(For further details, see the BA in SLS website:

To meet the needs of a new generation of language users, learners, and teachers, the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa now offers an Undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in Second Language Studies through the College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature. The Department of Second Language Studies is a world leader in language teaching and research, with internationally recognized and award-winning faculty. We take pride in the diversity and achievements of students in our bachelor’s, master’s, advanced graduate certificate, and doctoral programs. Located at the multilingual and multicultural crossroads of the Pacific, there is no better place than the Department of SLS and UH Mānoa to combine your interest in language with your academic and professional goals. We invite you to join us and become an active part of the multilingual and global community!

Second Language Studies?

SLS is an exciting interdisciplinary field where you can engage with a wide range of theoretical and practical issues related to learning, using, and teaching second and foreign languages. Some of the questions we address include:

  • Why do some people learn languages more easily than others?
  • How are first and second language learning similar or different?
  • How can we become more effective language learners and teachers?
  • How can we use technology to enhance language learning and teaching?
  • What is the role of multilingualism in promoting diversity, intercultural communication and understanding, and educational and social equality?
  • Why does language advocacy and policy matter in our local and global communities?
  • How does learning and using a second language (or being multilingual) influence identity and social relationships?

As a student in our BA program, you will be able to focus on areas of SLS that relate to your needs and goals.  Combining theory, research, pedagogy, and other opportunities for academic and personal development, the SLS degree prepares you with the solid foundation and specialized skills you need to be a successful language learner, educator, and professional.

BA Program Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes

Upon graduating from the BA in SLS, students will:

  1. Manifest the skills, understandings, and dispositions necessary to be exceptional language professionals
  2. Demonstrate critical thinking and awareness of issues within the context of their professional work and social practice
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the value bases of their professional work
  4. Interpret the history of second and foreign language study and its contemporary issues
  5. Critically evaluate and make use of research into the learning, use, structure, and pedagogy of second languages
  6. Develop and apply sound frameworks to the assessment and evaluation of institutions and agents involved in second language instruction, planning, and policy
  7. Show an understanding of local language issues of Hawai‘i and the Pacific in their professional work
  8. Be able to prepare minority language students to acquire the academic literacies that would allow them to succeed in educational institutions
  9. Improve the quality of teaching and learning of second, foreign, and heritage languages, in the state of Hawai‘i, domestically, and abroad

Additional program goal: Upon graduating from the BA in SLS, students will be prepared to apply for admission to graduate programs in second language studies, applied linguistics, or related fields.

Course Requirements

To graduate with a major in SLS, you need to earn 33 credits that you can choose from a combination of required and elective courses:

Required Courses (24 credits)

SLS 302          Second Language Learning
SLS 303          Second Language Teaching
SLS 380          Bilingual Education
SLS 430          Pidgin & Creole English in Hawai‘i
SLS 441          Language Concepts in SL Learning & Teaching
SLS 480(a)     Topics in Second Language Studies
SLS 480P       Topics in Second Language Studies: Professionalism in SLS
SLS 490          Second Language Testing

Elective Courses (9 credits)

SLS 312          Techniques in SL Teaching: Reading & Writing
SLS 313          Techniques in SL Teaching: Listening & Speaking
SLS 418          Instructional Media
SLS 460          English Phonology
SLS 480(a)     Topics in Second Language Studies
SLS 499          Directed Reading/Research or 300-499 courses from other departments (as approved)


  • Each SLS course is a 3-credit course (except SLS 499, which can be 1-3 credits).
  • We recommend that SLS majors take LING 102 (Intro to the Study of Language) in their freshman or sophomore year. LING 102 fulfills one of the two Diversification-Social Science (DS) requirements that are part of the General Education Core.
  • SLS 480P (Professionalism in SLS) is the capstone course for the major. In addition to learning about professionalism in SLS, you will finalize a professional portfolio and prepare for your next step after graduation.
  • Besides the capstone course (SLS 480P), additional SLS 480(a) courses can be taken as electives.

For more information about courses, please see the BA in SLS website.

After Graduation

Graduates of the BA Program in Second Language Studies go on to success in a number of professional and academic arenas.  Some go overseas to teach English, others earn state teaching certification, while others are admitted into top graduate programs, such as UH-Manoa’s own internationally renowned Master’s in SLS and PhD in Second Language Acquisition (For more information about either of these graduate programs, visit the Department of Second Language Studies website). Other areas in which our graduates find success include:

  • Foreign language teaching
  • International exchange
  • Curriculum and materials design
  • Language-learning software development
  • Language testing and assessment
  • Translation and interpretation
  • Immigrant services
  • Literacy programs
  • Language policy


For more information:

BA in SLS website:

Contact an advisor:

Kenton Harsch
Coordinator and Advisor, Undergraduate Program
Department of Second Language Studies
1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822

Phone: (808) 956-6946

Priscilla Faucette
Advisor, Undergraduate Program
Phone:  (808) 956-8201



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