005.
    • Stoops, A.; Luke, S. G.; Christianson, K., Animacy Information Outweighs Morphological Cues in Russian. Language, Cognition, & Neuroscience 2014, 29, 584-604.


    • Kim, J. H.; Christianson, K., Sentence Complexity and Working Memory Effects in Ambiguity Resolution. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 2013, 42, (5), 393-411, DOI: 10.1007/s10936-012-9224-4.
    • Lim, J. H.; Christianson, K., Integrating Meaning and Structure in L1-L2 and L2-L1 Translations. Second Language Research 2013, 29, (3), 233-256, DOI: 10.1177/0267658312462019.
    • Lim, J. H.; Christianson, K., Second Language Sentence Processing in Reading for Comprehension and Translation. Bilingualism-Language and Cognition 2013, 16, (3), 518-537, DOI: 10.1017/s1366728912000351.
    • Luke, S. G.; Christianson, K., Spam: A Combined Self-Paced Reading and Masked-Priming Paradigm. Behavior Research Methods 2013, 45, 143-150.
    • Luke, S. G.; Christianson, K., The Influence of Frequency across the Time Course of Morphological Processing: Evidence from the Transposed-Letter Effect. Journal of Cognitive Psychology 2013, 25, (7), 781-799, DOI: 10.1080/20445911.2013.832682.
    • Slattery, T. J.; Sturt, P.; Christianson, K.; Yoshida, M.; Ferreira, F., Lingering Misinterpretations of Garden Path Sentences Arise from Competing Syntactic Representations. Journal of Memory and Language 2013, 69, (2), 104-120, DOI: 10.1016/j.jml.2013.04.001.
    • Stites, M. C.; Luke, S. G.; Christianson, K., The Psychologist Said Quickly, "Dialogue Descriptions Modulate Reading Speed!". Memory & Cognition 2013, 41, (1), 137-151.


    •  Luke, S. G.; Christianson, K., Semantic Predictability Eliminates the Transposed-Letter Effect. Memory & Cognition 2012, 40, (4), 628-641.
    • Christianson, K.; Mestre, J. P.; Luke, S. G., Practice Makes (Nearly) Perfect: Solving 'Students-and-Professors'-Type Algebra Word Problems. Applied Cognitive Psychology 2012, 26, (5), 810-822.
    • Shin, J. A.; Christianson, K., Structural Priming and Second Language Learning. Language Learning 2012, 62, (3), 931-964.