Applied Linguistics Definition

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Defining Applied Linguistics When defining Applied Linguistics, the first thing we need to consider is that academic have not agreed upon a single, encompassing definition; “it means many things to many people” (Davies & Mitchell, 2007). From the broadest perspective it has been called a gallimaufry of different disciplines related to Language, to the strictest sees Applied Linguistics as the application of Linguistics to the study of Language, Applied Linguistics can be anything in between. The official definition of applied linguistics, provided by the American Association of Applied Linguistics is: “Applied Linguistics is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry that addresses a broad range of language-related issues in order to understand…show more content…
Academics analyze its areas of interests, and from there delineate AL’s purpose and are, thus, able to define it. This approach is called the ostensive definition. As explained by Spolsky, Applied Linguistics is “a cover term for a sizeable group of semi-autonomous disciplines, each diving its parentage and allegiances between the formal study of language and other relevant fields”. And Brumfit defines it as “the theoretical and empirical investigation of real-world problems in which language is a central issue” (Davies, 2007; Brumfit 1997b). Kaplan, Mouton de Gruyter and Bloomfield also argue for a wide scope of areas of…show more content…
Rather, the assumption is that Applied Linguistics is a problem-oriented and problem-solving activity. As such, it is actively involved in the development of innovative theoretical approaches as well as practical solutions” (Perrin, Verspoor, Knapp, Antos, n.d.) Another way of defining Applied Linguistics is to look at journals, textbooks and glossaries related to the field. Language Learning: A Journal of Applied Linguistics, founded in 1948, chronicles the academia’s thoughts on applied linguistics for more than sixty years. In 1993, the journal decided to broaden the scope beyond linguistics to a "wide range of foundation theories and research methodologies" (Davies, 2007; Cumming 1993). However, with the wider scope came a change in name. The journal came to be called Language Learning: A Journal of Research in Language Studies to accommodate the wider

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