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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 with your comments or questions by sending an email to our Graduate Program Secretary, Ms. Logan O'Neil. Her full contact information is on the contact page. Her email is

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


Intro to SLS Program from Susan Gass on Vimeo.


Congratulations to Aline Godfroid and Le Anne Spino, whose paper "Reconceptualizing Reactivity of Think-Alouds and Eye Tracking: Absence of Evidence Is Not Evidence of Absence" is in the current issue of Language Learning. See the abstract here.
--November 10, 2015

Congratulations to SLS alumnus Baburhan Uzum, whose paper "Uncovering the layers of foreign language teacher socialization: A qualitative case study of FLTAs" is on early view in Language Teaching Research.
--November 2, 2015

Congratulations to Aline Godfroid and Paula Winke, and to Bill VanPatten and Jason Rothman (University of Reading). Each pair has a chapter in Patrick Rebuschat's 2015 edited volume "Implicit and Explicit Learning of Languages" from John Benjamins.
--November 2, 2015

Congratulations to Bill VanPatten whose paper, "Foundations of processing instruction" is in the 2015 special issue of the International Review of Applied Linguistics. See the abstract here.
--October 26, 2015

Congratulations to Patti Spinner and Susan Gass whose paper, "Second language acquisition and linguistics: A bidirectional perspective" is in the current 2015 issue of Linguistics Vanguard. See the online version here.
--October 21, 2015

On the SLS-Member Spotlight Page, we are now featuring Megan Smith, one of our SLS Ph.D. candidates. Megan is currently finishing her dissertation. Read about her work and interests here:
--October 1, 2015

The SLS and MATESOL students are pleased to announce the publication of the sixth issue of the MSU Working Papers in Second Language Studies. See the issue here. Congrats to the Editorial Board!
--Sept. 23, 2015

News Archive

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Upcoming Events

SLS Spring Symposium, Fri., Feb. 26, with plenary speakers Bonnie Norton and Ute Römer

ACTFL 2015, San Diego, CA, Nov. 20-22.

GURT 2016, Washington, DC, March 11-13.

TESOL 2016, Baltimore, MD, April 5-8.

AAAL 2016, Orlando, FL, April 9-12, 2016.

NCOLCTL 2016, Atlanta, GA, April 21-24.

CALICO 2016, May 10-14, here at MSU! 

LTRC 2016, June 20-24, Palermo, Sicily (Italy)