The papers in this volume, selected through peer-review from the presentations at the 2002 annual conference of the British Association for Applied Linguistics in Cardiff, demonstrate the strides applied linguists have taken, in 'pure' or 'impure' form, since the classic volume of Corder's Introducing Applied Linguistics speculated about the discipline's possible frontiers. Foundational questions of the following kind form the backbone of the volume: 'Is applied linguistics applied enough?'; 'Can applied linguists go where no linguists have been before?'; 'Do applied linguists belong to one community of practice or do they constitute a community of communities?'; 'On a cost-benefit scale, how can applied linguists gain communality across interdisciplinary initiatives while not losing their disciplinary autonomy?'. With a judicious combination of empirical, theoretical and policy-oriented studies, the volume takes a close, hard look at the present and future challenges.
This is summed up in a call to arms for applied linguistics to become more practically relevant and reflexively grounded not only in addressing real world problems, but also in doing so collaboratively in a sustained way with practitioners involved. Srikant Sarangi is Director of the Communication Research Centre, Centre for Language and Communication at Cardiff University. Theo van Leeuwen is based at the Centre for Language and Communication, Cardiff University.