Monday, 29 April 2013

Doing Applied Linguistics

A Guide for Students
Nicholas Groom and Jeanette Littlemore, 2011
(April 2013)

In which I announce a new project.
I know I’ve harped on about the lack of incentives for ALTs to pursue professional development before. I still stand by that, but the fact of the matter is I need to be pushing on for my own motivation and sanity, quite apart from improving how well I can teach my students. So I’m doing a little course.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to be spamming this place with countless papers and textbooks, as much as anything because I only write here about books I’ve read from cover to cover and you never really do that with academic material. However, this blogging experiment has worked pretty well regarding making me think about things, and clarifying those thoughts, and it seems like a substantial dose of that wouldn’t go amiss when studying.

So it is with absolutely no fanfare that I announce Shield This Increase, wherein I shall be occasionally putting up thoughts and ideas more specifically focused on Applied Linguistics. I’m not expecting you to all flock over there in droves, if only because that would imply there were droves of you to begin with. In fact the only reason I’m mentioning it here is because I actually did read this book from cover to cover and rules is rules. More specific thoughts on it are available here.

So that’s two young kids, increased responsibility at work (finally), and a distance learning course. What could possibly go wrong?


  1. good for you! i did a young learners extension course when i started this new job. unfortunately what i learnt was that the things i should expect in a decent job - support, a fair speed of learning, sense of community - are not in the job description. never mind at least i know

    1. Thank you. In all honesty I'm not holding out much hope for it impacting on my day-to-day job, it's far more for my own interests and sanity. There's a vague hope of enhancing my CV further down the line, but the immediate aim is just to keep the wheels turning and rust-free.

    2. I have some ex-colleagues who did applied linguistics, one was my boss and is writing a book about grammar (real grammarhead - best teacher ive ever seen) and the other is still teaching a bit, translating professionally and Im sure will move up to higher things when she actually finishes it. Well if you do go back to England you are eligible to apply for a managers job at an ESL school anyroad. Id do it just cos Im a bit of a language nerd though to be honest!!!

    3. Yeah, the last of those. Though I'm quickly realising that there's a bit of a difference between an enthusiastic amateur and the level of rigour expected academically. Lots of new vocab/jargon to get comfortable with, at the very least.

  2. "I need to be pushing on for my own motivation and sanity"

    I usually don't believe anyone who says their doing anything for another person with no thought of themselves. That's bullshit. That act would make you feel good about yourself so you did it for a reason admitted or not.

    You should be pushing yourself for you and the side effect will carry over to the teaching or other but the act itself should and usually is for self.

    I know I'm not hitting your main thrust but...I never really do ;)

    1. Actually man, this time you're pretty much on the mark. That really is the main point, to my mind at least. I know we've been a little at cross-purposes recently but it's reassuring to know there's someone else who gets it.