Volume 33, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139


Australia’s current attempt to develop a process to evaluate the quality of research (Excellence in Research for Australia – ERA) places a central emphasis on the disciplinary organisation of academic work. This disciplinary focus poses particular problems for Applied Linguistics in Australia. This paper will examine Applied Linguistics in relation to this issue of discipline in two ways. First, it will examine ways in which Applied Linguistics has articulated for itself its disciplinary nature. In most formulations of the focus of Applied Linguistics, the emphasis has not been on identifying a discipline, but rather on identifying an area of focus. Such formulations necessarily cover a very diverse range of research methods, theories, etc. This approach can be seen as one of emphasising diversity and breadth within the field. Other attempts have been made to characterise Applied Linguistics in more discipline-like terms. Such broad characterisations however conceal a high degree of internal diversity. Applied Linguistics does not appear to be a ‘discipline’ but rather an interdisciplinary field of enquiry. Second, the paper will examine some possible implications of the diversity of Applied Linguistics for how it is positioned through the ERA process.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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