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.

Recent & Upcoming Conference Presentations by SLS Graduate Students and Faculty

Second Language Research Forum (SLRF), Georgia State University, October 2015 Jessica Fast & Bozheng Liao Student perceptions of native and non-native English teacher accents (oral presentation) Theres Grüter Anticipation and Expectation in L2 processing and learning (invited colloquium) Hanbyul Jung & Eunseok Ro Revisiting the Extensive Reading (ER) principles in an EAP writing class: A …

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Conversation Analysis Data Sessions – Fall 2015

The EMCA (ethnomethodology/conversation analysis) data session is a student-volunteered meeting where a group of students who are interested in interaction meet and engage in analysis of data provided by students. We meet every other Friday in Moore Hall 202, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., starting September 4. This is a good opportunity for those seeking a good analytic …

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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 …

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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 Education; Language and Social Interaction; and Second Language Acquisition.

Fall 2016 admissions applications will be accepted through March 1, 2016. Applicants wishing to have priority consideration for departmental funding should apply by January 1, 2016.

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Reading in a Foreign Language

The October 2015 issue (Volume 27, Number 2) of the electronic journal Reading in a Foreign Language (RFL) is now online.

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