Introducing Critical Applied Linguistics


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From Alistair Pennycook Critical Applied Linguistics Mahwah New Jersey Lawrence Erlbaum 2001 Introducing Critical Applied Linguistics Critical Applied Linguistic Concerns Domains of Critical Applied Linguistics Conclusion Why Critical Applied Linguistics What is critical applied linguistics Simply put it is a critical approach to applied linguistics Such a response however leads to several further questions What is applied linguistics What is meant by critical Is critical applied linguistics merely the addition of a critical approach to applied linguistics Or is it something more This short introductory chapter gives an outline of what I understand critical applied linguistics to be before I expand in much greater detail in later chapters on the domains it may cover the theoretical issues it engages with and the types of questions it raises Critical applied linguistics is not yet a term that has wide currency so this introduction in a sense is a performative act Rather than introducing an already established domain of work this introduction both introduces and produces critical applied linguistics CALx It is therefore also a fairly personal account of this area And since I believe critical work should always be self reflexive this introduction must necessarily be critical hence a critical introduction Rather than simply trying to define what I take critical applied linguistics to be I would prefer to raise a number of important concerns and questions that can bring us closer to an understanding of this area These concerns have to do with 2 The scope and coverage of applied linguistics The notion of praxis as a way of going beyond a dichotomous relation between theory and practice Different ways of understanding the notion critical The importance of relating micro relations of applied linguistics to macro relations of society The need for a critical form of social inquiry The role of critical theory Critical applied linguistics as a constant questioning of

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