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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 Dr. Aline Godfroid, Dr. Shawn Loewen, Sehoon Jung, Ji-Hyun Park and Dr. Susan Gass on their new article in Studies in Second Language Acquisition entitled "Timed and untimed grammaticality judgments measure distinct types of knowledge." This article resulted from a collaboration with Dr. Rod Ellis (U of Auckland) who visited the SLS Program three years in a row. See the abstract here!
--May 22, 2015

Congratulations to Laura Ballard who has received a summer internship at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington DC. At CAL Laura will be working with the WIDA ASSETs rater training team.
--May 14, 2015

Congratulations to Dustin Crowther and his colleagues whose paper, “Does a speaking task affect second language comprehensibility?” is in the current issue of The Modern Language Journal. See the abstract here. Note the same issue contains an article by SLS alumnus Amy Thompson!
--April 29, 2015

On the SLS-Member Spotlight Page, we are now featuring Dr. Dustin De Felice, assistant professor in the MAFLT Program and SLS affiliate. Read about his current work and interests here:
--March 2, 2015

News Archive

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Upcoming Events

The Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) 2015
Boulder, CO
May 27-29, with pre-conf. workshop May 26-27 & 30, 2015

EuroSLA 2015
Aix-en-Provence, France
Aug. 26-29, 2015

New SLS Student Orientation
Aug. 31, 11 AM, B243 Wells Hall. Lunch for faculty and all students to follow. SLS Potluck in the evening at Sue's. Directions & ride-sharing info given at orientation.

Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) conference, 2015
Leuven, Belgium
Sept. 15-18, 2015

ECOLT & Consortium on Useful Assessment, 2015
Washington, DC
Oct. 9-11, 2015. Abstracts due June 5.

Second Language Research Forum (SLRF) 2015
Georgia State University
Oct. 29-31, 2015

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

TESOL 2016
Baltimore, MD
April 5-8, 2016. Abstracts due June 1.

AAAL 2016
Orlando, FL
April 9-12, 2016. Abstracts due Aug. 19.