Critical applied linguistics and education

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Language Policy and Political Issues in Education, 2017, pp. 173 - 185
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Critical applied linguistics (CALx) is an approach to language use and education that connects the local conditions of language to broader social formations. Critical applied linguistics in its contemporary forms can best be understood as the intersection of various domains of applied linguistic work that operate under an explicit critical label, including critical discourse analysis, critical literacy, critical pedagogy, or critical language testing, as well as areas that operate on related critical principles but do not carry the same label, such as feminist or antiracist pedagogy. In the following sections I provide an overview of this work before discussing various problems and difficulties, including struggles over the meaning of the term critical, the need for work beyond only critique, and the question of its applicability to the majority (non-Western) world. Finally I discuss ways in which CALx opens up many new ways of thinking about applied linguistics, and thus presents to applied linguistics more broadly a fresh array of concerns about language, politics, identity, ethics, and difference.
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