Introduction: The advocacy turn of educational linguistics

Martha Bigelow, Johanna Ennser-Kananen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript


The papers in this volume collectively show the many ways in which education and linguistics intersect. The naming and definition of educational linguistics as a field is credited largely to Bernard Spolsky in the 1970s (Spolsky 1974, 1978) out of recognition of the significance of language-related issues in education and out of dissatisfaction with efforts to define applied linguistics. Hult (2010) traces the roots of the field back further: as far as 1948, in a journal entitled Language Learning: A Quarterly Journal of Applied Linguistics. Since then, many scholars identify educational linguistics as their disciplinary home, and there are programs in educational linguistics at major universities in the United States (e.g., Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, University of New Mexico, Monterey Institute of International Studies). Scholars from the University of Pennsylvania, such as Dell Hymes, Nessa Wolfson, Teresa Pica, and Nancy Hornberger, have been crucial to shaping and championing educational linguistics as a field in its own right, while negotiating spaces for educational linguistics in journals and professional associations that identify with the broader field of applied linguistics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Educational Linguistics
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781317754466
ISBN (Print)9780415531306
StatePublished - Aug 13 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.


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