Second Language Studies

Most speakers worldwide speak more than one language. Second Language Studies investigates how people use, learn or lose another language, be it a second, third, heritage, or foreign language, or a pidgin or creole. Second Language Studies is the study of multilingualism in all of its diversity.




The BA in Second Language Studies introduces students to a wide range of theoretical and practical perspectives, focusing on how second languages are learned, taught, and used in global and local societies, as well as on assessment and evaluation, intercultural communication, and professionalism in language-related workplaces. While the majority of SLS majors seek careers in teaching English or other second languages, many pursue opportunities in areas such as translation and interpretation, materials development, and bilingual education, or move on to graduate study.

Advanced Graduate Certificate in SLS

The AGC provides advanced training for language professionals and researchers who already hold graduate degrees in applied linguistics or related fields and for students who concurrently complete another graduate degree at the University of Hawai‘i. The AGC is now also available with a specialization in Spanish Applied Linguistics.

The Department of Second Language Studies

The Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is an internationally leading institution in its field. SLS faculty and students examine second language use and learning from educational, linguistic, psychological, sociological, and anthropological perspectives. Faculty expertise in a wide range of research approaches and practice domains offers students exceptional opportunities to pursue their career goals as language professionals and researchers worldwide.


The MA in SLS program prepares students for careers as language professionals and for further study in PhD programs. It is the only MA program in SLS and related fields to offer five optional specializations:
• Critical Second Language Studies
• Language Assessment, Measurement, and Program Evaluation
• Language and Social Interaction
• Language Education
• Second Language Acquisition

PhD in SLS

The PhD in SLS program offers advanced training in Second Language Analysis, Second Language Learning, Second Language Use, Second Language Pedagogy, and Second Language Research Methodology. Graduates from the PhD in SLS program hold faculty positions at prestigious universities and are recognized as international leaders in applied linguistics and the study of multilingualism.

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Congratulations to Spring and Summer Graduates!

It has been busy and productive with 24 MA students completing their scholarly papers and six PhD students defending their dissertations. Of the graduating PhD students, four will continue or begin professorial positions, one will conduct research in a postdoctoral program, and one has secured a position in Honolulu in her area of specialization. Two MA graduates …

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Celebrating the Life and Work of Larry E. Smith

The International Association for World Englishes
in partnership with
The East-West Center

A Symposium Celebrating the Life and Work of Larry E. Smith

The Hawaii Imin International Conference Center
The East-West Center, Koi Room, Garden Level
1777 East-West Road
Honolulu, Hawaii

July 8, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

More information available at http://www.iaweworks.org

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Inviting Applications to the MA Program in Second Language Studies

The 36-credit MA in SLS offers the option of specializing in one or more areas: Critical Second Language Studies; Language Assessment, Measurement, and Program Evaluation; Language EducationLanguage and Social Interaction; and Second Language Acquisition.

Achievement Scholarships available for top applicants.

Spring 2017 admissions applications will be accepted through September 1, 2016.

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Reading in a Foreign Language

The April 2016 issue (Volume 28, Number 1) of the electronic journal Reading in a Foreign Language (RFL) is now online.

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Language Learning Small Research Grant Awarded to Dr. Theres Grüter

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Dr. Theres Grüter, who was recently awarded a Language Learning Small Research Grant for “Processing of Classifiers in L1 and L2 Mandarin Chinese.” Collaborators on this project are PhD in SLS student Wenyi Ling and recent graduate Elaine Lau (AGC in SLS 2015, PhD in Linguistics 2016). Language Learning has recently established an Early …

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Upcoming & Recent Conference Presentations by SLS Graduate Students and Faculty

Sociolinguistics Symposium 21, Murcia, Spain, June 15–18, 2016

University of Hawai’i at Mānoa College of Languages, Linguistics & Literature 20th Annual Graduate Student Conference, Honolulu Hawai’i, April 23, 2016

American Association of Applied Linguistics Annual Meeting, Orlando FL, April 9–12, 2016

TESOL International Convention, Baltimore MD, April 5–8, 2016

American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Denver CO, November 18–22, 2015

Symposium on Second Language Writing, Auckland, New Zealand, November 19–22, 2015

40th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD), November 2015

Second Language Research Forum (SLRF), Georgia State University, October 2015

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Thursday “Brown Bag” Lecture Series

Location: St. John Auditorium 11

Time: Noon–1:15 p.m.


Thank you to all the presenters of this academic year’s Thursday Brown Bag series: Spring 2016; Fall 2015

Proposals for presentations in academic year 2016–2017 are now being accepted. Talks, workshops, and sessions take place on Thursdays during the UH fall and spring semesters. Please contact SLS Department Chair Dr. Crookes (crookes@hawaii.edu; CC emilylee@hawaii.edu) if you are interested in presenting.

The SLS Thursday “Brown Bag” is a lecture series organized by the Department of Second Language Studies for enhancing students’ academic experience and professional future. Archived presentation descriptions can be found here: Spring 2016Fall 2015; Spring 2015; Fall 2014.

To propose a presentation topic, please contact SLS Department Chair Dr. Crookes (crookes@hawaii.edu; CC emilylee@hawaii.edu).

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SLS Undergraduate Raquel (Rocky) Reinagel Receives $1,500 Undergraduate Research Award

Raquel (Rocky) Reinagel is the first SLS major to receive a research award from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP, http://manoa.hawaii.edu/undergrad/urop) for her project “Study Abroad Students’ View of their L1 Community.” Rocky will conduct this project in the Spring 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Theres Grüter, and present her findings at the Undergraduate …

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