LSNZ 2015: Is applied linguistics part of linguistics?

“To design language tests and language courses responsibly, applied linguists must consider the foundations of their work,” says ICELDA director Albert Weideman. He has just returned from a research visit to the Universities of Auckland and Otago, reading papers at the LED 2015 Conference in Auckland, and the Linguistic Society of New Zealand (LSNZ) Conference in Dunedin. His paper for the LSNZ argues for a disciplinary distinction between linguistics and applied linguistics. “The distinctions are highly topical in South Africa, where currently the executives of two scholarly organisations for these disciplines are promoting the notion of a merger of their organisations,” says Weideman. If test or course designers do not first answer certain fundamental questions, they are likely, in his opinion, either to become the victim of the latest fashionable paradigm, or to remain ignorant of the roots of their own scholarly work.

For more information on the fundamentals of applied linguistics, please visit the ‘Foundations‘ tab on Albert Weideman’s professional website.

Originally posted on 4 January 2016.