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PhD Program in Second Language Studies
The Ph.D. program in second language studies at the University of Hawai‘i, approved in 1988, is administered by the Department of Second Language Studies, the oldest such department in the United States. The graduate faculty of the program is interdisciplinary, drawn not only from the SLS Department, but also from distinguished faculty in the Departments of Anthropology, Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies, East Asian Languages and Literatures, Educational Psychology, Hawaiian and Indo-Pacific Languages and Literature, and Linguistics.
The goal of the program is to promote significant doctoral-level research into major areas of SLS-analysis, learning, use and pedagogy. We need to know more about how second languages are learned, how they should be taught, and what psychological and sociological factors influence their acquisition. We need a better understanding of language styles, dialect variation, and a host of other areas. Knowledge in this field has a significant impact on such matters as proficiency assessment, program organization, teaching methodologies, legal and social policy issues concerning language, and our understanding of the nature of language.
1. Content-Knowledge Mastery. The courses in the program are organized into four areas of specialization, of which students concentrate on three as appropriate to their academic goals. Each Ph.D. graduate will develop and exhibit mastery of the knowledge bases in three of these four broad areas of Second Language Studies:
a. Second Language Analysis: structural analysis of learners’ language development; comparison of native and nonnative languages; second language varieties; differences arising from social and geographical contexts; phonological, grammatical, and discoursal properties; typological factors; putative universals.
b. Second Language Learning: studies of biological, psychological, social, and cultural factors in the language learning process; role of universals; interlanguage; processes of comprehension and production.
c. Second Language Use: studies of social functions of second and foreign languages; pidgins, creoles, and dialect variation; roles of social and geographical contexts; cross-cultural and interethnic communication; sociopolitical factors; language policy and planning.
d.Second Language Pedagogy: research into learners’ language needs (including immigrant needs); formulation of needs-based curriculum objectives and syllabi; task-based and content-based language teaching; computer-aided instruction; program administration; evaluation and language assessment; critical pedagogy.
2. Research Methods. In addition to these areas of content-knowledge mastery, expertise in research methodology in is emphasized in the program..Our PHD graduates will be able to utilize appropriate research methods for their own empirical work, and they will help other researchers to understand and improve upon their research methods (e.g., through scholarly review and/or teaching activities).
3. Professional engagement and excellence in areas of expertise. Our graduates will demonstrate a commitment to professional engagement and will be recognized for excellence in their selected areas of Second Language Studies.
4. Foreign Languages. Substantial, diverse experience in language learning (as well as teaching and researching) is a singularly valuable element in the intellectual and personal development of SLS specialists pursuing a doctoral degree. Such experience, reflected upon, is an extremely valuable supplement to the scholarly knowledge obtained through a doctorate in SLS. Accordingly, doctoral students are required to document and reflect on substantial, diverse learning experience in two languages other than their native/first language. We define substantial, diverse experience of language learning as the learning of any second, heritage, and/or foreign language under any context and with a range of outcomes and degrees of success. The outcomes and success for each of the two languages learned can vary, and may include learning, forgetting, and/or re-learning a language, or fossilizing or attriting in a language, as well as attaining advanced degrees of competence in a language.
The basic requirement for admission into the Ph.D. program is the completion of an MA in ESL, applied linguistics,or second or foreign language education. We also welcome applicant with graduate degrees in such related disciplines as anthropology, education, modern languages, linguistics, and psychology, although some additional course work may be needed.
Also required for admission are:
- scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (for both native and non-native speakers of English);
- transcripts reflecting graduate and undergraduate grade-point ratios;
- letters of recommendation, three of which must be from academic sources;
- a statement of purpose, including research interests, possible areas for dissertation research, which faculty they are interested in working with, and career plans;
- prospective applicants are encouraged to contact faculty they wish to work with when getting ready to apply;
- evidence of the ability to do independent scholarly research, e.g., copies of an MA thesis, publications in books or journals, or other research reports;
- a brief description of relevant professional experience and foreign language skills.
TOEFL or IELTS: Applicants whose native language is not English must score at least 100 on the iBT TOEFL, 250 on the computer based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (600 on the paper based test). For applications, visit the TOEFL website at http://www.toefl.org/. The University of Hawai’i code is 4867, and our department code is “99″ for “other”. Applicants who take the IELTS exam must have a Band score of at least 7.0.
Entry into the program is in August or January. Write for application forms to the Department of SLS. Applications for the following Fall are due by January 15, for the following Spring by September 1. Candidates are encouraged to apply early. Entry into the program is highly competitive.
There are various sources of financial aid. The program strives to provide financial support for the best qualified doctoral students throughout their course of studies by means of research and teaching assistantships.
For application forms and information on the GRE, contact the Graduate Record Examination, Educational Testing Service website at http://www.gre.org/. On the GRE registration form, please indicate that the scores are to be sent to the University of Hawai‘i, code R4867, Department code 3907.
Required guarantee for foreign student visas. In order to obtain a student visa for the United States, students may be required to show in advance that they have sufficient funds to cover their entire educational expenses. Often, a member of the student’s immediate family or a relative will provide a statement guaranteeing support, together with a letter from a bank stating that sufficient funds are available. This guarantee may be required even if the student expects to obtain additional support from the University of Hawai‘i and even if the student does not intend to come to the University unless it provides support. In many cases, particularly in the case of graduate assistantships, it may be impossible for the University to offer support until a student visa has been obtained. Therefore, all applicants who are not U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents should be prepared to supply a guarantee of support, whether they plan to use that support or not.
PROGRAM OF STUDY
Students work closely with their advisers and doctoral committees in defining their individualized programs. In order to establish a common core of expertise among students, specific courses will be designated according to the background of each student. The basic preparation expected as part of their MA training is at least one graduate-level course in each of the four areas of specialization. If any area is not sufficient, additional course work will be required.
Beyond basic preparation, each doctoral student’s program must include a minimum of two graduate-level courses in each of three of the subfields of specialization, and two graduate-level courses in research methods. At least two courses must be at the 700 level. The University residency requirement is three semesters of full-time study or the equivalent in credits at the University of Hawai‘i. The program cannot be completed long-distance. Typical completion time is four years.
All courses taken to fulfill program requirements must be taken for credit (not audited) and must be taken for a letter grade unless the only grading option available is CR/NC (such as SLS 699 and some other directed reading/research courses).
The following is a partial listing of course which are available in each of the four sub-fields of second language studies. These are listed to indicate the range of offerings at the University of Hawai‘i, and to guide students and their doctoral committees in designing plans of study. The courses listed do not constitute a closed list; other courses may be approved by students’ advisors or doctoral committees. In addition, it should be noted that the majority of the 600 and 700 level courses listed have prerequisites which students may be required to take in the appropriate departments.
Second language analysis
- SLS 640 English syntax (basic preparation)
- SLS 642 Comparative grammar & second language acquisition
- SLS 680N Topics in SLA: Second language analysis
- CHN 641, 642 Contrastive analysis of Mandarin & English
- CHN 750C Research seminar in Chinese language: Structure
- ENG 745 Seminar in English language
- JPN 634 Advanced Japanese syntax & semantics
- JPN 650C Topics in Japanese linguistics: Japanese/English contrastive analysis
- LING 650, 651 Advanced linguistic analysis
- LLEA 681(A) Topics in language
Second language learning
- SLS 650 Second language acquisition (basic preparation)
- SLS 673 Applied psycholinguistics & SLA
- SLS 680E Topics in SLA: Second language learning
- SLS 750 Seminar in second language acquisition
- EDEP 768C Seminar in educational psychology: Learning
- LING 616 Biological foundations of language
- LING 670 Developmental linguistics
- LING 750Q Seminar: Language acquisition
- PSY 726 Seminar in cognitive science
Second language use
- SLS 660 Sociolinguistics & second languages (basic preparation)
- SLS 680U Topics in SLA: Second language use
- SLS 760 Seminar in second language use
- CHN 750E Research seminar in Chinese language: Sociolinguistics
- JPN 633 Japanese sociolinguistics
- LING 635 Language variation
- LING 750S Seminar: Sociolinguistics
Second language pedagogy
- SLS 613 Second language listening & speaking
- SLS 614 Second language writing
- SLS 620 Second language reading
- SLS 630 Second language program development
- SLS 671 Research in language testing
- SLS 680P Topics in SLA: Second language pedagogy
- SLS 610 Introduction to Teaching second languages (basic preparation)
- SLS 730 Seminar in second language pedagogy
- CHN 750B Research seminar in Chinese language: Teaching methods
- EALL 60l Method of teaching East Asian languages
- EDCS 641(A) Seminar in foreign language
- EDCS 667(A) Seminar in curriculum
- EDEF 669 Introduction to comparative/international education
- EDEP 768G Seminar in educational psychology: Educational evaluation
- ENG 680 Theory & practice of teaching composition
- ENG 740 Seminar in composition studies
- JPN 650P Topics in Japanese linguistics: Pedagogy
Courses in Research Methods
- SLS 670 Second language quantitative research methods
- SLS 672 Second language classroom research
- SLS 674 Survey research methods
- SLS 675 Second language qualitative research
- SLS 678 Microanalysis in second language research
- SLS 680R Topics in second language research
- SLS 775 Seminar in second language qualitative research: Methods
- EALL 603(A) Bibliographical & research methods
- EDEP 602 Computer analysis of data
- EDEP 604 Multiple regression in behavioral research
- EDEP 768H Seminar in educational psychology: Research methodology
- LING 630 Field methods
- LLEA 630(V) Seminar in research methods
Following successful completion of the required course work during residency, a comprehensive examination is prepared before the dissertation. The comprehensive examination, taken only with the consent of the appointed doctoral committee, is based on three of the four subfields of second language studies. Approximately one semester prior to the tentative date of the examination, the student must have submitted to the committee a detailed description, with bibliographies, of the specific areas to be covered. The committee, which must approve any description, may require modifications before it is filed with the chairperson of the graduate field.
The examination consists of two parts:
- a written part whose form has been specified in the agreed-on description.
- an oral part at which the examinee can clarify and amplify topics dealt with in the written part.
For the written portion of the exam, the candidate is given two weeks to complete the three questions. The two week duration is strictly enforced. Answers for each question will usually be from 15-30 pages in length, depending upon committee guidelines. The committee then takes two weeks to evaluate the candidate’s answers. At that time, the committee convenes with the candidate for the oral portion of the examination. During this portion of the exam, the candidate is expected to demonstrate depth of knowledge about the area content.
Students who do not pass the comprehensive examination may, if the doctoral committee approves, take it only once more.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
Substantial, diverse experience in language learning (as well as teaching and researching) is a singularly valuable element in the intellectual and personal development of SLS specialists pursuing a doctoral degree. Such experience, reflected upon, is an extremely valuable supplement to the scholarly knowledge obtained through a doctorate in SLS.
Accordingly, we require doctoral students to document and reflect on substantial, diverse learning experience in two languages other than their native/first language. This requirement is fulfilled by submitting a 3-to-5-page reflective essay to the student’s advisor any time during the first two years of study and before advancement to candidacy. In the 3-to-5-page essay, the SLS doctoral candidates should reflect on their learning of two languages and give an account of it which is informed by relevant academic theory/literature. Supporting documentation can be appended to the essay, if relevant. Fulfillment of the language learning experience requirement must be approved by the student’s advisor.
We define substantial, diverse experience of language learning as the learning of any second, heritage, and/or foreign language under any context and with a range of outcomes and degrees of success. Examples of substantial and diverse language learning experience are:
- Attaining L2 competence for functioning successfully in an L2 academic context (as, for example, international students achieving a language proficiency score sufficient for admission to graduate studies in English-speaking institutions)
- Completing a primary, secondary, or higher education degree in a language other than the mother tongue/first language (as, for example, many English Language Learners and 1.5 generation students do in schools in the United States; and as many students do in countries which have more than one official language, such as Canada, or in countries where the medium of instruction can be a language different from the mother tongue, such as India or South Africa)
- Attaining some degree of competence in an L2 through formal instruction (as, for example, many students do when they take a foreign language in school or university)
- Attaining some degree of competence in an L2 through prolonged exposure in naturalistic contexts (for example, as the result of elective or circumstantial life events such as studying, working, or living abroad for extended periods, intercultural marriage, immigration, and so on)
- Growing up with two or more languages (as may be the case of heritage language users who have developed comprehension and/or production grammars in the ancestors’ language; or as is the case in bilingual and multilingual contexts such as Catalonia, Hawaii, or Switzerland)
- Teaching a language (or in a language) other than the mother tongue/first language (as is the case for non-native speaking language teachers)
- Engaging in research that involves the analysis of data in another language (by choice for any SLS course; or to fulfill the requirements of a language typology or contrastive language course, such as SLS 642 or LING 750G)
The outcomes and success for each of the two languages learned can vary, and may include learning, forgetting, and/or re-learning a language or fossilizing or attriting in a language (as well as attaining advanced degrees of competence in a language).
After completion of all course requirements, language requirements, and the comprehensive examination, students must develop and successfully defend a dissertation proposal and prospectus in two stages. The defense will be in the presence of their doctoral committee.
The dissertation proposal is a requirement of the Graduate Division and must be approved at an oral defense attended by all members of the dissertation committee. The dissertation proposal should include the following:
1. A clear statement of the topic of the dissertation
2. A clear statement of the research questions to be addressed in the dissertation
3. A clear statement of the research methodology to be used in answering the research questions
4. Approval from the UH Institutional Review Board to conduct any research involving human subjects.
5. A proposed timeline for completion of the dissertation
It is expected that the proposal will be from 5 to 10 pages in length (APA format). After it is successfully defended and approved by the entire dissertation committee, a copy must be submitted to the department office and placed in the candidate’s file. With the approval of the dissertation committee, the proposal may be defended at the time of the comprehensive examination defense. When the proposal is approved, Form II: Advancement to Candidacy will be submitted to the Graduate Division and students may register for dissertation research (SLA 800) during the next registration period.
The dissertation prospectus fulfills the function of the traditional dissertation proposal. The dissertation prospectus must contain a detailed discussion of the relevant literature, the research questions, and research methods. It will contain a detailed description of any pilot results and of any experiments or treatments to be used in the dissertation study. The dissertation prospectus will generally be 30 to 50 pages in length (double spaced, APA format). The prospectus must be approved at an oral defense attended by all members of the dissertation committee. After the prospectus is orally defended a copy (with the committee chair’s signature on the first page) must be submitted to the department office and placed in the candidate’s file.
Combining the dissertation proposal and dissertation prospectus. A candidate may, with dissertation committee approval, opt to bypass the dissertation proposal process and submit a dissertation prospectus that meets the requirements of both documents. In this event, the Graduate Division will be informed that the University dissertation proposal requirement has been met.
The dissertation itself is expected to be a scholarly presentation, based on independent research, of an original contribution to knowledge in the field of second language studies. The final examination in defense of the dissertation may cover related subjects as well as the content of the dissertation. The final oral defense of the dissertation is open to the public.
LANGUAGE TEACHING AND RESEARCH RESOURCES
In addition to the various foreign language teaching programs administered by the language departments, the SLS Department administers the English Language Institute and the University of Hawai‘i English Language Program, which provide English instruction to nonnative-speaking students at the University. The foreign language classes, the ELI, and UHELP are valuable research resources for second language studies, providing opportunities for employment and classroom observation. The Center for Second Language Research, partly funded by external grants, conducts research on learning, teaching and use of second and foreign languages in classrooms and the community. There is also a Second Language Teaching and Curriculum Center at the College level, and the National Foreign Language Resource Center, the longest established of fourteen national centers. These centers are important resources for doctoral students.
Most of the major languages of East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Pacific Basin are taught or studied at the University of Hawai‘i, in addition to French, German, Russian, Spanish, and other European languages. The multicultural and multilingual heritage of Hawai‘i creates an exceptionally favorable environment for the study of languages, linguistics, language teaching. and other areas of applied linguistics. Hawai‘i has a variety of immigrant communities, especially from the Pacific and Asia. In addition, the Hawaiian language is presently undergoing a renaissance, and studies of the language and culture flourish. Hawai‘i Creole English (HCE) is widely spoken and provides excellent research opportunities. The Charlene J. Sato Center for Pidgin, Creole and Dialect Studies, housed within the Department of SLS, has been established to promote and carry out more research on HCE and other creoles, pidgin languages and dialects.
University tuition costs for Hawaii state residents and non-residents may be found at this site . Applicants are referred to the University of Hawai‘i Catalog for information regarding residency rules. Student fees are in addition to tuition amounts.
Regulations of the United States Immigration Service prohibit foreign students from engaging in employment off-campus during their first year in this country. In the rare cases that such permission is granted after the first year, students are seldom able to earn more than incidental spending money.
For the best qualified doctoral students, the Department tries to provide financial support as long as satisfactory and consistent progress is being made toward the degree. There are several sources of support.
Graduate assistants may serve as language instructors, for example in the English Language Institute or the HELP, or they may work as course assistants or research assistants. These duties occupy about 20 hours per week.
There are two categories of assistantships: full year, beginning only in the Fall semester, and one semester, either Fall or Spring. Remuneration for the full year is $13,827; for one semester, $6,914. Additional earnings may be made in the summer. Tuition is waived and health benefits are provided.
Graduate Assistantship application forms may be requested from the Department of Second Language Studies. Extensive teaching experience will be helpful in supporting an application for a teaching position. An applicant whose native language is not English will usually wait a semester before obtaining such an award. The complete form and three letters of recommendation must ARRIVE by February 1. Applicants will be notified as soon as possible after March 20.
Assistantships may be available in other departments besides SLS. Applicants qualified for assistantships in other fields should communicate very early with the SLS department,and separately, directly with other departments, as appropriate.
National Foreign Language Resource Center.
The College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature is currently operating in its fourth three-year federal grant for a National Foreign Language Resource Center, in which the graduate faculty of SLA and the Department of SLS have been extensively involved. Several projects involving research, curriculum development, and training are likely sources of funds for students, in the form of graduate assistantships, junior researcher positions, and part-time employment Inquiries should be directed to the Director, NFLRC,East-West Road Bldg. 1, Room 6A, Honolulu, HI 96822; (808) 956-9424, Also see the NFLRC webpage for information :http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/nflrc_home.cfm
East–West Center Awards.
The East–West Center, an independent, federally sponsored research institution on the University campus, offers a limited number of awards. The basic award consists of fees, housing, health insurance, a stipend toward living costs, and some, fieldwork support. Work in a Center institute as a research assistant is required of each grantee, as well as participation in an educational program. Awards are available to students from East, Southeast, and South Asia,from the Pacific Basin, and from the United States. For further information and application forms, write to: Office of StudentAffairs and Open Grants, East–West Center, 1777 East–West Road, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96848. The usual deadline for applications is October 15 for the following Fall semester.
The East–West Center application require several letters of recommendation. A copy of each letter can be sent to the Department of Second Language Studies to support the application for admission to the Ph.D. program in Second Language Studies
Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships.
For U.S. applicants interested in combining a doctoral program in Second Language Studies with the study of East Asian languages(Chinese, Japanese or Korean) or Southeast Asian languages (Burmese,Indonesian, Ilokano, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, etc.), there area number of fellowships offering tuition plus support. The application deadline is March 1. For information, write directly to the FLAS Fellowships Coordinator, School of Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Studies, University of Hawai‘i, Moore Hall 416, 1890 East–West Road, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822.
A limited number of positions for U.S. citizens are available in the work study program.
Under certain conditions, U.S. students are eligible for government loans. For information, write to the Financial Aids Office at the address given above.
Part-time employment for tutors and teachers.
Hawai‘i’s immigrant population is large, so each semester there are requests for language tutors for varying numbers of hours per week. Two intensive ESL programs on campus hire each semester on a part-time basis, as do some community colleges,private colleges, federally-funded programs, and private language schools.
The Ph.D. in SLS is a WICHE approved graduate program. Applicants who are residents of WICHE states (most Western states except California) are eligible for tuition rates equivalent to those of Hawai‘i residents. Furthermore, each semester, a number of tuition waivers is awarded on the basis of academic achievement or promise. A student who is awarded a tuition waiver pays no tuition (but does pay about student fees per semester). All admissions applicants are automatically considered for these waivers if their applications(including transcripts and supporting documents) are completed by the application deadline. Chances are especially good if the student’s entering grade point average is 3.5 or better. Waivers are initially awarded for one semester and may be renewd for further semesters if the student remains in good standing.
OTHER DEGREE PROGRAMS
Advanced Graduate Certificate
Students interested in the Ph.D. in SLS program occasionally do not have sufficient training, background, or demonstrated productivity in the conduct of second language research. Such students maybe interested in the Advanced Graduate Certificate in Second Language Studies, which is a 15-credit, research-oriented program requiring a completed or nearly complete M.A. for admission. Contact the Graduate Chair for information.
Campus housing, except for East–West Center grantees, is very limited, so there is heavy demand for off-campus accommodation. (There is currently no accommodation on campus for married students with children, for example.) The Student Housing Service maintains files on housing and assists students in locating suitable acccommodation after the student arrives.
ORIENTATION AND REGISTRATION
New students are sent an information packet by the Graduate Division concerning registration dates and procedures—in the second half of August, or at the beginning of January. Both the University and the Department of SLS organize orientation meetings for all newly admitted students.
For additional information email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pertinent information for graduate study is provided in the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa Catalog.