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.

Dissertation Defense


PhD in Second Language Studies Dissertation Defense

Gerriet Janssen

English Proficiency and Entrance to Doctoral Studies at One Colombian University: A Standard Setting Study

Chair: James Dean Brown

Tuesday April 26, 2:00 p.m.
Moore Hall, Room 155A

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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.

Spring 2017 admissions applications will be accepted through September 1, 2016.

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Special Presentation: April 27, 2016

English Teaching and Teacher Education in Chile


April 27, 2016
2:45–4:00 p.m.

Moore Hall 155A

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Reading in a Foreign Language

The April 2016 issue (Volume 28, Number 1) of the electronic journal Reading in a Foreign Language (RFL) is now online.

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Dissertation Defense


PhD in Second Language Studies Dissertation Defense

Jung-Ts Lin

Idioms in the bilingual mental lexicon

Chair: Thom Hudson

Friday April 29, 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Moore Hall, Room 155A

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Language Learning Small Research Grant Awarded to Dr. Theres Grüter

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Dr. Theres Grüter, who was recently awarded a Language Learning Small Research Grant for “Processing of Classifiers in L1 and L2 Mandarin Chinese.” The project is a close collaboration with AGC in SLS and PhD in Linguistics student Elaine Lau, and PhD in SLS student Wenyi Ling. Language Learning has recently established an Early …

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Dissertation Defense


PhD in Second Language Studies Dissertation Defense

Alfred Rue Burch

Motivation in Interaction: A Conversation-Analytic Perspective

Chair: Gabriele Kasper

Thursday May 5, 2:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Moore Hall, Room 258

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Celebrating the Life and Work of Larry E. Smith

The International Association for World Englishes
in partnership with
The East-West Center

A Symposium Celebrating the Life and Work of Larry E. Smith

The Hawaii Imin International Conference Center
The East-West Center, Koi Room, Garden Level
1777 East-West Road
Honolulu, Hawaii

July 8, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

More information available at http://www.iaweworks.org

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