Applied Linguistics as Problem-solving
Applied linguistics try to offer solutions to real-world problems in which language is a central issue (Brumfit, 1991:46). Those problems are as the following.
An EFL teacher wonders why groups of learners sharing the same L1 regularly make particular mistakes that learners from other L1 backgrounds do not.
An ADV copy writer searches for effective use of language to target particular social group to sell a product.
A mother tongue teacher needs to know what potential employers consider important on job world. Etc.
People working in different professional areas have sought answers to significant problems by investigating how language is involved in their branch of human activity. Thus, even more professionals will have the opportunity to become applied linguists.
Linguistic and Applied Linguistic: Hierarchy or Partnership?
Applied linguistics is a problem-driven disciplines rather than a theory-driven one. The community of applied linguistics has characterized itself in the historiography of the disciplines. Then, either linguistics or applied linguistic has each responsibility in both field studies. Apply linguistic cannot be said as the applying of the linguistic, because both side of linguistic and applied linguistic relationship ought to be accountable to and in regular dialogue with each other with regard to theories as a practice.
The responsibilities of linguist and applied linguist are as the following.
To build theories of language that are testable
To offer models
Not to misrepresent theories, descriptions, and models
Not to apply theories, description, and models to ill-suited purposes for which they were never intended
To provide interface between linguist and practitioner
To adopt critical position vis-à-vis the work of their peers
To exchange experience with front-end practitioners
Theory in Applied Linguistics
The theory of applied linguistic cannot be said as the real theory, because it is not allegiance to the theories but more is more commitment to a discourse. This discourse is used as the communication of varied position among peers using a shared language that enables us to find common ground with a position taken by other already reported and established, and to recognize when new ground is being ground. Encountering problems and adopting a convincing stance towards them is what defines applied linguistic as discipline.
Approaching Problem in an Applied Linguistic Way
The applied linguistic use its discipline to solve the problem in language teaching learning and let the language plays or can play a major role, to review what it is that linguists do, and to consider whether and how their discipline can be applied, giving as many as possible practical examples of applications.
The solving problem of language is not limited in grammar or the structure of the language, but it is also seen in many aspects such a pragmatic, phonology, morphology, psycholinguistic and other branch studies of language. Applied linguistic try to solve problem in the target, not make dissolved problem. There are pathways in applied linguistics to solve the problem in language, such as:
1. Identifying and defining problems.
2. Contextualizing those problems within language study and developing a theoretical stance.
3. Harnessing appropriate resources for the exploration of possible solutions.
4. Evaluating the proposed solutions.
So, the applied linguistic become one of the solution in solving problem. Applied linguistic try to consider the description of sounds, words, and grammars, the modeling how human communicate and create texts, how the mind processes language, and theories of what language is and how those theories shape the perception in running time and action as language practitioners. It considers two quite different language teaching problems and how to may be solved using applied linguistics. The students can explore themselves by making some combination between applied linguistics and English language teaching.