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.

Thursday “Brown Bag” Lecture Series, Noon-1:15

Location: St. John 11

December 11: Fall 2014 Awardees of the Harry Whitten Prize for Scholarly Excellence

Moving from “she just sits here” to “she’s opened my eyes”: Evolution of Writing Tutor Roles in Conferences with L1 and L2 Student-Athletes
Presenter: Pamela Stacey, Second Language Studies, UHM

A Dialectical Approach to Critical Thinking in EAP Writing
Presenter: Jay Tanaka, Second Language Studies, UHM

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LLL reception 2014

SLS Honored at College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature (LLL) Reception

Congratulations to Dr. Davis (not pictured), Dr. Zheng (left), and Ms. Haeusler (right).

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Hawaiʻi TESOL

Hawaiʻi TESOL Conference 2015

“Identifying Problems, Finding Solutions”

Saturday, February 14, 2015
@ BYU-Hawaiʻi, Laiʻe

Call for Participation Now Open

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HALT Spring Conference

29th Hawai‘i Association of Language Teachers (HALT) Spring Conference

“Advocate, Communicate, Educate”

Saturday, April 11, 2015
Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies

Call for Proposals Now Open

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141025 CATESOL Annual Conference

SLS Graduate Students Present at CATESOL Annual Conference

With Dr. Betsy Gilliland, PhD in SLS student Patharaorn Patharakorn and MA in SLS students Hyunjung An, Changho Kwon, and Eric Young presented on “Classroom Action Research: English for Academic Purposes in Thailand” at the CATESOL Annual Conference in Santa Clara, CA on October 25, 2014. Pictured: Kwon, An, Young, Gilliland, Suzuki (MA ’13), and …

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Roshan Institute Fellowship in Persian Linguistics, Language Acquisition, and Applied Linguistics Now Available

This Fellowship program supports qualified PhD students studying Persian linguistics, language acquisition, and applied linguistics at the College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. The fellowship award is available for 2015-2016 and is made possible through a grant from Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute (www.roshan-institute.org).

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