Second Language Acquisition (SLA) Track

Faculty and students in the Department teach and learn about, conduct research on, and disseminate ideas in Second Language Studies (SLS) in order to promote both theoretical and applied knowledge about the human capacities and processes involved in learning languages other than the mother tongue(s). The SLA track provides strong preparation for students whose long-term goal is to pursue research and further training in SLS and applied linguistics, such as a doctorate in SLA and related fields. It also prepares students for MA-level professional activities such as publishing, presenting at conferences, and conducting research on second language learning and teaching.

Within the MA in SLS, a track in SLA is intended to foster knowledge about and research capabilities in a range of areas, depending on students’ interests and goals;

  1. Linguistic, psycholinguistic, cognitive, social, and educational dimensions of L2 acquisition, all of which interact and help explain universal patterns and constraints on L2 acquisition as well as large individual differences across L2 acquirers and users;
  2. Acquisition of any language beyond the first (e.g.; L2, L3, ... Ln) whether of English or any other target language (e.g., Arabic, Cantonese, German, Hawaiian, Ilokano, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, and so on);
  3. L2 acquisition over the life , from young children to adolescents to adults;
  4. L2 acquisition across a variety of instructed and naturalistic contexts;
  5. L2 acquisition across contexts for second, foreign, and heritage language acquisition; L2 acquisition as experienced by linguistic minorities and by elective bilinguals from.

Courses: In addition to the four (4) core courses, MA students in the SLA track will complete the following:


  • The core seminar will be from SLS 750.

Three courses from the following:

  • SLS 430 Pidgin and Creole English in Hawai‘i
  • SLS 460 English Phonology
  • SLS 640 English Syntax
  • SLS 642 Comparative Grammar and Second Language Acquisition
  • SLS 673 Applied Psycholinguistics and Second Language Acquisition
  • SLS 680E Topics in Second Language Learning
  • SLS 680N Topics in Second Language Analysis

One research course from the following:

  • SLS 670 Second Language Quantitative Research
  • SLS 672 Second Classroom Research
  • SLS 675 Second Language Qualitative Research
  • SLS 678 Discourse Analysis in Second Language Research
  • SLS 680R Second Language Research Methodology