The Annual Review of Applied Linguistics is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and we are happy to report that applied linguistics is still with us. We also believe that the field of applied linguistics is here to stay, much as psychology and English literature are disciplinary fixtures after having developed in the early 20th century. The development of a disciplinary field, however, is a messy undertaking, typically driven by needs and purposes that extend beyond individual goals or planned group purposes. In the case of applied linguistics, its continued development can only be channeled and planned indirectly. Moreover, full disciplinary acceptance will only occur to the extent that applied linguistics responds to wider societal needs and its expertise is valued by people beyond the professional field. Applied linguistics, as an inter-disciplinary field, faces the additional challenge of trying to cohere around a set of central notions with which a diverse group of practitioners can identify. So, while some may want an orderly blueprint for disciplinary development and acceptance, and some practitioners may generate discussions around such orderly expectations, none is likely to arise. At the same time, certain events and institutional structures help to shape and form the discipline without recourse to any neat blueprint. Examples include the establishment of the English Language Institute at the University of Michigan in 1941, the establishment of the Department of Applied Linguistics at Edinburgh in 1956, the establishment of the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC in 1959, the formation of the TESOL organization in 1966, and the formation of the American Association for Applied Linguistics in 1977.