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Summary

  • G. Richard Tucker

Abstract

During the past decade, since the inception of the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, work in the field has been exciting, socially relevant, and expanding. This trend will likely continue throughout the 1990s and into the 21st Century. A variety of factors—attitudinal, demographic, economic, and sociological to mention but a few—will converge and lend urgency to the need for language educators to broaden their work. From a vantage point at the Center for Applied Linguistics, I have been repeatedly amazed during the past several years at the increasing attention focused on language issues—notice, for example, the concern with the workplace literacy crisis, the under-representation of language minority individuals in science and mathematics education and in technical fields; the continuing monolinguality of the American population, and with the credibility of young children as witnesses in sexual abuse trials. A discussion of the importance of language and literacy issues may be found today in such formerly unlikely sources as the newest book by the renowned management consultant Peter Drucker (1989). Indeed, during the past 18 months five major reports have appeared—Science for All Americans (American Association for the Advancement of Science 1989), Everybody Counts (National Research Council 1989), Workforce 2000 (Johnston 1987), Jump Start (Chisman 1989), and Turning Points (Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development 1989)—each of which presents and discusses in vivid detail the looming/educational/workplace crisis.

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  • G. Richard Tucker

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