View Chapters

Book: Applied Linguistics

Chapter: 2. Competing paradigms in the history of applied linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.21654


This chapter presents the development of two different traditions within applied linguistics. The first, older tradition takes a selection of theoretical notions as its starting point in approaching applied issues, and a second, newer tradition takes language or communication problems as its starting point. This wider approach invites considering applied linguistics as an emerging social science of its own. As this chapter shows, our historical development has implied a strong, but only partial move from the first towards the second of these two approaches. The current situation within applied linguistics is thus characterized more by tension, struggle and confusion than by consensus on any one approach.

Chapter Contributors

  • Lars Sigfred Evensen ( - book-auth-483) 'Norwegian University of Science and Technology'