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College of Arts and Letters | Michigan State University

Welcome to the SLS Ph.D. Program at Michigan State University

Message from the Director


Welcome to the Ph.D. Program in Second Language Studies (SLS) at Michigan State University. The SLS Ph.D. Program is for researchers and teacher-researchers interested in second language acquisition (SLA), applied linguistics,  bilingualism, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, second or foreign language testing and assessment, and other areas of SLA. Our program provides students with a firm foundation in a range of research techniques and approaches. Students also focus on ways to apply current SLA theories to foreign and second-language (L2) pedagogy. A cornerstone of our program is student-faculty interaction, whether in the classroom as students (where students further their knowledge and develop their skills in SLA and applied linguistics), or outside the classroom in joint research projects.  Students graduate with an outstanding skill set that allows them to contribute to the ongoing scholarly debates in the field of SLA and applied linguistics. Simply put, graduates become leaders in the broader discipline of second language studies and in their future place of employment.

We encourage you to contact us at should you have further questions. 

  • Susan Gass, University Distinguished Professor
  • Director, Second Language Studies


Intro to SLS Program from Susan Gass on Vimeo.

The SLS Weekly Digest has just improved its format. Please subscribe here to receive SLA-focused job announcements, upcoming conferences, calls for papers, new publications, and other news items.


On the SLS-Member Spotlight Page, we are now featuring Mostafa Papi! Read about his current work and interests here:
--Nov. 11, 2014

Congratulations to SLS alumus Dr. Jimin Kahng, whose article "Exploring Utterance and Cognitive Fluency of L1 and L2 English Speakers: Temporal Measures and Stimulated Recall" appears on early view in Language Learning (to be published in December). Congratulations, Jimin!
--Oct. 15, 2014

Drs. Aline Godfroid and Alex Housen (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium) received a 300K+ grant from the Research Foundation - Flanders to fund a four-year research project on the noticing and implicit L2-learning of German grammar over time. Congratulations, Aline and Alex!
--Sept. 11, 2014

Congratulations to SLS students Laura Ballard and Shinhye Lee whose joint proposal for two research studies (their QRP2s) on child-L2 assessment was awarded 5K in funding from Educational Testing Service.
--Aug. 21, 2014

Congratulations to SLS student Mostafa Papi whose article "Language learner motivational types" with Yasser Teimouri has been published in Language Learning. See the abstract here.
--Aug. 20, 2014

News Archive

Upcoming Events

ACTFL 2014
San Antonio, TX
Nov. 21-23, 2014

Guest lecture: "What can adult learners do at first exposure to a novel language?" by Dr. Rebekah Rast from the American University of Paris.
Thurs., Jan 8, 3 PM, B243 Wells. See the flyer here.

Brown Bag: "Summer 2015 applied linguistics internships: What's out there and tips on applying."
Fri., Jan 9, 12 noon, B243 Wells.

SLS Annual Spring Symposium, with plenary speakers Drs. Joe Barcroft and Patricia Duff.
Fri., Feb. 27, 9 AM - 4 PM. More information coming soon.

LTRC 2015
Toronto, Canada
March 18-20, 2015
Workshops March 16 & 17

AAAL 2015
Toronto, Canada
March 21-25, 2015

TESOL 2015
Toronto, Canada
March 26-29, 2015