The Option A minor in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) offers graduate students both a theoretical and a practical background in the increasingly important area of SLA. After completing the minor, students will be prepared to understand research in SLA and to develop teaching curricula based on principles of second language learning and teaching.

Students wishing to minor in SLA should first contact the relevant SLA committee member in  their department who will refer them to the SLA minor advisor. Students declaring the minor are required to meet with Professor Naomi Geyer (nfgeyer@wisc.edu), SLA minor advisor, before registering for SLA minor courses.

The SLA minor consists of 9 credits: a required course and two elective courses.  Students without a background in linguistics and language pedagogy are encouraged to take introductory linguistics and teaching methodology courses before starting the SLA minor. Students may transfer up to 3 credits from prior graduate work, upon approval.

All students are required to take ENGL 318 Second Language Acquisition or CURRIC 673 Learning Second Language and Literacies. Students also choose two courses from the approved SLA list. With approval of the SLA minor advisor, students may count up to 3 credits (one course) of prior graduate study toward the minor.

Approved SLA course list

African Cultural Studies
AFRICAN 701 Advanced Topics in African Linguistics 13
Curriculum and Instruction
CURRIC 673 Learning Second Language and Literacies1-6
CURRIC 674 Advanced Methods in Teaching English as a Second Language3-6
CURRIC 675 General Seminar 11-3
CURRIC 743 Educational Technology for Deep Language Learning 21-3
CURRIC 964 Seminar in World Language Education1-3
CURRIC 975 General Seminar 22-3
ENGL 414 Global Spread of English 33
ENGL 420 Topics in English Language and Linguistics3
ENGL 703 Research Methods in Composition Studies3
ENGL/​SOC  710 Interaction Analysis: Talk as Social Organization3
ENGL 711 Research Methods in Applied Linguistics3
ENGL 713 Topics in Contemporary English Linguistics 13
ENGL 715 Advanced Second Language Acquisition3
ENGL 905 Seminar-Topics in Applied English Linguistics 13
French and Italian
FRENCH/​ITALIAN  821 Issues in Methods of Teaching French and Italian 1, 21-3
GERMAN 727 Topics in Applied Linguistics 13
SOC 735 Ethnomethodology & Conversation Analysis3
Note: Spanish courses are generally offered in Spanish; contact instructor
SPANISH 544 Contemporary Issues in Applied Spanish Linguistics 23
SPANISH 630 Topics in Hispanic Linguistics 23
SPANISH 815 Seminar in Language: Modern Spanish 23

 Topics courses. Students should see the SLA Minor Advisor for approval of topics appropriate for the minor.


 Courses must be taken for a total of 3 credits, in one or multiple enrollments.


Instructor and SLA advisor consent required. 

SLA Steering Committee - The interdisciplinary SLA Steering Committee is comprised of members from the units listed below.

African Cultural Studies: Professor Katrina Thompson

Asian Languages and Cultures: Associate Professor Naomi Geyer, Associate Professor Byung-Jin Lim and Professor Junko Mori

Curriculum and Instruction: Professor Margaret Hawkins, Associate Professor Mariana Pacheco, Assistant Professor Diego Roman, Professor Francois Tochon and Professor Kate Vieira

English: Assistant Professor Jacee Cho

French and Italian: Associate Professor Heather Allen

German, Nordic, and Slavic: Professor Monika Chavez and Professor Karen Evans-Romaine

Language Institute: Director Dianna Murphy

Spanish and Portuguese: Associate Professor Cathy Stafford

Staff: Kristin Dalby (Graduate Coordinator) and Skender Jahiu (Financial and Payroll Specialist)