Critical and Alternative Directions in Applied Linguistics

Applied Linguistics Assoc of Australia
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 2010, 33 (2), pp. 1 - 18
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Critical directions in applied linguistics can be understood in various ways. The term critical as it has been used in critical applied linguistics, critical discourse analysis, critical literacy and so forth, is now embedded as part of applied linguistic work, adding an overt focus on questions of power and inequality to discourse analysis, literacy or applied linguistics more generally. In this paper I will argue, however, that although critical discourse analysis and critical literacy still make claims to a territory different from their `non-critical counterparts, much of this work has become conventional and moribund. The use of the term `critical (with its problematic claims and divisions) has perhaps reached saturation level. This is not to say, however, that the basic need to bring questions of power, disparity and difference to applied linguistics is any way diminished, but rather that we may need to look in alternative directions for renewal.
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