Summary and Info
Applied Linguistics is one in a series of books by OUP, edited by H. Widdowson, geared to introduce new readers to the more complex and formal study of language use. Although considered a natural phenomenon, for educational purposes language use requires certain factors to be reviewed. These include: language skills; dialect or standard forms; new lexis; English as a lingua franca; and methodology.
In order to answer the many questions arising from these issues, facts about language use must be investigated and analyzed. Applied Linguistics approaches this task by studying the relation of knowledge about language to decision making in the real world (p. 5). Specific areas include: language and education; language work and law; and language, information and effect.
Since all these areas cannot be covered in one book, Cook has endeavored to select key themes which would give a comprehensive overview of the main issues regarding applied linguistics. The heart of the book, referred to as the 'Survey', offeres a concise and challenging summary of the most important features of applied linguistics. Those captivated by a specific subject will apprechate the Readings and References sections. Chapter. four offers an overview of ELT history by briefly describing various approaches to TEFL from grammar translation to communicative language teaching, and how they vary. The shift of emphasis from the means to the ends of language learning has had far-reading consequences at both the macro level of syllabus and curriculum design and the micro level of classroom activity (p. 31), such as the development of ESP (macro) and task-based instruction (micro).
Cook has combined a medium level of academic language with everyday, practical examples of life at home and school which most EFL/ESL teachers can understand and relate to. For the real novice, he has kindly included a glossary of terms at the back. I can highly recommend Applied Linguistics to teachers who have little or no background knowledge in applied linguistics, as ell as to those interested in pursuing speciic issues in this field.
J. Salvisberg, Bern, Switzerland
More About the Author
Guy W. D. Cook (born 10 October 1951) is an applied linguist. He is currently Professor of Language in Education at King's College London in the UK and is also Chair of The British Association for Applied Linguistics for the period 2009-2012. He teaches and writes about English language teaching, literary stylistics, discourse analysis, advertising, and the language of food politics.
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