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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! Their book chapter "Under the radar: Triangulating think-alouds and finger-tracking" was published in an edited volume on the IRIS repository of instruments. Link here to the edited volume; here to the IRIS database.
--Feb. 4, 2016

On the SLS-Member Spotlight Page, we are now featuring Dr. Koen Van Gorp, Head of Foreign Language Assessment for CeLTA and an SLS Affiliate. Read about his current work and interests here:
--Jan. 31, 2016

Are you looking for information on how to turn your dissertation into a research article? Do you want info on how to prepare papers for TESOL Q? Read the "TESOL Quarterly Research Guidelines." Congrats to Peter De Costa, who is a co-author on the guidelines.
--Jan. 26, 2016

Congratulations to Dan Isbell and his co-authors from Kentucky, CaMLA, and NAU. Their paper, "Equating in small-scale language testing programs" is now available online (ahead of print) in the journal Language Testing. See the abstract here
--Jan. 8, 2016

Congratulations to the Young Learners Test of English (YLTE) Research Team (Shinhye Lee, Irene Jieun Ahn, Ina Choi, Yaqiong Cui, Hyung-Jo Yoon, & Paula Winke) whose report on the validity of the YLTE was published by Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments (CaMLA). See the report here.
--Jan. 7, 2016

On the SLS-Member Spotlight Page, we are now featuring Roman Chepyshko, one of our SLS Ph.D. candidates. Roman is currently finishing his dissertation. Read about his work and interests here:
--Jan. 3, 2016

News Archive

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Upcoming Events

Workshop on Using Corpora in Teaching EAP, Thurs., Feb. 25, 11:30-1:30, Wells B243, with Ute Römer. See the workshop flyer here

SLS Spring Symposium, Fri., Feb. 26, with plenary speakers Bonnie Norton and Ute Römer. See the event flyer here

AAAL Practice Talks, Fri., March 4, 3-5 PM in Wells B243, with papers by Maloney, Fox & Miller, Lee, He, & Ahn et al. See the event flyer here

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

SLS Eye-tracking Lab Open House, Fri., March 25, noon - 1 PM, B342 Wells

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) 

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