The Scope of Applied Linguistics

AL, according to Corder 1974 is “the utilization of the knowledge about the nature of language achieved by linguistics research for the improvement of the efficiency of some practical task in which language is a central component.”

 1.      Language and Teaching

Approaches & Methods

  • Grammar Translation Method (GTM) : classes are conducted in the mother tongue. This method depends on memorization of lists of new vocabulary in isolation (i.e no context provided).  Great attention is paid to grammatical rules.
  • The Series Method: Ls are exposed to a series of connected sentences (in FL) that are easy to understand.
  • The Direct Method: It depends on the oral interaction using the FL inside the classroom. It is based on the belief that language should be learned the way we learned our mother tongue.
  • The Audio-lingual Method (ALM): It is based on the idea of over-learning and repetition. New Material is presented in a form of dialogues, broken into pieces.
  • Cognitive Code Learning Method (CCL): It is a more student-oriented method as it focuses on his/her mentality and the complicated processes that take place as learning progresses.
  • The Designer Methods:
  1. Community Language Learning (CLL): It focuses on establishing interpersonal relationships between Ls in order to make the classroom a family-like environment.2.
  2. Suggestopedia: It is based on the idea that the human mind can learn anything if a suitable atmosphere (e.g: music, visuals, imagination, meditation, relaxation …) is provided.
  3. The Silent Way: It focuses on the learner’s independence. Ls should struggle to learn. Visuals are very much used to compensate for the teacher’s silence.
  4. The Total Physical Response (TPR): It is based in actions in learning new language.
  5. The Natural Approach: It focuses on how humans learn their first language unintentionally. Simple and comprehensible content is provided, getting harder as Ls goon the learning process.
  • Community Language Teaching (CLT): It focuses on helping Ls to communicate in FL by improving their communicative competence. It also pays attention to fluency, not always accuracy.
  • 2.      Language and Society

This branch is also called sociolinguistics. It studies the relationship between the society and language. It answers questions like how society affects the language, what are the varieties of a language, what the diglossic countries are, what is the relationship between language and gender, what are some examples of terms of taboo and euphemism and why they should be used, what are the social factors of language shift, why people resort to code switching, how languages die and how they are revived.

3.      Language and Education/Learning

  • 1st Language Education

In this section, linguists try to answer the question: how infants learn/ acquire their mother tongue? Parents do not teach their children to speak. They correct their falsehoods when they misbehave rather than correcting their language mistakes. First-language acquisition is innate, meaning that we are born with a set of language rules which Chomsky refers to as the Universal Grammar. These rules, Chomsky, who belongs to the Mentalists School, argues that these rules enable children to make new utterances of their own, i.e. they produce new language not only copy or repeat what they hear. Chomsky calls this idea Language Acquisition Device.

  • Additional language education- 2
    • 2nd Language Education

Second-language education is a young field that started systematically in 1950s and1960s. It is the study of how non primary language learning takes place. The SL can be used by the majority of the community, but it is not the mother tongue. For example, 232 million Indians use English along with Hindi. Unlike the innate principles of first-education, the second-language education is based on cognitive mechanism. The 1st language is acquired, whereas the 2nd language is learned.

  • Foreign language education

FL differs from the SL in that FL is not a language of communication in the learner’s country. For example, Egyptians speak English as an FL not an SL.

  • Clinical linguistics

Crystal defines clinical linguistics as “the application of the linguistic sciences to the study of language disability in all its forms” (Crystal, 2001:67

  • Language testing

“Language Testing is the practice and study of evaluating the proficiency of an individual in using a particular language effectively.” (Priscilla Allen, University of Washington) The purpose of a language test is to determine a person’s knowledge and/or ability in the language and to discriminate that person’s ability from that of others. (Alan Davies, University of Edinburgh) This branch is also called “language assessment”. This assessment may test listening reading, speaking and writing. The test pays attention to both knowledge, which is the theoretical understanding of a language and proficiency, which is the practical use of a language.

4.      Language, Work and Law

  • Workplace communication

It answers the questions what are the different techniques of communication in the workplace, what should be said in what situations at what time…etc.

  • Language planning

Language planning is bases on some principles. First of all, it is a multidimensional activity, that is to say, it should include all the communities and faculties that participate in the language planning process. Second, the idea that a nation has one language only is a myth. Third, the process of language planning should not be the responsibility of the education sector alone. Fourth, in order that this process is to be successful, there should be continuous revision, evaluation and implementation.

  • Forensic linguistics

It is defined as the application of the theory of linguistics to the law including the language of legislation and the evaluation of written evidence. Some examples of this application may be the analysis of spoken statements (confessions), analysis of court room language (lawyers, judges, witnesses) voice identification, interpretation of the language of the law and legal writings and so on.

 5.      Language, Information and Effect

  • Literary stylistics

It studies the different styles of authors. For example, one can feel the sarcastic style of the Egyptian writer Belal Fadl by only reading the title or one or two lines. We also have our own styles while speaking. The Egyptians use idiomatic expressions all the time while they speak. Nearly half of our speech is not literal.

  • (CDA) Critical Discourse Analysis

The terms Critical Linguistics (CL) and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) can be used interchangeably. CDA pays great attention to the context of the text (Wodak, 2000c; Benke,2000). CDA deals with `language as social practice’ (Fairclough and Wodak, 1997). It also considers the institutional, political, gender and media discourses. As Krings argues, CDA is the practical linking of `social and political engagement’ with `a sociologically informed construction of society’ (Krings et al., 1973: 808), while recognizing, in Fairleigh’s words `that, in human matters, interconnections and chains of cause and effect may be distorted out of vision. Hence “critique” is essentially making visible the interconnectedness of things’ (Fairclough, 1985: 747; see also Connerton, 1976: 11±39 and see below).

  • Translation and interpretation

Translation sometimes is not as easy as it is believed. Specialized translators and interpreters have more complicated task. For instance, if the text is about Genetic Engineering, a translator  should read about the topic in both languages [the source language (SL) and the target language(TL)].


Definition of Applied Linguistics

  1. Applied linguistics is an area of work that deals with language use in professional settings, translation, speech pathology, literacy, and language education; and it is not merely the application of linguistic knowledge to such settings but is a semi autonomous and interdisciplinary . . . domain of work that draws on but is not dependent on areas such as sociology, education, anthropology, cultural studies, and psychology.”
    (Alastair Pennycook, Critical Applied Linguistics: A Critical Introduction. Routledge, 2001)

 2. “Applied linguistics began life in the 1950s as a postgraduate qualification. Its initial target, largely language teaching, has always been practical, policy-oriented. Its preparation at postgraduate level has been multidisciplinary and, as in mathematics, there is a continuing tension between pure (general, theoretical) linguistics and applied linguistics. It does not expect its conclusions to be buttressed with certainty (and it is unclear whether theoretical linguistics or any other social science can expect that, either). For applied linguistics, there is no finality: the problems such as how to assess language proficiency, what is the optimum age to begin a second language, what distinguishes native and non-native speakers, how we can treat memory loss, these problems may find local and temporary solutions but the problems recur. No doubt, once again, the same may be said of theoretical linguistics: whether all grammars are fundamentally one grammar; what the relation is between the sign and the referent; answers are partial, never final the problems remain.”

(Alan Davies, An Introduction to Applied Linguistics: From Practice to Theory, 2nd ed. Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2007)

 3. The term ‘applied linguistics’ refers to a broad range of activities which involve solving some language-related problem or addressing some language-related concern.

G. Richard Tucker.(n.d).Applied Linguistic. Retrieved from

4. Applied linguistics is a discipline which explores the relations between theory and practice in language with particular reference to issues of language use. It embraces contexts in which people use and learn languages and is a platform for systematically addressing problems involving the use of language and communication in real-world situations. Applied linguistics draws on a range of disciplines, including linguistics. In consequence, applied linguistics has applications in several areas of language study, including language learning and teaching, the psychology of language processing, discourse analysis, stylistics, corpus analysis, literacy studies and language planning and policies.

Dawn Knight.2009.What is Applied Linguistic. Retrieved from


Paragraph-Based Writing End-of-Course Reflection

            I have learned many things in the Paragraph Based Writing. The most interesting thing I could get from learning in the course was I learned how to make a good paragraph with structural procedures.  Actually, the course helped me to improve my writing because before joining the course, my writing was messy.  Anyway, I still wanted to learn about the other kind of paragraphs that I haven’t known. But, now I am ready to write at essay. I think that I have enough ability to do it.

            During semester, the course contents were delivered well, fun, and enjoyable. To deliver the course contents better, I suggest that we don’t need so often to make a repetition about the lesson which has delivered.

            Talking about the course works, they are easy to do. We just need to have inspiration to make a beautiful paragraph.

           I am assessed in this course by my writing in the blog whether they complete or not, they are involved writing process or not. Beside that, The assessment is based on some paragraph checklist in the “Writing to Communicate” book. To assess students better, it is important to know the real ability from them. Not only assess by final test but also know their ability during learning activity.

           I wish I can get  ‘A’  from this course because I have tried to do the best so far, like I have posted all of the writings which the lecturer asked, made revise, commented the blog’s friends suggested, visited the other’s blog, never absence during semester, always did assignments and submitted them on time.

            Readers, this in the end of course reflection Paragraph Based Writing.

The Library Park (Revise 9)

          The library park is a beautiful place in Semarang State University. It’s large. The fresh and cool air will make us feel comfort and enjoy. If  we sit in the gazebo, it means that we are on the left side of the park. By sitting in the gazebo, we will know there are many trees around, like palm trees and conifer trees. Then, in the central park, we can see what a beautiful fountain. Besides many lamps and colorful flowers surround it. They make the park is more wonderful and amazing. Not far from it, both central library and Rectory building seem so big and grand. On the side of the park, there are foot path and the exit of FBS building. Later, we can find a trademark “UNNES SUTERA” on the right side. Indeed, the library park is the most interesting place in Semarang State University.

Go to English Library (Revise 8)

           In my opinion, English students should go to English library which is on the third floor of building. First, by visiting and reading,the English students can get a lot of information because there are kind of books in library. We can find non fiction books to support our knowledge, like final project and academic books. We can also read fiction books to entertain us, like novel and short story. Second, the English library provides hotspot service. It’s the fastest access, so the English students can download everything from internet easily. Third, the English library has a comfortable place. There is an air conditioning that make the room becomes fresh and cool. Then, the conditions in library are calm, not have many noises. The books on the shelves are neat too. From these reason above, it is obvious that it’s better for the English students to go to the English library.

My Favourite Birthday (Revise 7)

             It was my favourite birthday when I was still a student of Elementary School. At the night, I did homework which was given by my teacher. After doing homework, I was happy and I could sleep tight. I awoke early in the morning and prepared everything that I had to bring to school. Arriving school, I found my friends were still doing homework busily. Then, one of them brought my work. Later, I played games outclasses with others. The bell was ringing. It was time for the teacher to evaluate the homework. Surprisingly, I didn’t find my work on the desk. Then, I asked my friend who brought my work where it was. But, she answered that she had put it on my desk. My teacher punished me. He asked me to explain the lesson in front of the class. He was angry too. So, I explained the lesson like a teacher. At the time, I felt so sad and I was almost crying. Next, my teacher took a piece of paper and asked me to read it. I was surprised because it was my birth certificate. I was very amazed and also thankful to my friends and my teacher.

A Careless Experience (Revise 6)

             2 years ago, when I was in the second grade of Senior High School I had a memorable experience. It was an accounting class. After my teacher finished teaching, he gave an accounting assignment for the students. In that case, I wanted to get a high score. First, I enjoyed studying the materials, and I thought that I could do the assignment by myself. I tried to do it alone, and I didn’t ask to my friends. The next day when my teacher evaluated my work, surprisingly I got many mistakes, and of course bad score. Actually, I was not careful while I was doing the assignment. At once if I counted the data wrongly, the following data would be wrong too. At that time, I was so shocked and sad. Later, I didn’t want to do same mistakes. I tried to be better and studied harder. Then, I could get a perfect score in a mid-term test. Now, I realize that I have to be more careful in doing things, not to make the same mistakes, and try harder to get anything that I want.