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Applied linguistics

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Applied linguistics is an interdisciplinary field of study that identifies, investigates, and offers solutions to language-related real life problems. Some of the academic fields related to applied linguistics are education, linguistics, psychology, anthropology, and sociology.

Theoretical linguistics
Lexical semantics
Statistical semantics
Structural semantics
Prototype semantics
Systemic functional linguistics
Applied linguistics
Language acquisition
Linguistic anthropology
Generative linguistics
Cognitive linguistics
Computational linguistics
Descriptive linguistics
Historical linguistics
Comparative linguistics
Corpus linguistics
History of linguistics
List of linguists
Unsolved problems



Major branches of applied linguistics include bilingualism and multilingualism, computer-mediated communication (CMC), conversation analysis, language assessment, literacies, discourse analysis, language pedagogy, sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, language planning and policies, pragmatics, forensic linguistics, and translation.

Major journals of the field include "Applied Linguistics", "International Review of Applied Linguistics", "International Journal of Applied Linguistics", and "Annual Review of Applied Linguistics".


The tradition of applied linguistics established itself in part as a response to the narrowing of focus in linguistics with the advent in the late 1950s of generative linguistics, and has always maintained a socially accountable role, demonstrated by its central interest in language problems.[1]

Although the field of applied linguistics started from Europe and the United States, the field rapidly flourished in the international context.

United States

Although it is not clear when the field of applied linguistics began, the first issue of "Language Learning: A Journal of Applied Linguistics" was published from the University of Michigan in 1948. Applied linguistics first concerned itself with principles and practices on the basis of linguistics. In the early days, applied linguistics was thought as “linguistics-applied” at least from the outside of the field. In the 1960s, however, applied linguistics was expanded to include language assessment, language policy, and second language acquisition. As early as the 1970s, applied linguistics became a problem-driven field rather than theoretical linguistics. Applied linguistics also included solution of language-related problems in the real world. By the 1990s, applied linguistics has broadened including critical studies and multilingualism. Researches of applied linguistics were shifted to "the theoretical and empirical investigation of real world problems in which language is a central issue."[2]

United Kingdom

The British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) was established in 1967. Its mission is "the advancement of education by fostering and promoting, by any lawful charitable means, the study of language use, language acquisition and language teaching and the fostering of interdisciplinary collaboration in this study [...]" [1]


Australian applied linguistics took as its target the applied linguistics of mother tongue teaching and teaching English to immigrants. The Australia tradition shows a strong influence of continental Europe and of the USA, rather than of Britain [3]. Applied Linguistics of Association of Australia (ALAA) was established at a national congress of applied linguists held in August 1976. [2]


In 1982, the Japan Association of Applied Linguistics (JAAL) was established in the Japan Association of College English Teachers (JACET) in order to engage in activities on a more international scale. In 1984, JAAL became an affiliate of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA).[3]


North America





See also

Further reading

  • Cook, Guy (2003). 'Applied Linguistics' (in the series Oxford Introduction to Language Study) Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Davies, A. & Elder, C. (Eds.). (2004). 'Handbook of Applied Linguistics' Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • Johnson, Keith and Johnson, Helen (1999). 'Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Linguistics' *Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • McCarthy, Michael (2001). 'Issues in Applied Linguistics' Cambridge University Press.'
  • Pennycook, Alastair (2001). 'Critical applied linguistics: a critical introduction' London: *Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Schmitt, Norbert (2002). 'An Introduction to Applied Linguistics' London: Arnold.


  1. ^ Alan Davies & Catherine Elder.(Eds.). 2004. Handbook of Applied Linguistics. 1
  2. ^ Christopher Brumfit. How applied linguistics is the same as any other science, "International Journal of Applied Linguistics", 7(1), 86-94.
  3. ^ Alan Davies & Catherine Elder.(Eds.). 2004. Handbook of Applied Linguistics. 6


Published - November 2008

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