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Applied linguistics is an interdisciplinary academic field that identifies, investigates, and provides solutions to real-life problems related to language. Other disciplines that influenced its development include anthropology, education, communication, psychology, and sociology, but the field of theoretical linguistics has been the dominant influence. Applied linguists study a range of issues that affect people’s lives, for example, how language can function as cultural capital (a social resource) for people, how it often serves as a reason for discrimination in society, or how the brain processes language. The core of the field, though, is how humans can best teach and learn languages.

Because language learning is a central concern in the field, applied linguistics is closely affiliated with Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL/TESOL), Teaching English ...

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