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
November 20: Exploring L2 Learners’ Viewing Behavior During the Video-based L2 Listening Assessment: Evidence from Eye Tracking

Presenter: Ruslan Suvorov, Center for Language and Technology, UHM

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Reading in a Foreign Language

The October 2014 issue (Volume 26, Number 2) of the electronic journal Reading in a Foreign Language (RFL) is now online.

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Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowship Fund

The Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowship Fund has substantially supported PhD students in the Department of Second Language Studies. Since Fall 2011, five PhD students have completed or are completing their dissertations with the support of the Dissertation Fellowships. See video at this link. Click here to learn more about funding opportunities through …

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Recent Graduate Student Publications

Burch, A. R. (2014). Pursuing information: A conversation analytic perspective on communication strategies. Language Learning, 64, 651–684. DOI: 10.1111/lang.12064 Phyak, P. & Bui, T. N. T. (2014). Youth engaging language policy and planning: ideologies and transformations from within. Language Policy, 13, 101–119. DOI: 10.1007/s10993-013-9303-x Ro, E., & Chen, C. (2014). Pleasure reading behavior and attitude of …

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Bird of Paradise

Student Achievements

Congratulations to Michelle Adams, Minyoung Cho, Justin Cubilo, Bal Krishna Sharma, Michael Bischoff, Rick Schoonmaker, Mint Litticharoenporn, Priscilla Leal, Junko Imai, and Angela Haeusler! Read more to learn about their achievements.

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