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Foreign, Second and Multilingual Language Education

A PhD in Foreign, Second and Multilingual Language Education is a research-intensive program for students interested in foreign language and English language learners. Students from around the world choose our program because of its long and prestigious history and the opportunity to learn from faculty who have extensive international experience, expertise and achievements. The high-quality mentoring students receive prepares them to become world-class scholars and academic leaders in countries across the globe.

  • With the expertise and support of the faculty members, I was able to explore a variety of research topics and participate in academic conferences at the early stages of my doctoral study. The opportunity of working as a teaching associate also provided me with valuable first-hand experience as an ESL writing instructor. The research and teaching experience I gained from the program well prepared me for my current career as a university writing instructor and researcher.
    Qian Du, PhD, 2013
    Undergraduate Composition Coordinator, Ohio University

  • The faculty members have a wide range of perspectives in the field of foreign, second, multilingual language education, making the intellectual exposure to the field rich for students. Besides learning about the field, students were mentored to “walk into the field.” We were encouraged to attend and submit papers to major conferences from an early stage in the program. My rigorous training prepared me well for the career I now have helping multilingual students and providing consulting services to faculty on better integrating multilingual students. This program has provided me with an empowering and transformative experience that I forever feel grateful for.
    Ming Fang, PhD, 2012
    Writing Across Curriculum Consultant, Florida International University

  • I chose the Foreign, Second, and Multilingual Language Education (FSLED) Program at OSU because of its interdisciplinary nature and commitment to both teaching and research.
    The best things OSU provided me was the opportunity to improve both my college-level teaching and research skills. My associateship allowed me to teach ESL composition courses and research directly with senior faculty as a co-investigator where I learned more about academia and the publication process. These two components made me competitive for the academic job market. I recommend this program because the faculty’s mentorship guided me throughout the process of building my research agenda, completing my dissertation, publishing, and obtaining two academic positions after graduation.

    M. Sidury Christiansen, PhD, 2013
    Assistant Professor, University of Texas at San Antonio

  • I am indebted to my advisors in Teaching and Learning for their guidance and support throughout my doctoral studies at OSU. They enlightened me with many useful theories and ideas for my dissertation. They also prepared me for job searches and interviews. Because of them, I landed a tenure-track position before I graduated. I cannot thank them enough for the mentoring and wisdom they gave – which I continue to use every day in my career.
    Yin Lam Lee-Johnson, PhD, 2012
    Assistant Professor, Webster University


The Foreign, Second and Multilingual Language Education program at The Ohio State University is one of the oldest and most established programs of its kind in the United States and has produced many prominent scholars and leaders in both the foreign language and English language learning fields.

Students experience diverse opportunities to learn the cognitive, sociocultural and critical perspectives of theory and practices related to foreign, second and heritage language acquisition and instruction.

The program is designed from an inclusive perspective and seeks to explore language teaching and learning issues and learners from around the world.

Program faculty have lived, studied and taught in various parts of the world. The diversity of backgrounds among students and faculty is one of the hallmarks of our program.

Career Paths

Students with PhDs in Foreign, Second and Multilingual Language Education go on to become scholars, researchers and professors at colleges and universities around the world.


Deadline to Apply: 
December 1
Program Start: 
Autumn semester
Prerequisites/Pre-major Requirements: 
Master’s degree. For GRE requirements, please contact TLAS at
Minimum Program Hours: 
80 (up to 30 hours can transfer)

Coursework: Foreign language, second language learning, educational research, teaching and learning theory, diversity in education
Minimum course requirements: 2 department core courses (8 hours), 8 specialization courses (24 hours), research methods (9 hours), research apprenticeship (6 hours), dissertation (6 hours), breadth requirement (3 hours)
Other requirements: Research apprenticeship, candidacy exam, dissertation

View the Curriculum Sheet


Alan Hirvela, PhD, Professor and FSMLE Convener
Leslie Moore, PhD, Associate Professor
Peter Sayer, PhD, Associate Professor
Francis Troyan, PhD, Associate Professor
Youngjoo Yi, PhD, Associate Professor

Affiliated Faculty
Patricia Enciso, PhD, Professor
George Newell, PhD, Professor
Don Winford, PhD, OSU Dept. of Linguistics