Does applied linguistics have a source discipline?

albert weideman keynoteIn a keynote address to the Belgian association of applied linguistics, ABLA, on 10 December, Albert Weideman, chief executive of ICELDA, said that this was a simple diagnostic to determine whether someone still subscribed to the untenable view that applied linguistics was a mere extension of linguistics. To conceive of applied linguistics in this way probably also made it difficult for an applied linguist to acknowledge that applied linguistics was actually a discipline of design. Responding to a question on whether a name change for the discipline would not solve the problem of defining it in a more realistic way, Weideman said that the name of the discipline was probably too deeply entrenched historically, as was apparent in the unsuccessful attempts to call it something else.

Yet, despite their ideological differences, he thought that both modernist and postmodernist conceptions of applied linguistics subscribed to the idea that what applied linguists did was to design and develop solutions to apparently intractable language problems, and that this was certainly a stretch of common ground that was worth exploring further.

For more information on this topic, see the article “Applied linguistics beyond postmodernism” by Albert Weideman, or visit the ‘Foundations‘ tab on Weideman’s professional website.

Originally posted on 14 December 2011.