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The Main Concepts and Debates in Applied Linguistics: Based on Guy Cook's Book


Applied Linguistics Guy Cook Pdf 60




Applied linguistics is a field of study that investigates real-world problems involving language. As such, it has the difficult task of mediating between academic expertise and lived experience, attempting to reconcile opposed interests and perspectives. In this article, we will explore some of the most pressing and controversial issues surrounding contemporary language use today, based on the book "Applied Linguistics" by Guy Cook.




Applied Linguistics Guy Cook Pdf 60


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Guy Cook is a professor of applied linguistics at King's College London. He has published widely on topics such as discourse analysis, language teaching, translation, literature, and media. He is also a former president of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) and a former editor of Applied Linguistics journal. His book "Applied Linguistics" was published in 2003 as part of Oxford University Press's "Very Short Introductions" series. It provides a concise but comprehensive overview of the main areas, concepts, and debates in applied linguistics.


The main argument of Cook's book is that applied linguistics is not a unified or coherent discipline, but rather a diverse and dynamic field that responds to changing social needs and contexts. He argues that applied linguists should not be seen as neutral experts who provide solutions to linguistic problems, but rather as mediators who engage with different stakeholders and perspectives, taking into account ethical, political, and cultural implications. He also argues that applied linguists should not only focus on describing how language works, but also on prescribing how it should be used, challenging dominant ideologies and practices that may be harmful or oppressive.


Prescribing and describing: popular and academic views of 'correctness'




One of the most common issues that applied linguists face is the question of 'correctness' in language use. Many people have strong opinions about what constitutes 'good' or 'bad' language, often based on personal preferences, social norms, or prescriptive rules. However, applied linguists tend to adopt a descriptive approach, which means that they observe and analyze how language is actually used in different situations and contexts, without judging it as right or wrong.


Applied linguistics challenges the notion of 'correct' language by showing that language is not a fixed or static system, but rather a dynamic and variable phenomenon that changes over time and across space. Applied linguists also show that language is not a homogeneous or uniform entity, but rather a diverse and heterogeneous one that reflects different identities, cultures, and communities. Applied linguists recognize that there is no single standard or norm for language use, but rather multiple standards and norms that may coexist or conflict with each other.


Some examples of linguistic variation and diversity in the contemporary world are:



  • The emergence of new varieties of English, such as Indian English, Nigerian English, or Singaporean English, which have their own distinctive features and functions.



  • The use of code-switching, which means mixing two or more languages or dialects within a single utterance or conversation, often for pragmatic or expressive purposes.



  • The development of new forms of communication, such as texting, emailing, or blogging, which have their own conventions and styles.



  • The influence of different genres and registers, which means adapting language use according to the purpose, audience, and situation of communication.



Languages in the contemporary world




Another issue that applied linguists deal with is the impact of globalization on language use and attitudes. Globalization refers to the process of increasing interconnectedness and interdependence among people, cultures, and economies across the world. Globalization has both positive and negative effects on language use and attitudes. On the one hand, it facilitates communication and cooperation among people from different backgrounds and regions. On the other hand, it creates competition and conflict among languages for resources and recognition.


One of the most significant implications of globalization is the growth of English as a global language. English has become the dominant language for international communication in various domains, such as business, education, science, technology, media, and entertainment. English has also become a lingua franca, which means a common language that enables communication among people who do not share a native language. However, the spread of English also raises some issues and challenges for applied linguistics.


Some of the issues and challenges that applied linguistics addresses are:



  • The status and role of native speakers of English. Applied linguists question the idea that native speakers are the best models or authorities for English use, as they may not reflect the diversity and complexity of English users and uses around the world.



  • The variation and change of English. Applied linguists examine how English has evolved and adapted to different contexts and purposes, resulting in different varieties and forms of English that may differ from each other in terms of vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, or pragmatics.



  • The rights and policies of other languages. Applied linguists advocate for the recognition and protection of linguistic diversity and minority languages that may be threatened or marginalized by the dominance of English. Applied linguists also advise on language planning and policy making that aim to promote multilingualism and intercultural understanding.



English language teaching (ELT)




A major area of applied linguistics is English language teaching (ELT), which involves teaching English as a second or foreign language to learners from different backgrounds and levels. ELT is influenced by both theoretical and practical considerations, such as linguistic theories, pedagogical methods, learner needs, teacher training, curriculum design, assessment criteria, etc. Applied linguistics has played an important role in the development and improvement of ELT methods and approaches over time.


Some of the main principles of communicative language teaching (CLT) are:



  • The goal of language learning is to develop communicative competence, which means the ability to use language appropriately and effectively in various situations and contexts.



  • The content of language teaching should be based on authentic texts and tasks that reflect real-life communication needs and purposes.



  • The process of language teaching should be learner-centered and interactive, which means that learners should be actively involved in meaningful communication activities with their peers and teachers.



  • The role of the teacher is to facilitate communication rather than transmit knowledge. The teacher should provide guidance, feedback, and support to learners rather than correct their errors or control their output.



Applied linguistics helps teachers and learners cope with the challenges of ELT in different contexts by providing them with relevant research findings, insights, and resources. For example:



  • Applied linguistics helps teachers understand how learners acquire a second or foreign language, what factors affect their learning process, what strategies they use to overcome difficulties, etc.



Language and communication




Another area of applied linguistics is language and communication, which involves defining and analyzing how people use language to interact with each other in various situations and contexts. Language and communication are not synonymous terms, as communication can involve other modes and channels besides language, such as gestures, facial expressions, images, sounds, etc. However, language is a crucial and complex component of communication, as it enables people to convey and interpret meanings, intentions, emotions, identities, and relationships.


Applied linguistics defines and analyzes communication by using different frameworks and methods, such as discourse analysis, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, semiotics, etc. These approaches help applied linguists to understand how language works at different levels and aspects, such as phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, etc. They also help applied linguists to explore how language is influenced by and influences various factors and dimensions of communication, such as context, culture, genre, register, medium, etc.


One of the key concepts that applied linguistics uses to explain communication is communicative competence. Communicative competence refers to the ability to use language appropriately and effectively in various situations and contexts. Communicative competence consists of four components: linguistic competence (knowledge of the rules and structures of language), sociolinguistic competence (knowledge of the norms and conventions of language use in different social settings), discourse competence (knowledge of how to organize and connect utterances into coherent texts), and strategic competence (knowledge of how to use strategies to overcome communication problems or enhance communication effectiveness).


Applied linguistics helps to assess communicative competence by developing and applying different tools and criteria, such as tests, scales, rubrics, etc. These instruments help applied linguists to measure and evaluate how well learners or users of a language can perform various communicative tasks and functions in different domains and situations. Applied linguistics also helps to improve communicative competence by providing guidance and support for language teaching and learning, translation and interpretation, intercultural communication, etc.


Persuasion and poetics: rhetoric and resistance




A final issue that applied linguistics deals with is the use of language for persuasion and poetics. Persuasion refers to the use of language to influence or change the attitudes or behaviors of others. Poetics refers to the use of language to create or express meanings that go beyond the literal or factual level. Both persuasion and poetics are important aspects of human communication that have various purposes and effects.


Applied linguistics explores the use of language for persuasion by using tools and techniques such as rhetoric, argumentation, critical discourse analysis (CDA), etc. These approaches help applied linguists to identify and analyze how language is used to construct or challenge different ideologies, values, beliefs, identities, etc. They also help applied linguists to examine how language is used to manipulate or resist power relations in different contexts and domains.


Some examples of persuasive language use are:



  • The use of propaganda or advertising to promote or sell certain products or ideas.



  • The use of political speeches or debates to persuade or dissuade voters or supporters.



  • The use of legal discourse or evidence to convince or refute judges or juries.



  • The use of academic discourse or research to support or refute claims or hypotheses.



Applied linguistics appreciates the use of language for poetics by using tools and techniques such as literary stylistics, narrative analysis, metaphor analysis, etc. These approaches help applied linguists to understand and appreciate how language is used to create or express aesthetic or emotional effects in different genres and forms. They also help applied linguists to explore how language is used to reflect or shape personal or social identities and experiences.


Some examples of poetic language use are:



  • The use of literature or poetry to entertain or inspire readers or listeners.



  • The use of jokes or humor to amuse or relieve tension among speakers or audiences.



  • The use of stories or narratives to share or elicit personal or collective memories or feelings.



  • The use of metaphors or similes to illustrate or compare abstract or complex concepts or phenomena.



Past, present, and future directions




Applied linguistics has evolved as a discipline over time in response to changing social needs and contexts. It has also been influenced by different theoretical and methodological developments in linguistics and other related fields. Applied linguistics has become a diverse and dynamic field that encompasses various areas, concepts, and debates.


Some of the current trends and debates in applied linguistics research are:



  • The role and status of English as a global language and its implications for other languages and cultures.



  • The impact of new technologies and media on language use and communication.



  • The relationship between language and cognition and its implications for language learning and teaching.



  • The ethical and political dimensions of language use and communication and their implications for social justice and human rights.



Some of the future challenges and opportunities for applied linguistics are:



  • The need to address the linguistic and communicative needs of diverse and marginalized groups and communities.



  • The need to foster intercultural and multilingual competence and awareness among language users and learners.



  • The need to develop innovative and interdisciplinary approaches and methods for language research and practice.



  • The need to engage with different stakeholders and perspectives in language-related issues and problems.



Conclusion




In this article, we have discussed some of the most pressing and controversial issues surrounding contemporary language use today, based on the book "Applied Linguistics" by Guy Cook. We have seen that applied linguistics is a field of study that investigates real-world problems involving language, attempting to reconcile opposed interests and perspectives. We have also seen that applied linguistics provides a comprehensive overview of the main areas, concepts, and debates in the field, such as prescribing and describing, languages in the contemporary world, English language teaching, language and communication, persuasion and poetics, past, present, and future directions.


We hope that this article has given you a glimpse of the relevance and value of applied linguistics for understanding and improving language use in various situations and contexts. We also hope that this article has sparked your interest in exploring further sources and readings on applied linguistics. If you want to learn more about applied linguistics, we recommend you to read Cook's book "Applied Linguistics", which is available online as a PDF file. You can also check out other books, journals, websites, or podcasts on applied linguistics that cover different topics and perspectives.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions and answers on applied linguistics:



  • What is the difference between applied linguistics and linguistics?



Linguistics is the scientific study of language as a system, focusing on its structure, function, evolution, variation, etc. Applied linguistics is the study of language as a social phenomenon, focusing on its use, learning, teaching, etc. in relation to real-world problems. Applied linguistics draws on linguistic theories and methods, but also on other disciplines such as psychology, sociology, education, etc.


  • What are some of the careers or professions that involve applied linguistics?



Some of the careers or professions that involve applied linguistics are: language teacher, translator, interpreter, lexicographer, editor, speech therapist, forensic linguist, language planner, language tester, etc.


  • What are some of the skills or competencies that applied linguists need or develop?



Conclusion




In this article, we have discussed some of the most pressing and controversial issues surrounding contemporary language use today, based on the book "Applied Linguistics" by Guy Cook. We have seen that applied linguistics is a field of study that investigates real-world problems involving language, attempting to reconcile opposed interests and perspectives. We have also seen that applied linguistics provides a comprehensive overview of the main areas, concepts, and debates in the field, such as prescribing and describing, languages in the contemporary world, English language teaching, language and communication, persuasion and poetics, past, present, and future directions.


We hope that this article has given you a glimpse of the relevance and value of applied linguistics for understanding and improving language use in various situations and contexts. We also hope that this article has sparked your interest in exploring further sources and readings on applied linguistics. If you want to learn more about applied linguistics, we recommend you to read Cook's book "Applied Linguistics", which is available online as a PDF file. You can also check out other books, journals, websites, or podcasts on applied linguistics that cover different topics and perspectives.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions and answers on applied linguistics:



  • What is the difference between applied linguistics and linguistics?



Linguistics is the scientific study of language as a system, focusing on its structure, function, evolution, variation, etc. Applied linguistics is the study of language as a social phenomenon, focusing on its use, learning, teaching, etc. in relation to real-world problems. Applied linguistics draws on linguistic theories and methods, but also on other disciplines such as psychology, sociology, education, etc.


  • What are some of the careers or professions that involve applied linguistics?



Some of the careers or professions that involve applied linguistics are: language teacher, translator, interpreter, lexicographer, editor, speech therapist, forensic linguist, language planner, language tester, etc.


  • What are some of the skills or competencies that applied linguists need or develop?



FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions and answers on applied linguistics:



  • What is the difference between applied linguistics and linguistics?



Linguistics is the scientific study of language as a system, focusing on its structure, function, evolution, variation, etc. Applied linguistics is the study of language as a social phenomenon, focusing on its use, learning, teaching, etc. in relation to real-world problems. Applied linguistics draws on linguistic theories and methods, but also on other disciplines such as psychology, sociology, education, etc.


  • What are some of the careers or professions that involve applied linguistics?



Some of the careers or professions that involve applied linguistics are: language teacher, translator, interpreter, lexicographer, editor, speech therapist, forensic linguist, language planner, language tester, etc.


  • What are some of the skills or competencies that applied linguists need or develop?



  • What are some of the benefits or challenges of applied linguistics?



Some of the benefits of applied linguistics are: it helps to understand and improve language use and communication in various situations and contexts; it helps to address and solve real-world problems involving language; it helps to promote linguistic diversity and intercultural understanding; i


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