Contemporary Applied Linguistics: Volume Two Linguistics for the Real World

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View Preview. Learn more Check out. Volume 95 , Issue 2 Summer Pages Related Information. Close Figure Viewer. Browse All Figures Return to Figure. Previous Figure Next Figure. Professional applied linguistics is now a fairly restricted area. Most practitioners probably style themselves primarily as SLA researchers, discourse analysts and the like, rather than seeing applied linguistics as their major avocation. Journals too reflect this tendency with say the International Journal of Applied Linguistics showing the same kind of agenda as the AILA congress, while Language Learning , originally an applied linguistics journal, is now primarily concerned with psychological approaches to second language acquisition, having dropped applied linguistics from its subtitle.

In one sense it means a research question posed in a particular discipline; in another sense it is something that has gone wrong which can be solved.

Book Summary / Abstract

Talking about the problem of multilingualism, say, is ambiguous between defining it as a research area and claiming that it is in some way defective. Calling areas problems fosters the attitude that there is something wrong with them. Bilingualism is no more intrinsically a problem to be solved than is monolingualism. Applied linguists have to be clear that they are solving problems within an area of language acquisition or use, not regarding the area itself as a problem except in the research question sense.

Language teaching is not itself a problem to be solved; it may nevertheless raise problems that applied linguists can resolve.

Contemporary Applied Linguistics v.2

A perpetual controversy has surrounded the relationship of linguistics to applied linguistics. Contemporary applied linguists feel free to draw on almost any field of human knowledge; the authors in the present book for instance use ideas from philosophy, education, sociology, feminism, Marxism, Conversation Analysis, and media studies, to take a small sample. David Block in this volume p. The question is whether applied linguists have the polymathic ability to carry out such an amalgamation of diverse disciplines, or indeed diverse approaches within these disciplines, when the disciplines themselves are incapable of making this synthesis.

Applied Linguistics in Action: A Reader: 1st Edition (Paperback) - Routledge

It seems inherently unsafe or indeed arrogant when the applied linguist redefines the human mind, human language or language learning to suit the needs of an applied linguistic problem. Linguistics nowadays plays a minimal role in applied linguistics whether in terms of current linguistic theories or descriptive tools. Linguistic theories of the past twenty years are barely mentioned by applied linguists.

With the exception of Chomsky and to some extent Jackendoff, the theories come from postmodernism, psychology, or sociology rather than linguistics. Indeed some practitioners radiate hostility towards linguistics, preferring to draw on almost any other area. One cause may be that the enthusiastic selling of the s generative model by its supporters led to the view that linguistics has nothing practical to contribute and to a lack of interest in the many other approaches to linguistics practised today, say the recent developments in phonetics and phonology.

The reason was a clause in its lease that prevented the new owners from changing the name. If language disappears from applied linguistic research, the applied linguistics shop is selling toys. It should relabel itself as teaching methodology or applied sociology or whichever discipline it uses as its source.

So what problems does applied linguistics solve?

Contemporary Applied Linguistics Volume 2

If your country is torn by civil war between people who use two scripts, you ask for a United Nations Peacekeeping Force. If you are drafting a new law, you go to a constitutional lawyer or a civil servant. The problem-solving successes of applied linguistics have included devising orthographies for languages that have no written form and inventing simplified languages for mariners; applied linguists have played a part in EU projects on translation and on linguistic diversity. Most successes have, however, had to do with language teaching, such as the syllabuses and methods that swept the world from the s onwards, particularly associated with the Council of Europe.

At a general level we can draw three implications from this. Needless to say, these personal interpretations are not necessarily shared by all the contributors. Since applied linguistics is interdisciplinary, the applied linguist is expected to know a little about many areas, not only of language, but also of philosophy, sociology, computer programming, experimental design, and many more. An applied linguist who only does syntax or discourse analysis is an applied syntactician or an applied discourse analyst, not a member of the multidisciplinary applied linguistics profession.

In other words multidisciplinarity applies not just to the discipline as a whole but also to the individual practitioner. The problems that applied linguistics can deal with are complex and multi-facetted. As consultants to other people, applied linguists can contribute their own interpretation and advice. But that is all. The client has to weigh in the balance all the other factors and decide on the solution. Some areas concerned with the description of language are regarded as applied linguistics, others are not.

Overall making a description is not in itself solving a problem, even if it may contribute to the solution. But they have had little impact on public debate or decision-making for most language problems, the honourable exceptions being the work of David Crystal and Debbie Cameron, who may not even consider themselves primarily as applied linguists.

Problems are not solved by talking about them at applied linguistics conferences; the solutions have to be taken out into the world to the language users. Take the political correctness issue of avoiding certain terms for reasons of sexism, racism and so on. Yet applied linguists have been reluctant to contribute their expertise to this debate, despite the extensive research into linguistic relativity of the past decade.

Public discussion of language issues is as ill-informed about language as it was fifty years ago at the dawn of applied linguistics. A recent theatre piece by the Canadian director Robert Le Page called Lipsynch was crucially concerned with language.

About Contemporary Applied Linguistics Volume 2

Both volumes represent the best of current practice in applied linguistics, and will be invaluable to students and researchers looking for an overview of the field. Reviews Review Policy. Published on.

Volume Two Linguistics for the Real World

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Unit1: What is Applied Linguistics?

It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders. Similar ebooks. See more. Vivian Cook. The contributors present new research in the 'traditional' areas of applied linguistics, including multilingualism, language education, teacher-learner relationships, and assessment.

It represents the best of current practice in applied linguistics, and will be invaluable to students and researchers looking for an overview of the field.

How are two or more languages learned and contained in the same mind or the same community?