2.4.1 Domains of Critical Applied Linguistics
CAL consists of many critical domains such as critical discourse analysis, critical language awareness, critical pedagogy, critical translation, critical literacy, etc. In the following sections these domains will be discussed in detail.
188.8.131.52 Critical discourse analysis and critical literacy
One of the most often ignored area in applied linguistics is critical literacy. The most important reason for this ignorance is the narrowness of scope that has often confined applied linguistics to questions of second language education and cognitive processes that has left little space for understanding of critical theories and practices of literacy (Pennycook, 2001).
Critical discourse analysis and critical literacy are sometimes combined under the rubric of critical language awareness, since the aim of this work is empowering learners by providing them with critical analytical framework to assist them reflect on their own language experiences and practices and the language practices of others in the institutions of which they are a part and in the wider society within which they live (Clark & Ivanic, 1997). Wodak (2006) argues that critical discourse analysis deals with following questions: How does the naturalization of ideology come about? Which discursive strategies legitimate control or ‘naturalize’ the social order? How power is linguistically expressed? How are consensus, acceptance and legitimacy of dominance manufactured? Who has access to which instruments of power and control?
According to Luke (1997), critical approaches to literacy reshape literacy education in the interests of marginalized groups of learners who have been excluded from access to the discourses and texts of dominant economies and cultures. Giroux and others (for example, Cook-Gumperz, 1986; Freire & Macedo, 1986; rockhill, 1987; Mclaren, 1988) argue that literacy is not acquisition of fixed body of cultural knowledge, but must be based on a view of knowledge as socially constructed, and thus as an ideological process. In this view, by helping students to decode the ideological dimensions of texts, social practices and cultural forms, critical literacy aims to develop a critical citizenry capable of analyzing and challenging the oppressive characteristics of society.
Critical discourse analysis is going to provide tools for critical analysis of texts in contexts. Kress (1990) argues that critical discourse analysis has the larger political aim of putting the forms of texts, the processes of production of texts, and the process of the reading, together with the structures of power that have given rise to them, into crisis. Van Dijk (1993) explains that the main goal of critical discourse analysis is focus on the role of discourse in the production or reproduction and challenge of dominance. Whether as a kind of research, or as a kind of pedagogy, critical discourse analysis and critical literacy are involved in questions of power and of change.
184.108.40.206 Critical approaches to translation
Critical approaches to translation as another domain of textual analysis are relevant to critical applied linguistic. The main focus of such approaches is not on issues such as mistranslation or good or bad translation, but rather on the politics of translation, the ways in which translation and interpretation are related to issues such as class, gender, difference, ideology, and social context (Pennycook, 2001). So, critical approaches to translation unveil the ideological underpinnings of translation. Venuti (1997) believes that translation is a political activity, and rights of some local cultures in this process are ignored. So an approach to translation based on ethics of differences is necessary to give more attention to linguistic and cultural differences. Niranjana (1991) argues that translation as a practice shapes, and takes shape within the asymmetrical relations of power that operate under colonialism.
220.127.116.11 Critical approaches to language education
Language teaching has always been dealt with as a principal concern of applied linguistics. Pennycook (1999) determined three main features that define critical work in language teaching: domain of interest, transformative pedagogy, and self-reflexive stance on critical theory.
Domain of interest:
The first important feature of critical work is the domain of interest. This domain attempts to link the micro relations of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) with wider social and political relations. So, cultural, political, or physical domains in which language teaching takes place must be dealt with critically. Generally, issues such as race, gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity and representation of Otherness are the main concerns of critical work in which relations of power and inequality, in terms of both social or structural inequality and the cultural or ideological frameworks which support such inequality, can be seen (Pennycook, 1999). In this domain, also, inequalities based on the structures of the native speaker and non-native speaker are dealt with.
If one component of critical approaches to TESOL is a focus on the inequitable contexts in which language education takes place, the second component is a pedagogical focus on changing these conditions. Thus, the second crucial element of a critical approach to TESOL is the inclusion of a means of transformation. Fairclough (1992) have developed the notion of critical language awareness as an essential element of social change. It is like Freire’ (1970) notion of conscientization which forms the cornerstone of his work on critical literacy. Pennycook (1999) argues that having a critical approach to TESOL does not include putting a critical element into a classroom, but rather involves an attitude, a way of thinking and teaching. And change in students is not supposed to be based on predetermined results of mastery but about the unpredictable effects of a changed relationship to our histories and desires. In a critical work, there must be a relationship between theory and practice which is referred to praxis. It is understood as the mutually constitutive roles of theory grounded in practice and practice grounded in theory (Pennycook, 1999). Praxis is a way of thinking about critical work that does not divide theory and practice into different categories, but sees them as always dependent to each other.
Self-reflexive stance on critical theory:
Critical pedagogy in TESOL must not be become a static body of knowledge but rather must always be open to question. There must be space for critical work that is critical of itself. Such a self-criticism is a crucial element of critical work (Pennycook, 1999). Critical approaches must retain a constant skepticism, a constant questioning about the types of knowledge, theory, practice or praxis theory they operate with, an understanding that, as Spivak (1993) suggests, the notion of critical also needs to imply an awareness of the limits of knowing. Canagaragah (1996) has argued that critical research needs not only a focus on a critical domain, but also a critical approach to the way it gets written up.
Critical applied linguistic work in language teaching may determine its central in terest as an attempt to relate aspects of language education to a broader critical analysis of social relations. Class and marginality are among the main concerns of critical language education, because certain ways of teaching English may lead to reproduction or transformation of class-based inequality, and make some students marginalized in the classroom (pennycook, 2001). Norton (1995, 2000) discusses ways in which gender, power, and inequality are interlinked in the process of language learning. Critical analysis of the interests and ideologies underlying the construction and interpretation of textbooks were dealt with by Sunderland (1994) and Dendrinos (1992). Benesch (1996) has engaged in critical analysis of curriculum design and needs analysis. Sangguinetti (1992), schenke (1991, 1996), and others has discussed various concerns in feminist pedagogy in English language teaching. They believed that feminism is not just one social issue in ESL, but a way thinking, a way of teaching, and most importantly a way of learning. Walsh (1991) discussed that critical bilingualism is not just the ability to speak two languages, but one must be conscious of sociocultural, political, and ideological contexts in which languages and therefore the speakers are positioned.
According to pennycook (1999), if a critical practice is considered in TESOL, following important pedagogical points will appear:
1. Need to a transformative dimension as well as a critically analytic one is required.
2. Critical approach to TESOL is not reducible to traditional approaches, methods, or techniques commonly understood within TESOL.
3. Critical approach to TESOL should not be confused with critical thinking. Critical thinking is an apolitical approach to develop a questioning attitude in students while critical approach to TESOL takes a political understanding toward the location of pedagogy for transformation through development of a new way of teaching.
4. If questions of power and difference are supposed to be dealt with in critical approach, both theoretical and pedagogical means of doing so are needed.
5. Because of the complexity of social, cultural, and pedagogical relations, critical approach to TESOL needs to work at multiple levels, including an understanding of critical domain, transformative pedagogy, and pedagogy of engagement.
6. Critical approaches to TESOL need forms of critical theory that can help inform thinking about social structures, knowledge, politics, and the individual or language.
18.104.22.168 Critical language testing
In this view, it is believed that tests have a strong power and can lead to high-stakes decisions and consequences about individuals and groups. According to Shohamy (2001), there is evidence that tests are often introduced by those in authority as disciplinary tools often in covert ways for the purpose of manipulating educational systems and for imposing the agendas of those in authority. Thus, such uses of tests as instruments of power (Bourdieu, 1991; Tollefson, 1995) violate fundamental values and principles of democratic practices. So, testers in recent years have begun to focus on uses, impact and consequences of tests and their roles in educational, social, political, and economic contexts. This emphasis is different from traditional approaches in which the task of testers would end at the point when psychometrically sound results have been satisfactory achieved. Shohamy (2000) argues that use-oriented testing, on the other hand, is concerned with the uses tests in their relations to curriculum, ethicality, social class, politics, and knowledge, and their impact on individuals and educational systems. Shohamy (2001) asserted that critical language tasting as a kind of democratic assessment is the best alternative to traditional language testing methods. She believes that application of critical language testing]]>
2.4.1 Domains of Critical Applied Linguistics