Core Courses & Electives

SLS 150 Learning Languages and Communicating in a Globalized World

SLS 150 surveys a range of topics that will improve individuals’ abilities to learn and use a second language and to interact successfully with second language speakers. Reflecting recent developments of second language use across cultures and nations, studies of second language learning, use, and instruction have become oriented toward the pluricultural, globalized world of the 21st century, in which using more than one language is the norm; in which a person’s identity is partly influenced by their command of one or more languages, and in which learning (and teaching) an additional language facilitates employment, international mobility, and the development and maintenance of cross-cultural relationships. This course provides students with concepts and strategies for acquiring and using an additional language in an increasingly multilingual world, with a particular focus on learning languages spoken in the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, the course provides students with the opportunity to develop cross-cultural communication skills for use with second language speakers. The course engages with second language learning for transnational employment environments, consumption of mass media, and use in academic contexts. The course relates to a world in which English is presently the dominant international language and lingua franca, representing sites of power and of resistance as well as constituting the dominant language of entertainment and the mass media. It also addresses new trends concerning other powerful international languages especially those of the Asia-Pacific region.

SLS 280 Bilingualism: Cognition and Culture

Introduction to bi-/mutilingualism as a phenomenon at the level of society and as a characteristic of individual speakers; discussion of recent media reports and popular myths about bilingualism in relation to research-based evidence.

SLS 302 Second Language Learning

This course provides students with a broad overview of theories and issues in the field of second language acquisition (SLA) and prepares them for more advanced courses in the undergraduate SLS curriculum. It will cover 1) first language acquisition, 2) theories in SLA, 3) factors affecting SLA, 4) learner language, and 5) instructed SLA.

SLS 303 Second Language Teaching

Assuming the theoretical foundations of SLS 302, this course surveys current theories, research, and practices in second and foreign language teaching. It will provide you with a broad overview of language teaching methodology and teaching contexts. Subjects covered include development of teaching methods in language skills (i.e., listening, speaking, writing, reading, grammar, and vocabulary) / integrated language skills, developments of teaching materials and technology, classroom observation, syllabus designing, lesson planning, and assessing language skills.

SLS 312 Techniques in Second Language Teaching: Reading & Writing

This course is an overview of the theoretical and practical issues involved in the teaching of second or foreign language (L2) reading and writing. The theoretical aspects of the course are integrated with empirical research findings as well as practical concerns and experiences including observation, classroom techniques, and material design. The goals of the course include providing students with opportunities to evaluate materials; to prepare lesson plans and activities; and to observe L2 reading and writing lessons in L2 classrooms.

SLS 313 Techniques in Second Language Teaching: Listening & Speaking

This course provides an overview of the theoretical and practical issues involved in the teaching of second or foreign language (L2) listening and speaking. The theoretical and empirical perspectives are integrated with practical experiences including classroom observation, teaching practices as well as material development and analysis.

SLS 408 Multilingual Education
Survey and analysis of current thinking and practices in multilingual/multicultural education; special emphasis on ESL/EFL. Pre: 302, or Ling 320, or graduate standing.

The course examines approaches and pedagogical issues relevant to multilingual education. It then examines social psychological and sociological perspectives on multilingual education and psycholinguistic and pedagogical issues relevant to multilingual education.

SLS 418 Instructional Media

Theoretical and practical applications of using electronic and social media in second language teaching. Pre: 303 or graduate standing.

The objectives of this course are to familiarize students with developments in the use of audio visual and especially electronic media (internet and other on-line applications) for second language teaching and the potential of different instructional technology for second language learning.

SLS 430 Pidgin and Creole English in Hawai‘i
Major historical, descriptive and pedagogical aspects of English in Hawai‘i; pidgin and creole languages, linguistic change, language variation. Work with actual language data. Laboratory work required. Pre: 302 or Ling 102 or graduate standing.

This course provides a general understanding of the sociohistorical background and linguistic structure of both Hawaii Pidgin English (HPE) and Hawai‘i Creole English (HCE). It also addresses the question of language attitudes, language education and literary heritage. Present day attitudes in the school system and community toward HCE receive particular attention.

SLS 441 Language Concepts for Second Language Learning and Teaching

Language analysis: phonology, syntax, semantics, discourse, for teaching second languages. Pre: 302 or Ling 102, Ling 320, graduate standing, or consent.

This course introduces the fundamental concepts of linguistics, including those of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and discourse structure,with a focus on their relationship to the study of second language acquisition and to the teaching of foreign or second languages. It surveys a wide range of such concepts and includes a discussion of different approaches to the study of language, including especially those which emphasize its communicative and social function.

SLS 460 English Phonology

Basic course in English phonetics and phonology; emphasis on areas of interest to language teachers. Pre: 302 or graduate standing.

This course is important to future language teachers in that it exposes them to a systematic examination of sound systems in general and English in particular. The course aims to sensitize participants to the intricacies of phonological systems, preparing them to look critically at the teaching and learning of pronunciation. Moreover, the course aims to increase awareness of the relationships between sound systems and writing systems.

SLS 480 (Alpha) Topics in Second Language Studies

Variable topics in special areas of second language studies. Repeatable one time if different alpha. Pre: 302 or consent for (E), (N), (R), (U); 303 or consent for (P). Not applicable toward graduate degrees offered within SLS except by departmental consent.

480E Second Language Learning
This course will change each time it is offered depending upon the particular topic areas of second language learning.

480N Second Language Analysis
This course will change each time it is offered depending upon the particular topic areas of second language analysis.

480P Second Language Pedagogy
This course will change each time it is offered depending upon the particular topic areas of second language pedagogy.

480R Second Language Research
This course will change each time it is offered depending upon the particular topic areas of second language research.

480U Second Language Use
This course will change each time it is offered depending upon the particular topic areas of second language use.

SLS 485 Professionalism in SLS

Capstone for SLS majors. Reflection on experiences via the major, articulation of professional values, exploration of diverse approaches to professionalism in SLS, and formal compilation of a professional portfolio. SLS majors only. Senior standing or higher. A-F only. Pre: 302 and 303.

SLS 490 Second Language Testing

Measurement and evaluation of achievement and proficiency in second language learning. Pre: 302, 441, LING 102, or graduate standing.

This course is intended to provide a working knowledge of the basic principles and procedures for test construction and testing with an emphasis on the second language context. Participants review a variety of first and second language tests including standardized tests, integrative language tests, discrete-point tests, and tests of communicative competence. Participants also construct and try out some of their own tests. No previous knowledge of statistics or higher mathematics is required. Students will learn the necessary statistical procedures to use in "testing the test" and will develop the skills needed to read test manuals with understanding.

SLS 600 Introduction to Second Language StudiesIntroduction to basic professional and research issues in second language studies; integration of theory, research, and practice for prospective SLS teachers and researchers. Pre: Graduate standing.

This course introduces the fundamental professional concerns and research approaches in applied linguistics for language teaching and learning. It initiates the graduate student into professional training, showing how to integrate theory, research, and practice. Basic principles of research methodology are introduced and applied to problems in the study of second language pedagogy, second language use, second language analysis, and second language learning. Key concepts and terminology are elaborated on.

SLS 610 Introduction to Second Language Teaching
Analysis of methods; implications of recent and current research.

This course is a critical survey of the field of second language (L2) teaching. The course examines issues in L2 teaching, theoretical foundations of L2 teaching and the methodological principles and procedures derived from them, and various methods and approaches in L2 teaching.

SLS 612 Alternative Approaches to Second Language Teaching
Examination, comparison with conventional approaches; interpersonal relationships in language teaching. Pre: 600.

This course aims to give students a theoretical understanding of and to have practical experiences with a variety of approaches to learning and teaching a second or a foreign language. Depending on class interest, there could be sessions on such approaches as Cooperative Language Learning, the Lexical Approach, Neurolinguistic Programming, Comprehension Approach, Total Physical Response, Critical Pedagogy, CALL and technology, drama and music, content-based education, literature, and Natural Approach.

SLS 613 Second Language Listening & Speaking
Key issues; overview and critique of published materials; practice in developing syllabi and other materials. Pre: 600.

The course focuses on the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching the listening and speaking skills to second language students by examining such topics as the components of conversational competence, approaches to developing a curriculum for the speaking skills, developing learning tasks, methodological issues, use of questions in the classroom, the role of dialogs, group work, games, and role plays. In the area of listening other topics include the process of listening, methodological principles, listening to narratives, conversations, monologs, and lectures. A section is devoted to evaluating materials and the classroom activities which have been discussed.

SLS 614 Second Language WritingProblems in teaching of second language composition. Survey of materials; use, modification and development. Error analysis. Pre: 600.

The course aims to provide insights into the theory of teaching writing from both a process and a product perspective, with particular emphasis on the problems faced by student writers composing in a second language. Critique of different approaches to the teaching of writing to both second and foreign language students is included as well as consideration of the difficulties in evaluating student writing.

SLS 618 Language and Learning Technologies

What is language? How do we understand language and language learning in the light of learning technologies? How do we make sense, make meaning and realize values when technologies are involved in the learning environment. Learning technologies, ranging from vernacular use of Skype to sophisticated virtual world technologies, bring us new challenges and opportunities for communication and social networking. In this course, 1. We will explore Dialogical definition of language and its implications for sharing, co-construction, co-authoring and co-creation of identity and meaning in technology supported learning environments 2. We will design, and conduct studies of a specific technology that you are interested in. A range of research questions are encouraged by using quantitative survey methods, ethnography, discourse analysis, conversation analysis and multimodal analysis.

SLS 620 Second Language ReadingSurvey of research in reading process; teaching methodology; psycholinguistic investigations; comparison of reading in first and second languages. Pre: 600.

This course is an examination of the nature of second language reading processes, of methodologies in its teaching, and of research. The theoretical aspects of the course are integrated with practical concerns and experiences including observation, classroom practices, assessment, and materials development, selection, adaptation, and evaluation.

SLS 630 Second Language Program DevelopmentDesigning, implementing, and evaluating language programs; systems-based approach to program and curriculum development. Pre: 600.

The course offers a sound knowledge base in: the history of curriculum design in language programs; the systems approach to language curriculum design, implementation and maintenance; language needs analysis; goals and objectives for language programs; language testing for norm- and criterion-referenced purposes; choosing, adapting and creating language materials for a specific program; teaching in a systems approach language curriculum; evaluation at the program level for improvement and maintenance of curriculum.

SLS 640 English SyntaxEnglish clause structure in relation to second language learning and teaching. Pre: 441, 600, consent.

In this course the structure of English is examined in considerable detail. The course is intended to deepen the student's understanding of important areas of English grammar and to develop competence in grammatical analysis and explanation in the context of teaching English as a second/foreign language.

SLS 642 Comparative Grammar and SLAComparative study of structures of two or more languages; native speaking informants used. Consideration of language transfer in second language learning, role of typological features. Pre: 460, 441, or Eng 401.

The objectives of this course are to provide practical experience in analyzing a language or languages other than English through work with a native informant, and to gain experience in techniques of linguistic field work, such as selective listening, translational, interactive and analytic elicitation. It also aims to increase awareness of the diversity of languages and of linguistic universals, through systematic comparison of languages, and to increase knowledge of the structure of languages by comparison with other languages. The knowledge thus gained should result in an increase in sensitivity to problems that nonnative speakers might encounter in learning a second language.

SLS 650 Second Language AcquisitionTheory and research. Pre: 600.

The general aims of this course are to review current theory and research in second language acquisition (with some attention to related work in first language acquisition) and to explore relationships between such work and classroom second language learning and teaching. Course members are introduced to the major theoretical issues in the field, the principal areas of research, and the major methodologies available.

SLS 660 Sociolinguistics and Second LanguagesTheoretical and practical aspects of language, culture, society and TESOL. Pre: 600.

This course covers basic concepts and issues in sociolinguistics, broadly defined, with a substantial focus on second language learning and teaching. Perspectives include the sociology of language, the ethnography of communication, interactional and variational sociolinguistics, pragmatics, and discourse and conversational analysis. Course activities include substantial reading and discussion, small-scale fieldwork exercises, and a research paper consisting of a literature review and a design for an empirical study.

SLS 670 Second Language Quantitative ResearchQualitative and quantitative research methods; design of research studies; techniques in collecting data; statistical inference, and analysis and interpretation of data. Pre: 490, 600, and graduate standing.

The purpose of this course is to train students to read research reports critically, to master a variety of skills needed to conduct meaningful research in SL/FL situations, and to gain an understanding of the value of reading and conducting research as a crucial part of one's continuing professional development. Design of research, hypothesis construction, data collection procedures, statistical analyses and interpretation, are included. The design and conduct of a research study and computer-based data analysis are required.

SLS 671 Research in Language TestingAdvanced issues in language testing research including recent developments in the following areas: language testing hypotheses, item analysis, reliability, dependability, and validity. Pre: 490 or consent.

This course will explore advanced issues in language testing research. Students will learn theoretical concepts that are applicable to language testing problems. The following general areas will be covered: overview of advanced language testing hypotheses, advanced concepts for item analysis, test consistency from diverse perspectives, and innovative techniques for establishing test validity.

SLS 672 Second Language Classroom ResearchSurvey of research on second language classrooms and analysis of methodological issues. Pre: 600.

This course familiarizes students with the history and development of classroom-centered research on second language learning: with methodological issues, with substantive findings in the field, and with current lines of research. These goals are achieved through a combination of readings, discussions, in-class data analysis, and execution of an original research project, by participants.

SLS 673 Applied Psycholinguistics and Second Language AcquisitionTheory and research in psycholinguistics as related to second language perception, production, acquisition, and instruction. Pre: 441 or Ling 422.

This course investigates the nature of second language learning and teaching from a psychological perspective. Emphasis is placed on general principles of psychology which have relevance for the design, execution, and evaluation/interpretation of second language teaching and research. The course deals with the processes of linguistic performance (i.e., comprehension and production) as they relate to second language learning and teaching. Of particular importance to these processes are the perception of the target language by the nonnative speaker; how second language learners comprehend the target language (i.e., the role of syntax and semantics); the role of memory in second language learning; and the role of discourse plans and production models for second language performance.

SLS 674 Survey Research Methods in Second Language Studies

This course examines the procedures used in carrying out survey research projects for both curriculum development and research purposes. Survey research will be defined here as any investigation in applied linguistics based on interview or questionnaire procedures, whether open-ended or closed-response. The course will cover the basics of survey research including at least the following topics: how to plan a survey project, how to create sound interview or questionnaire instruments, how to administer those instruments, how to compile the survey information, how to analyze the information (quantitatively and qualitatively), and how to report the results. Opportunities will be provided for practical hands-on experience in developing surveys and analyzing the results of those surveys. Examples will be drawn from survey research projects the professor has been involved in over the years.

SLS 675 Second Language Qualitative ResearchPhilosophical and theoretical aspects of second language interpretive qualitative research. Pre: 600 and 660 or consent.

This course will involve an examination of the philosophy and theories which inform second language interpretive qualitative research. Course participants will examine questions such as: What is interpretive qualitative research? How do social and cultural theories inform second language qualitative studies? What are the principle philosophical and methodological considerations involved in conducting qualitative studies? Students will read and discuss a wide range of literature concerning interpretive qualitative research, including theoretical and methodological overviews as well as ethnographies/qualitative studies dealing with second language issues.

SLS 678 Discourse Analysis in Second Language Research

Survey of approaches to discourse; microanalytic qualitative research; theory and methodology. Pre: 660 or consent.

SLS 680 (Alpha) Topics in Second Language Studies

Variable topics in special areas of second language studies. Pre: prior course work in relevant areas.

680E Second Language Learning
Psychological and social principles underlying second language acquisition. Pre: 650.

This course will change each time it is offered depending upon the particular topic areas of second language learning.

680N Second Language Analysis
Linguistic analysis of second language performance. Pre: consent.

This course will change each time it is offered depending upon the particular topic areas of second language analysis.

680P Second Language Pedagogy
Topics in L2 teaching, curriculum development, program administration, and assessment. Pre: consent.

This course will change each time it is offered depending upon the particular topic areas of second language pedagogy.

680R Second Language Research
Approaches to conducting research in L2 acquisition, use, instruction, assessment, and analysis. Pre: 670, 675, 678, or consent.

This course will change each time it is offered depending upon the particular topic areas of second language research.

680U Second Language Use
Use of second languages in social contexts. Pre: 660.

This course will change each time it is offered depending upon the particular topic areas of second language use.

SLS 690 ESL Teaching PracticumPractice teaching in an ESL classroom under supervision. Pre: 600, 610, advancement to candidacy, and consent.

Currently, this course is offered every other summer at an international location. See extended description in the page below this one.

When offered in Honolulu, this course is divided into two aspects: practice teaching and discussion. Each participant is assigned to a cooperating ("master") teacher who involves the student in all aspects of teaching a particular ESL course. Cooperating teachers are located at such institutions as the University of Hawai‘i, Honolulu Community College, Kapi‘olani Community College, Hawai‘i Pacific University, public schools, etc. In addition, course members meet in regularly scheduled sessions to discuss language teaching practices in general and their individual teaching experiences in particular.

SLS 799 Apprenticeship in Teaching (V)

An experience-based introduction to college-level teaching; graduate students serve as student teachers to professors; responsibilities include supervised teaching, and participation in planning and evaluation. Repeatable unlimited times. CR/NC only. Pre: graduate standing and consent.


SLS 730 Seminar in Second Language Education
Current issues and problems. Pre: 600, advancement to candidacy, or consent.

Recent topics include: computer-assisted language learning, materials design in SLS; languages for specific purposes; literature and L2; task-based language teaching; academic L2 writing.

SLS 750 Seminar in Second Language AcquisitionIssues in theory and research in second language acquisition. Pre: 650 or Ling 470 or consent.

Recent topics include: motivation and second language learning; cross-linguistic influences in SLA; task-based language learning; universals and SLA, instructed SLA; consciousness and SLA; Distributed Language and Multimodal Analysis.

SLS 760 Seminar in Second Language UseTheory and data-based research in second language use. Pre: 660 or consent.

Recent topics include: indigenous language revitalization; language and discrimination in the workplace; language policy and language planning; cross-cultural pragmatics; discourse in institutions.

SLS 775 Seminar in Second Language Qualitative Research

Qualitative research in second language and multilingual contexts. Pre: 675 or consent.