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

April 2: Effects of L1 Syntax on the Comprehension of L2 Wh-Structures: Evidence from German-English Bilinguals

Presenter: Professor Tom Rankin, Wirtschafts Universität Wien [Vienna University of Economics and Business]

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Charlene J. Sato Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Fiona Willans

Charlene J. Sato Distinguished Lecture

Hem i Broken English nomo:
Interrupting the same old story about pidgins and creoles in school

Fiona Willans
University of the South Pacific

Thursday, April 9
12-1:15 pm
St. John 11

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The Russell J. & Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowships in Second Language Studies

The Bilinski Fellowships were established in 2011 by the Bilinski Educational Foundation with an initial grant to support the Bilinski Dissertation Fellowship in the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. In 2012, the Bilinski Educational Foundation expanded their support to the doctoral students of the Department of Second Language …

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Whitten Fall 2014

Student Achievements

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

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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

Conference Information

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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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