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.

Upcoming & Recent Conference Presentations by SLS Graduate Students and Faculty

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

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

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

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

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

Read more


Thursday “Brown Bag” Lecture Series

Location: Moore Hall 575

FRIDAY 3:00–4:15 p.m. February 12. Critical dialogue in TESOL teacher education: Implications for teacher identity construction

Presenter: Dr. Arman Abednia, School of Education, Edith Cowan University, Australia

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).

Read more


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 …

Read more


SLS Major Promotes Seal of Biliteracy to DOE Principals

Reynold Kajiwara, a senior in the Department of Second Language Studies (SLS), was recently invited to speak as a panelist at the Hawai‘i Department of Education (DOE) Principals meeting. As a graduate of the public school system and now double-major in SLS and Japanese, Reynold shared his perspective on a new policy that will establish …

Read more


SLS EFL Practicum at Ubon Rachatani University, Thailand – Summer 2016

Since 2007, SLS students in the MA and PhD programs have taken SLS 690 EFL Practicum at Ubon Rachatani University, Thailand, during June and July. They taught intensive EFL courses to Thai students and gained valuable experience in learning to teach. At the end of the project, one MA student wrote, “This practicum has been …

Read more