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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.


Congratulations to Betsy Lavolette who received the AT&T award for "Best Fully Online Course" on April 23, and who also successfully defended her dissertation "Effects of Feedback Timing and Metalinguistic Feedback on Learning to Apply ESL Grammar Rules" that same day. Double congratulations!
--April 23, 2014

Dr. Bill VanPatten is featured on the College of Arts and Letters "Faculty Stories" website. Read the story and see a related video here.
--April 16, 2014

On the SLS-Member Spotlight Page, we are now featuring Dominik Wolff! Read about his current work and interests here:
--March 20, 2014

Congratulations to Jens Schmidtke, whose dissertation study is being funded through a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Grant. Jen's is using the 15K in funding to support his data collection and dissemination. Three cheers for Jens!
--March 11, 2014

Congratulations to Irene Ahn, whose paper "Effects of interactions among individual differences, feedback type and rule complexity of the acquisition of Korean as a second language" appears in the current issue of Bilingual Research (South Korea).
--March 10, 2014

News Archive

Upcoming Events

Chicago, IL
April 23-27, 2014

Dissertation defense, Solène Inceoglu, "Effect of Multimodal Training on the Perception and Production of French Nasal Vowels by American English Learners of French."
May 1, 2014, 1 PM in Wells B243

Athens, OH
May 6-10, 2014

Dissertation defense, Jimin Kahng, "Exploring the Production and Perception of Second Language Fluency: Utterance, Cognitive, and Perceived Fluency."
May 6, 2014, 12 noon in Wells B243

Workshops on Ph.D. student time management, academic relationships, and academic/dissertation writing processes. See the flyer here.
Fri. May 30 or Sat. July 19, 2014, 9-4 in 300 Bessey Hall

LTRC 2014
Amsterdam, Netherlands
June 2-6, 2014

AILA 2014
Brisbane, Australia
Aug. 10-15, 2014