a women with short hair wearing glasses, a necklace, a white top with a grey jacket

Paula Winke, Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, has been appointed Director of the Second Language Studies Program in the College of Arts & Letters, effective August 16, 2020, through August 15, 2024.  

The Second Language Studies (SLS) Program is an interdisciplinary research and pedagogy program whose members investigate the acquisition and teaching of second languages. Program members additionally focus on second language learners’ and bi-/multilinguals’ learning opportunities, learning curves, cognitive functioning, psychology, and social contexts, with the people under study being children or adults. 

Faculty, students, visiting scholars, and affiliates in the program teach and research second language teaching methodologies, learners’ cognitive processing, and the socio-economic, cultural, political, and historical contexts that affect learners and bi-/multilinguals. The Second Language Studies Program connects individuals working in second language acquisition, applied linguistics, linguistics, educational measurement, bi-/multilingualism, psycholinguistics, corpus studies, cognitive science, language policy, ethics, sociology, and foreign language and cultural studies.

I am very happy to appoint Dr. Paula Winke as the new Director of the Second Language Studies Program. Dr. Winke brings in a wealth of experience in second and foreign language acquisition and is one of the leading scholars in her field of second language assessment.

CHRISTOPHER P. LONG, DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF ARTS & LETTERS

“I am very happy to appoint Dr. Paula Winke as the new Director of the Second Language Studies Program,” said Christopher P. Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters. “Dr. Winke brings in a wealth of experience in second and foreign language acquisition and is one of the leading scholars in her field of second language assessment. I look forward to working with her to enhance and continue to elevate the world-renowned SLS Program here at MSU.”

The SLS Program maintains three collaborative research laboratories, multiple student-faculty reading groups, a graduate student organization, annual workshops, a visiting scholar program, invited presentations, and a large selection of graduate-level courses. Program faculty have hosted more than 30 visiting scholars from around the world. SLS graduate students and faculty have brought in millions of dollars in external grants to the College of Arts & Letters. 

The SLS program has awarded 63 doctoral degrees in Second Language Studies since it began in 2005. SLS graduates have become leading scholars, educators, and practitioners. For example:

  • Amy Thompson (graduated in 2009) is Professor and Chair of the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia.
  • Ching-Ni Hsieh (graduated in 2011) is Senior Research Scientist in English Language Learning and Assessment at Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey.
  • Nobuhiro Kamiya (graduated in 2012) is Professor in the Department of International Communication at Gunma Prefectural Women’s University in Gunma, Japan.
  • Virginia David (graduated in 2015) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education and Literacy Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. 
  • Colonel Zachary Miller (graduated in 2017) is Academy Professor of Portuguese in the Department of Foreign Languages at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York

Dr. Winke is the third director of the SLS Program, following Susan Gass, who founded the program, and Shawn Loewen.  

I am honored to direct the Second Language Studies Program. I will work hard to help expand the program’s reach and to maintain and highlight the high-levels of innovation and leadership that the SLS Program has.

PROFESSOR PAULA WINKE  

“I am honored to direct the Second Language Studies Program,” Winke said. “I will work hard to help expand the program’s reach and to maintain and highlight the high-levels of innovation and leadership that the SLS Program has. With core and affiliated faculty who are well known, connected, and influential throughout the world, and with broadminded, innovative, and inquisitive graduate students who are taking the field in new directions, leading the SLS Program will be a thrilling ride.” 

Winke’s primary area of research is second and foreign language assessment methods. Most recently, she served on a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee in Washington, D.C., advising the U.S. Foreign Service Institute on its proficiency-test designs. She also co-edited a 45-chapter volume on second language acquisition and language testing with Tineke Brunfaut at Lancaster University in the UK. While directing the SLS Program, Winke will continue to serve as Co-Editor of the journal Language Testing, which publishes original research on second language testing and assessment, an editorship she began in 2019.