SLS Departmental Mission Statement

The mission and objectives of the Department of Second Language Studies are congruent with the mission of UH Manoa: Leadership, Excellence, and Innovation. Likewise, the mission and objectives share the core commitments to: Research, Educational Effectiveness, Social Justice, Place, Economic Development, Culture, Society and the Arts, and Technology.

 

Mission Statement of the Department of Second Language Studies

The University of Hawai‘i at Manoa is a leading academic institution worldwide in its scholarship of diversity and plurality, societal responsibility, peace, and sustainability, a key component of which is the study of second, foreign, and heritage languages. How and why humans acquire and utilize additional languages that are learned formally and informally, under second, foreign, heritage, bi- or multi-lingual, pidgin/Creole, and other circumstances presents fundamental challenges and opportunities for both local and global communities. Second language learning provides access to other learning and related opportunities, and to an awareness that plurilingual and pluricultural societies stand a much better chance of getting along and of getting important cooperative work done. Language mediates the human experience, while linguistic diversity is directly related to ecological diversity and sustainability. Communication in and across languages enables understanding and appreciation, conflict resolution, and the negotiation of values. In short, a scholarship of second languages is fundamental to the mission of this institution and its responsibility as the language center of the Pacific.

The Department of Second Language Studies (DSLS) is committed to serving the educational and social needs of the highly diverse and multilingual State of Hawai‘i, and to leading the world in the study of second, foreign, and heritage language learning, teaching, use, and analysis. Graduates of our degree programs figure centrally in influencing the broad field of Second Language Studies, by taking on academic and public leadership roles and by guiding the field in research and practice that make a difference. Faculty in the DSLS are committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service, including in particular the development of future scholars and well-informed practitioners, the promotion of cutting-edge theoretical and empirical work, and the contribution of external funding, university leadership, community outreach, and related efforts. Degree programs and courses at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels integrate theoretical and applied concerns in second language (L2) studies, and focus on a variety of topics including:

  • Adult and child L2 acquisition
  • Bilingualism and bilingual studies
  • Critical approaches to L2 studies
  • Discourse and pragmatics
  • Formal linguistic theory in L2 acquisition
  • L2 curriculum, pedagogy, and materials
  • Language policy and planning
  • Language testing and program evaluation
  • Languages in contact
  • Psycholinguistics and second languages
  • Qualitative, quantitative, and linguistic research methods
  • Sociolinguistics and second languages

Objectives of the Second Language Studies Programs

  • To improve the quality of teaching and learning of second, foreign, and heritage languages domestically and abroad
  • To develop second, foreign, and heritage language teachers, researchers, and professionals domestically and abroad
  • To develop students with critical thinking skills within the context of their professional work and social practice
  • To produce students who understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards and principles and who practice accordingly
  • To produce students who understand and interpret the history of second and foreign language study and its contemporary issues
  • To graduate students at all levels of the program in a timely fashion
  • To improve the quality of research, at all levels, into the learning, use, structure, and pedagogy of second, foreign, and heritage languages domestically and abroad
  • To develop sound frameworks for assessment and evaluation of institutions and agents involved in language instruction, planning, and policy
  • To produce theories and research into the learning, use, structure, and pedagogy of second, foreign, and heritage languages domestically and abroad
  • To engage local language issues of Hawaii and the Pacific
  • To prepare students whose native language is not English to acquire the academic English language at levels that allow them to progress in their college studies or to function with effective language skills in other chosen activities
  • To produce exceptional language teaching professionals for the people and educational system of the state of Hawaii
  • To prepare undergraduate students to pursue graduate programs in applied linguistics or related fields

 

 

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