1st Edition

Neoliberalism and Applied Linguistics

By David Block, John Gray, Marnie Holborow Copyright 2012
    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores neoliberalism – a view of the world that puts the market at its centre- from the perspective of applied linguistics.

    Neoliberalism and Applied Linguistics argues that while applied linguistics has become more interdisciplinary in orientation, it has ignored or downplayed the role of political economy, namely the way in which social, political and economic factors relate to one another within the context of a capitalist economy. The authors take the view that engagement with political economy is central to any fully rounded analysis of language and language-related issues in the world today and their collaboration in this volume represents an initial attempt to redress what they perceive to be an imbalance in the field.

    The book begins with a discussion of neoliberalism and an analysis of the ways in which neoliberal ideology impacts on language. This is followed by a discussion of how globalization and identity have been conceptualised in applied linguistics in ways which have ignored the political centrality of class – a concept which the authors see as integral to their perspective. The book concludes with an analysis of the ways in which neoliberal ideology plays out in two key areas of applied linguistics - language teaching and language teacher education.

    Neoliberalism and Applied Linguistics is essential reading for advanced undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers in applied linguistics.

    1.Introduction David Block, John Gray and Marnie Holborow 2. What is Neoliberalism? Discourse, Ideology and the Real World Marnie Holborow 3. Neoliberal Keywords and the Contradictions of an Ideology Marnie Holborow 4. Economizing Globalisation and Identity in Applied Linguistics in Neoliberal Times David Block 5. Neoliberalism, Celebrity and ‘Aspirational Content’ in English Language Teaching Textbooks for the Global Market John Gray 6. The Marketisation of Language Teacher Education and Neoliberalism: Characteristics, Consequences and Future Prospects John Gray and David Block


    David Block is Professor of Language in Education in the Department of Learning, Curriculum and Culture at the Institute of Education, University of London.

    John Gray is Senior Lecturer in TESOL Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. 

    Marnie Holborow is Lecturer in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies at Dublin City University.

    'In this timely and thought-provoking book, Block, Gray and Holborow provide a compelling argument for social and applied linguists to consider more closely questions of political economy, contemporary capitalism and social class. A must read that will inspire and stimulate new ways of researching language under globalization.'

    Adam Jaworski, Cardiff University, UK

    'This timely book sets out to explore in considerable detail the material and ideological patterns dominant in Applied Linguistics, and often taken on board as natural, practical and compelling answers to equally evident issues and problems in the field. It shows how Applied Linguistics has slowly but surely changed from a humanist science to an industry of considerable size competing in a globalized market. It's an argument that will be welcomed by many scholars and practitioners, who often feel that something isn't really right but lack the instruments to decode their discomfort.'

    Jan Blommaert, Tilburg University, The Netherlands