Courses for the SLS BA

When Courses are Offered

To help you plan your course of study in the BA program in SLS, the following table shows when SLS courses are typically offered*:


Required/ Elective
Focus, etc.
SLS 150 – Learning Languages and Communicating in a Globalized World Introductory
SLS 280 – Bilingualism: Cognition & Culture Introductory
SLS 302 – Second Language Learning Required, Prerequisite*
SLS 303 – Second Language Teaching
SLS 312 – Techniques in SL Teaching: Reading & Writing
SLS 313 – Techniques in SL Teaching: Listening & Speaking
SLS 380 – Bilingual Education
W*, DS
SLS 418 – Instructional Media
SLS 430 – Pidgin & Creole English in Hawai`i
H (E*), DS
SLS 441 – Language Concepts for SL Learning & Teaching
SLS 460 – English Phonology
SLS 480-alpha* (others, including 480P: Pedagogy*)
SLS 485 (Professionalism in SLS)
SLS 490 – Second Language Testing


    • This chart should only be used as a general guide for planning purposes. There is no guarantee that all SLS courses will be offered as indicated above, or that they will always have the focus or other General Education Core designations indicated above.
    • SLS 302 is the primary prerequisite course in the department.  The official listing in the UH Manoa catalog says “prerequisite (or concurrent)”. This means that you can take other SLS courses during the same semester that you take 302. It’s also OK to take SLS 150 prior to SLS 302. However, when you begin taking SLS courses at the 300- or 400-level, you’ll need to be sure that SLS 302 is one of the courses you start with.
    • Both SLS 302 and 380 are “Writing Intensive” courses (each counts as one of the general education core requirements for “W” focus). We recommend that students avoid taking both in the same semester. Additionally, SLS 441 is considered by most students to be “homework-heavy” and requires that students keep up with (if not ahead of) the homework. Thus, we also recommend that students avoid taking SLS 441 at the same time as SLS 302 or 380.
  • Both SLS 312 and 313 are “Oral Communciation” courses (either one would meet each counts as the general education core requirement for “O” focus).
  • SLS 430 fulfills the ‘H’ focus requirement. A proposal is underway to also request for an ‘E’ focus designation.
  • Topic areas for SLS 480-alpha are:
    • 480P = Second Language Pedagogy
    • 480R = Second Language Research
    • 480U = Second Language Use
    • 480N = Second Language Analaysis
    • 480E = Second Language Learning
  • SLS 480P has two areas.  One is 480P: Pedagogy (which focuses on anything related to teaching second languages). The other is 480P: Professionalism in SLS, which is the capstone course for the major.  Note that 480P (Pedagogy) does not fulfill the capstone requirement. Similarly, 480P (Professionalism) does not fulfill the 480-alpha requirement.
  • SLS 499 (Directed Reading/Research) is not listed in the chart, but may be possible in any semester or in summer, with permission from a supervising faculty member.
  • 300- and 400-level courses from other fields of study may be used as electives, if approved by your SLS advisor.

Course Descriptions

SLS 150 Learning Languages and Communicating in a Globalized World. Lecture/discussion on strategies for enhancing second language learning in the context of a pluricultural-multilingual globalized world; addresses personal identity as influenced by languages; studies language-related employment, international mobility, and cross-cultural relationships.

SLS 280 Bilingualism: Cognition & Culture. Introduction to bi-/multilingualism as a phenomenon at the level of society and as a characteristic of individual speakers; discussion of recent media reports and popular myths about bilingualism in relation to research-based evidence.

SLS 302 Second Language Learning. This course provides students with a broad overview of theories and issues in the field of second language acquisition (SLA) and prepares them for more advanced courses in the undergraduate SLS curriculum. It will cover 1) first language acquisition, 2) theories in SLA, 3) factors affecting SLA, 4) learner language, and 5) instructed SLA.

Required textbook*:
Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2013). How languages are learned (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University.
ISBN-13: 978-0194541268

SLS 303 Second Language Teaching. Assuming the theoretical foundations of SLS 302, this course surveys current theories, research, and practices in second and foreign language teaching. It will provide you with a broad overview of language teaching methodology and teaching contexts. Subjects covered include development of teaching methods in language skills (i.e., listening, speaking, writing, reading, grammar, and vocabulary) / integrated language skills, developments of teaching materials and technology, classroom observation, syllabus designing, lesson planning, and assessing language skills.

Required textbook:
Harmer, J. (2007). How to teach English. Essex, UK: Longman.
ISBN-10: 1405853093
ISBN-13: 978-1405853095

Brown, H. D. (2007). Teaching by principles. White Plains, NY: Longman.
ISBN-10: 0136127118
ISBN-13: 978-0136127116

SLS 312 Techniques in Second Language Teaching: Reading & Writing. This course is an overview of the theoretical and practical issues involved in the teaching of second or foreign language (L2) reading and writing. The theoretical aspects of the course are integrated with empirical research findings as well as practical concerns and experiences including observation, classroom techniques, and material design. The goals of the course include providing students with opportunities to evaluate materials; to prepare lesson plans and activities; and to observe L2 reading and writing lessons in L2 classrooms.

SLS 313 Techniques in Second Language Teaching: Listening & Speaking. This course provides an overview of the theoretical and practical issues involved in the teaching of second or foreign language (L2) listening and speaking. The theoretical and empirical perspectives are integrated with practical experiences including classroom observation, teaching practices as well as material development and analysis.

Required textbooks:
Flowerdew, J., & Miller, L. (2005). Second language listening: Theory and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University.
ISBN-10: 0521786479
ISBN-13: 978-0521786478

Thornbury, S. (2005). How to teach speaking. Harlow, UK: Pearson Longman.
ISBN-10: 0582853591
ISBN-13: 978-0582853591

SLS 380 Bilingual Education. Survey and analysis of current thinking and practices in bilingual/bicultural education; special emphasis on ESL/EFL. Pre: 302, or Ling 320, or graduate standing. The course examines approaches and pedagogical issues relevant to bilingual education. It then examines social psychological and sociological perspectives on bilingual education and psycholinguistic and pedagogical issues relevant to bilingual education.

Required textbook:
Baker, C. (2011). Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. 5th Edition. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
ISBN: 978-1847693556

SLS 418 Instructional Media. Theoretical and practical applications of using electronic and audio-visual media in second language teaching. Pre: 303 or graduate standing. The objectives of this course are to familiarize students with developments in the use of audio visual and especially electronic media (internet and other on-line applications) for second language teaching and the potential of different instructional technology for second language learning.

SLS 430 Pidgin and Creole English in Hawaii. Major historical, descriptive and pedagogical aspects of English in Hawaii; pidgin and creole languages, linguistic change, language variation. Work with actual language data. Laboratory work required. Pre: 302 or Ling 102 or graduate standing. This course provides a general understanding of the sociohistorical background and linguistic structure of both Hawaii Pidgin English (HPE) and Hawaii Creole English (HCE). It also addresses the question of language attitudes, language education and literary heritage. Present day attitudes in the school system and community toward HCE receive particular attention.

SLS 441 Language Concepts for Second Language Learning and Teaching. Language analysis: phonology, syntax, semantics, discourse, for teaching second languages. Pre: 302 or Ling 102, Ling 320, graduate standing, or consent. This course introduces the fundamental concepts of linguistics, including those of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and discourse structure,with a focus on their relationship to the study of second language acquisition and to the teaching of foreign or second languages. It surveys a wide range of such concepts and includes a discussion of different approaches to the study of language, including especially those which emphasize its communicative and social function.

Required textbooks:
Bergmann, A., Hall. K. C., & Ross, S. M., (eds.) (2011). Language Files: Materials for an Introduction to Language and Linguistics, 11th edition. Columbus: Ohio State University.
ISBN: 978-0814251799

O’Grady, W., Archibald, K., Aronoff, M., Rees-Miller, J. (2010). Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction. 6thedition. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
ISBN: 978-0312555283

Pinker, S. (1994). The Language Instinct. New York: HarperCollins.
ISBN-10: 0061336467
ISBN-13: 978-0061336461

SLS 460 English Phonology. Basic course in English phonetics and phonology; emphasis on areas of interest to language teachers. Pre: 302 or graduate standing. This course is important to future language teachers in that it exposes them to a systematic examination of sound systems in general and English in particular. The course aims to sensitize participants to the intricacies of phonological systems, preparing them to look critically at the teaching and learning of pronunciation. Moreover, the course aims to increase awareness of the relationships between sound systems and writing systems.

Required textbook:
Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D. M., Goodwin, J. M., & Griner, B. (2010). Teaching pronunciation: A course book and reference guide. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University.
ISBN-10: 0521729769
ISBN-13: 978-0521729765

SLS 480 (Alpha) Topics in Second Language Studies. Variable topics in special areas of second language studies: (E) second language learning; (N) second language analysis; (P) second language pedagogy; (R) second language research; (U) second language use. Pre: 302 or consent for (E), (N), (R), (U); 303 or consent for (P). Not applicable toward graduate degrees offered within SLS except by departmental consent.

SLS 480P: Professionalism in SLS is the capstone course for the BA in SLS, and is restricted to SLS majors who are in their next to last or last semester before graduation. This course aims to raise participants’ awareness of values, ethics, and professional identity in the field of SLS. Participants develop a portfolio relevant to their professional goals and explore options available to people with BA degrees in SLS.

SLS 490 Second Language Testing. Measurement and evaluation of achievement and proficiency in second language learning. Pre: 302, 441, LING 102, or graduate standing. This course is intended to provide a working knowledge of the basic principles and procedures for test construction and testing with an emphasis on the second language context. Participants review a variety of first and second language tests including standardized tests, integrative language tests, discrete-point tests, and tests of communicative competence. Participants also construct and try out some of their own tests. No previous knowledge of statistics or higher mathematics is required. Students will learn the necessary statistical procedures to use in “testing the test” and will develop the skills needed to read test manuals with understanding.

Required textbook:
Brown, J. D. (2005). Testing in language programs: A comprehensive guide to English language assessment. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
ISBN-10: 0072948361
ISBN-13: 978-0072948363

*The textbooks listed will be available at the UH bookstore before the semester begins as well as in price comparison shopping agents such as and  If you purchase from the price comparison shopping agents, be sure to allot enough time for delivery, as it can sometimes take 2-3 weeks for delivery.