Sunday, September 28, 2008

Keywords for Prof. Alastair Pennycook's Critical Applied Linguistics #1

Keywords for Prof. Alastair Pennycook's Critical Applied Linguistics

The following articles are about keywords and their brief explanations that would hopefully helpful for reading Prof. Alastair Pennycook's Critical Applied Linguistics published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates in 2001 (Go to / Google Book Search).

Prof. Alastair Pennycook is a professor at University of Technology Sydney. CV is here:

Critical Applied Linguistics achieves what Pennycook himself claims on page 27 of the book: (1) it is written in a way that is as accessible as possible; (2) it is in itself a "critical theory that is always prepared to trun a critical eye on itself"; and (3) it considers the importance of political and educational practice.

For me, this book is one of the very best books I've read in recent years. The reading experience was a sheer joy, made me "think" not just accept given views, and also made me realize again that we need to be theoretical in order to be practical.

He opened a new horizon which should be explored by multitude of researchers and practitioners. I highly recommend this book to those who think and act in this globalized world for language teaching. The book is going to be one of my textbooks in Graduate School of Education, Hiroshima University, Japan.

I noticed, however, that many students find this book not as accessible as I claim, because they do not share knowledge Pennycook assumes for his readers. This is why, in the following articles of this blog, I provided a list of keywords for the book that should be understood preferably before you read the book (or as you read it).

Given the spirit of the web cooperation, I use open online resources as much as possible. I understand that the use of the web resources (Wikipedia in particular) for academic purposes is deemed controversial by some, but I see more good than harm, at least as long as we keep a critical stance and use the resources as a first step to knowledge, not as the ultimate authority. I regard this collection of the web resources as a small attempt to establish a common world that promotes academic communication around the globe.

All resources are materials written in English except for the information on the Japanese translation. Japanese readers may find it useful to take a look at Japanese Wikipedia after they go and read English Wikipedia.

The keywords are arranged in the following framework.

1 Basic Background Knowledge
2 Key Background Knowledge
3 Key Concepts 


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