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Student name: Rebeca Silva Santana

Outline of chapter 1 of the book ​An Introduction to Applied Linguistics: From Practice to
Theory - 2nd edition

DAVIES, Alan. ​An Introduction to Applied Linguistics: From Practice to Theory. ​2nd
edition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.

Purpose of the text: ​To present the main attempts to delimit the field of Applied Linguistics.

1. The difficult task of defining what Applied Linguistics is ​(p.1)​.

1.1. The delimitation of this field is not clear.
1.2. Language Learning
1.2.1. Other sciences have the same difficulty.
1.3. There is a lack of specificity in the definition of what is applied.
1.3.1. The problem of defining AL through the ​ostensive approach = an attempt of defining the purposes and methods of this area
through illustrations ​(p.2)​. It does not facilitate the creation of introductory syllabuses. It does not help the initiates in this area to clarify their minds
concerning the profession. Robert Kaplan → this method is a way of speculating on
the discipline. Those who prefer a dictionary definition disagree with this
method. They argue that AL has an essence which must be
understood by those who wants to join in this area. Widdowson → this discipline must have in fact
an internal coherence. Cook The task of AL is to do the mediation
between linguistics and the language use. AL is concerned with the relation
between knowledge of the language with
“decision making in the real world”. Main areas of AL: language and
education; language, work and law; and
language information and effect. The relation between Lexicography and the ostensive
approach The additions in the dictionary signify
improvements in the definitions of the related
1.3.2. What is being applied in AL? It does not deal only with linguistics (= idealizations). It is connected with other areas like psychology. It is not related to everything associated with language ​(p.3)​. An easier to understand the nature of this discipline To focus on its objective and not in its constitutive
elements. S. P. Corder concentrated his attention on
language teaching. Language learning and teaching is a
real-world problem. This area comprehends most of the
entries of the Glossary of Applied
Linguistics ​(p.4)​. What subjects should the discipline cover? Language Learning: A Journal of Applied Linguistics It presents the development of AL during 60
years. The first journal to broadcast the name of the
discipline in its title. It gave recognition to the wide range of theories
related to language issues. The name Applied Linguistics was
relegated to a subheading. An interpretation that AL means
researches in language studies. The term provoked a great deal of
discussion ​(p.5)​. The Edinburgh Course in Applied Linguistics It implied that AL has a strong relation to
language teaching. AL solved the problem of lack of
knowledge of the teachers after the
Second World War. It resulted in a great visibility of
the area. Corder ​(p.6) He considered the term “Applied Linguistics”
vague. Tried to limit the area to language teaching. Spolsky Tried to change the name of the area to
“educational linguistics”. Bloomfield In addition to language teaching, AL should be
concerned with other matters. Problematic view: it can lead to a
“science of everything position”. Should Linguists be agents of change? This topic is controversial even in other sciences. Margaret Mead (anthropologist) She makes a distinction between
objective students and agents of change. She defends that objectivity is no longer
possible ​(p.7)​.
2. Other ways of defining the discipline
2.1. The Glossary
2.2. The eight volumes of ​Introduction of Applied Linguistics
2.2.1. Main idea A problem related to the area of language should be explored by
an author. AL must have an “informed position” in relation to it. This position must be informed by the
understanding of context and of language
2.2.2. General field of AL Is not an agglomeration of disconnected
interests. Are summarized in the volumes. Some of them are language teaching, second
language acquisition, translation studies and
interpretation of literary discourse ​(p.8)​.
3. Applied Disciplines ​(p.9)
3.1. They struggle for a greater academic recognition.
3.1.1. AL and the postgraduate course ​(p.10)​. AL started as a postgraduate qualification in 1950. Its objective is always practical. Usually, there are no expectations in relation to the certainty of
its conclusions. A undergraduate training in linguistics is not a prerequisite for a
postgraduate course on AL. Proficiency in English and experience as language teachers is
4. The relation between AL and Theoretical Linguistics ​(p.11) Theoretical Linguistics explains the issues raised by AL. AL is interested in what is immediate. Theoretical Linguistics focuses its attention on what is
distant. Both have relations to other disciplines.