The securitization of language education

Kaushalya Perera, Sinfree Makoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This Forum article is a contribution to the development of a securitization perspective on language education. We construe securitization of applied linguistics as the tendency to align national goals for language education, including Teaching English as a Second or Other Language (TESOL) and foreign languages, with broader national and security agendas. Keeping in mind the impact of the World Wars I and II on securitizing language education, we illustrate the more recent impact of this due to 9/11 and the subsequent shifts in global geopolitics. Wepoint to the insidious connections that have been growing for decades between the defense sectors in various countries and regions and language education while drawing attention to the increased pace and intensity of it in current times. We conclude this piece by outlining the ethical challenges which the ongoing securitization of applied linguistics poses for applied linguists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-863
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Linguistics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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