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AGC in SLS Sample Student Programs

Example programs for several types of future students are illustrated below.

1. Students who have obtained a masters or doctorate degree in applied linguistics, ESL, or a related area of second language studies at a university elsewhere or a very long time ago, and who wish to take advantage of the more extensive offerings, advanced courses, and current treatment of issues in research, which are available at UH but not elsewhere:

For example, a recent masters in Applied Linguistics from UCLA seeking admission to the PhD program in SLS transfers 3 credits of linguistic analysis course work and takes 12 credits, completing a research paper on current theories of L2 acquisition and the acquisition of Chinese as a second language:

  • SLS 680-E—Topics in Second Language Learning: Universal Grammar and Second Language Acquisition
  • SLS 750—Seminar on Current Theories of Second Language Acquisition
  • CHN 750-C—Research Seminar in Chinese Language: Structure
  • LING 750-X—Seminar: Syntax

2. Students at UH who are completing a masters or doctorate in foreign languages, linguistics, education, psychology, anthropology, SLS, or a related field and who wish to complement their regular graduate studies with a further special emphasis on second language studies. For such students, the AGC fills a role that might be called a “graduate minor.” Students may wish to profit from the additional research training opportunity provided by the AGC program, as part of its research-based courses and scholarly paper requirement. As examples:

a) An MA in Japanese student (thesis option) double counts 9 credits (SLS 660—Sociolinguistics and Second Languages and SLS 678—Microanalysis in Second Language Research, and JPN 633—Japanese Sociolinguistics), and takes two additional SLS or Japanese topics/seminars on pragmatics and JSL to write a paper, on acquisition of honorifics, distinct from the thesis, which is an historical survey of honorific use in Japan.

b) A PhD student in Linguistics double counts 9 credits (SLS 640—English Syntax, SLS 680-N—Discourse Analysis, and a SLS 750—Seminar: Universal Grammar & Second Language Acquisition), takes two additional courses on L2 analysis and syntax (e.g. KOR 633—Korean Syntax and Semantics, and SLS 750—Construction Grammar), and writes a separate study on acquisition of Korean syntax.

3. Faculty members at other institutions who come as visitors to UH, either to re-specialize or to update their knowledge, possibly on sabbatical leave. Re-specialization is especially likely in the case of faculty with degrees in literature or linguistics who are in academic positions in which they find themselves responsible for teaching courses on or doing research in second language acquisition, or supervising language instruction programs. Updating of knowledge in this field is often necessary since faculty in second language studies frequently find themselves isolated in academic units with other disciplinary orientations. For example:

A Visiting Colleague from an Asian or Pacific University takes the following 15 credits and does a research paper on language testing and university placement exams in his/her country:

  • SLS 671—Research in Language Testing
  • [SLS 490 is a prerequisite, fulfilled by professor by own course work for doctorate]
  • SLS 610—Introduction to Second Language Teaching
  • SLS 630—Second Language Program Development
  • SLS 730—Seminar in Second Language Testing
  • EDEP 629—Educational Statistics

4. Students who have completed a masters degree and wish to apply for the SLS PhD program, but who do not have sufficient training to be considered for the PhD program. Often, these students have degrees from outside UH. A UH example might be:

An MA in ESL student (Plan B) who double counts 9 credits (e.g. SLS 610—Introduction to Second Language Teaching, SLS 614—Second Language Writing, and SLS 750—Seminar on Developmental Features in Second Language Writing), but takes two additional topics/seminars on pedagogy and curriculum, conducts research on writing instruction that follows up on the Plan B Scholarly Paper on the same topic.

5. Practicing teachers of ESL or foreign languages in the public or private schools of Hawai‘i. Such teachers may have masters degrees in education, perhaps from UH, but may have little or no in-depth training in second language studies. This may be because they have found themselves in positions involving second languages, even though they did not foresee this while they were in training themselves. An example:

a) A DOE teacher with a masters/doctorate in Educational Foundations on leave from assignments transfers 6 credits from the doctorate degree and takes 9 credits, producing a research paper on critical pedagogy and L2 teaching:

  • SLS 612—Alternative Approaches to Second Language Teaching
  • SLS 680-P—Topics in Second Language Education: Critical Pedagogy
  • EDEF 762—Seminar on the Social and Cultural Contexts of Education

6. Other professionals working in the sphere of social agencies, employment training programs, or corporate training specialists, who work with second language populations and want to gain expertise on how to improve their services.

7. Scholars from non-U.S. institutions who want to learn about recent American work in second language studies. For example, these scholars may come to UH on government exchange programs.