The MA Program in SLS at the University of Hawai‘i has been in existence since 1961. The Department of Second Language Studies is the first and one of the largest such departments at an American university. The Department has attained top-ranked international recognition due to the diverse expertise and professional activities of its faculty, the breadth and depth of its curriculum, and its research productivity.
For the MA in Second Language Studies the following objectives pertain. All students graduating with the MA in SLS will achieve the following learning outcomes:
Knowledge Base of Second Language Studies. Our graduates will develop familiarity with topics and concepts fundamental to the broad knowledge base of the field of Second Language Studies, including: (a) the scope of issues and methods in applied linguistics, (b) linguistic analysis, (c) second language acquisition, and (c) sociolinguistics. They will also understand how their own interests in SLS relate to the larger academic, educational, and sociopolitical contexts of the discipline.
Utilization of research. Our graduates will be able to access, understand, and critically evaluate the current SLS research literature and engage in systematic investigation of topics and concepts in the SLS knowledge base to inform their own and others’ professional practices.
Professionalism. Our graduates will acquire the disposition to continue professional development for the duration of their careers, seeking increased knowledge of themselves and the discipline while remaining flexible and open to change. To do so, they will acquire the skills to communicate and interact effectively with their colleagues, in order to promote effective and ethical professional environments. In addition, our graduates will be able to communicate skillfully about their SLS work, both orally (e.g., at work or professional meetings) and in writing (e.g., through in-house reports and/or articles in professional newsletters and journals).
For students pursuing one of the five MA in SLS specializations, additional learning outcomes are associated with each.
The program strives to maintain a balance between theoretical and practical concerns by requiring courses that are concerned with linguistic, psychological and sociocultural aspects of language as well as those which treat the methodological and practical aspects of language learning and teaching. By stressing the interdependence of theory and practice, we cultivate in our students the intellectual basis for an understanding of principles that will help guide them in their future careers.
Graduates of the MA program are able to assume key positions in a number of areas of applied linguistics, including teaching (both public and private sectors in the United States and abroad), teacher education, administration, research, evaluation, and materials writing. A substantial number of students have continued their graduate training in doctoral programs.