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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, psycholinguistics, pragmatics, and language assessment. Our program provides students with a firm foundation in a range of research techniques and approaches. 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, our graduates become leaders in the broader discipline of second language studies and become leaders locally, nationally, and globally.

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.


We're frozen! You won't see any new news on the SLS website for two weeks (gasp!) while we change to a new website template. But don't be sad; we'll keep updating our SLS Facebook page. See our news there. Thank you!
--May 11, 2016

Congratulations to Hyung-Jo Yoon and Charlene Polio, whose paper entitled "The Linguistic Development of Students of English as a Second Language in Two Written Genres" is on early view in TESOL Quarterly. See the paper here!
--May 10, 2016

On the SLS-Member Spotlight Page, we are now featuring Yeon Heo, a SLS Ph.D candidate who is currently finishing her dissertation. Read about her work and interests here:
--April 28, 2016

Ina Choi received a Language Learning Dissertation Grant. Ina is using the grant to fund her dissertation research on the processing of incidental and intentional L2 vocabulary learning. Congratulations, Ina!
--April. 27, 2016

Congrats to Ayman Mohamed who has an article in the Journal of Less Commonly Taught Languages "Task-based incidental vocabulary learning in L2 Arabic: The role of proficiency and task performance."
--April 21, 2016

Congrats to Jieun Irene Ahn who has an article in the Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics entitled "The Effects of Recasts and Working Memory on the Development of Implicit and Explicit Knowledge."
--April 18, 2016

Congratulations to two of our former MATESOL students, Laurel Waller and Kinsey Wethers, who have a new publication with Peter De Costa in the TESOL Journal entitled "A Critical Praxis: Narrowing the Gap Between Identity, Theory, and Practice."
--April 5, 2016

News Archive

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Upcoming Events 

CALICO 2016, May 10-14, here at MSU! 

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

8th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching (PSLLT) Conf., Calgary, Aug. 12-13, 2016

SLRF 2016, Sept. 22-25, Columbia Teachers College, NYC. Abstracts due May 15! See the SLRF Trailer here.

MwALT 2016, Oct. 1, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana Abstracts due June 13! 

ACTFL 2017 Nov. 18-20, 2016, Boston.

AILA 2017 July 23-28, 2017, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil