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 Conference Presentations by SLS Graduate Students and Faculty

TESOL International Convention 2017, Seattle WA; March 21–24, 2017 Betsy Gilliland What writing teachers need to know: Exploring teacher education models (colloquium chair, presenter, and organizer) TESOLers supporting mainstream teachers of English language learners (colloquium chair, presenter, and organizer)

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2015 Conference Presentations by SLS Graduate Students and Faculty

American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Denver CO, November 18–22, 2015 Kathryn A. Davis Portraits of Engaged Ethnography: Keeping it real (colloquium) Colloquium presentations: Samuel Alejandro Aguirre Promoting Local Language Policies and Practices in an Era of Global Neoliberalism Kathryn A. Davis Engaged Language Policy and Planning: Hawaii State Board of Education Policy 105.14 Travis Lockwood …

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2016 Conference Presentations by SLS Graduate Students and Faculty

41st Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD); November 4–6, 2016 Hyunah Ahn The integration of linguistic and non-linguistic information in L2 sentence processing Theres Grüter, Aya Takeda, Hannah Rohde, & Amy J. Schafer L2 Listeners Show Anticipatory Looks to Upcoming Discourse Referents Ryan Peters, Theres Grüter, & Arielle Borovsky Language experience and skill …

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Webinar by Dr. Betsy Gilliland

For TESOL Second Language Writing Interest Section

The webinar took place on November 1, 2016, and its recording is now publicly available:

Title: Theorizing Your Practice: Action Research in L2 Writing
Facilitator: Dr. Betsy Gilliland, Assistant Professor of Second Language Studies, University of Hawai‘i

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Reading in a Foreign Language

The October 2016 issue (Volume 28, Number 2) of the electronic journal Reading in a Foreign Language (RFL) is now online.

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Photo of Dr. Dongping Zheng and Dr. Aitao Lu

Dr. Dongping Zheng Awarded Two-Year Grant from National Natural Sciences Foundation of China

Congratulations to Dr. Dongping Zheng (pictured left), Associate Professor in SLS, and her colleague, Dr. Aitao Lu (pictured right) of South China Normal University, for a two-year grant awarded by the National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (#31571141 and #31628010; $26,000 USD).

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Thursday “Brown Bag” Lecture Series

Location: St. John, Room 011 [unless otherwise noted]

Time: Noon–1:15 p.m.

Welcome back! The first Brown Bag of the Spring 2017 semester will be on January 26. Please click Read More for this semester’s Brown Bag schedule.

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: Fall 2016; 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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Reduced Tuition Rates Available for Residents of WICHE Member States

The University of Hawai’i at Mānoa participates in the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP), administered by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE). Accepted MA and PhD students in SLS who are legal residents of WICHE member states may enroll in the program at reduced tuition rates, if eligibility requirements are met.

Details about the WICHE Program can be found on this page: http://manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/content/wiche-program

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