Crossing borders, addressing diversity

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27 Scopus citations


This paper presents a story of applied linguistics from my personal vantage point as a multilingual scholar whose career began outside the centers of research and scholarship. The article explains the assumptions and practices characterizing the foundation of the discipline in modernist discourses, and delineates the changes resulting from globalization towards postmodern discourses that question positivistic inquiry and homogeneity. As applied linguistics evolves to address diversity as the norm, the article identifies the different schools that have gradually moved the field in that direction-e.g., variationist applied linguistics (VAL), critical applied linguistics (CAL), postmodern hybridity, and translingual practice. Through these movements, the field has also evolved from linguistics applied (LA) to a more theoretically plural and, currently, to a more agentive relationship with other disciplines. Rather than simply borrowing from other disciplines, applied linguists have begun to make their own contributions to those disciplines on language-related issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-454
Number of pages17
JournalLanguage Teaching
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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