The Department of Second Language Studies 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. Faculty are committed to excellence in research, teaching, 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 public understanding about the nature and value of knowing additional languages. 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.
Objectives of the Second Language Studies Program
- 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 Hawaiʻi 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 Hawaiʻi
- To prepare undergraduate students to pursue graduate programs in applied linguistics or related fields.
These objectives resonate with the mission and vision of UHM, as we strive to create innovative educators, leaders, and researchers whose knowledge about second language learning, teaching, and use can benefit people in Hawaiʻi, the Pacific, and beyond.