⬅ Back to Agenda

Building Up a Responsible Applied Linguistics Community

Masaki Oda
Tamagawa University


Since its emergence nearly half a century ago, applied linguistics has developed an academic discipline which covers a wide range of issues concerning language and communication. As it is recently regarded as a discipline to solve problems facing language users, it has to collaborate with other various academic disciplines including but not limited to linguistics, with an infinite possibility of combinations. The role of applied linguists is increasingly more important as we are expected to help our society. However, we still need some more work to get ready.

I will present cases from debates over a proposal to reform university entrance examinations by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) which had taken place for two years until the Ministry gave up on implementation in November 2019, in order to illustrate the relationship among language policies in education, media discourse, a flow of information, and stakeholders’ beliefs. A special attention will be paid on how proposed reform was reported on newspapers, and how they affected on the stakeholders’ beliefs when they had to make decisions. From the analysis, it was found that the stakeholders’ repeated exposures to limited information may have prevented them from making right decisions.

Following the above analysis, I will attempt to come up with a list of options which applied linguistics community, including ourselves, can try to help the stakeholders above make right decisions to solve the problems they are facing, which in turn would also help the society recognize the significance applied linguistics.


Masaki Oda is Executive Director for Higher Education at Tamagawa University/Academy, and Professor of Applied Linguistics at Tamagawa University where he is also a founding director of the Center for English as a Lingua Franca. His academic interests include sociopolitical aspects of language education, language program managements, media discourse and learner beliefs. He has a Ph.D. from Georgetown University. He is an active presenter in international conferences including AILA, TESOL, AsiaTEFL. Currently he is the President of the Japan Association of College English Teachers (JACET, an AILA affiliate) and Vice President for Membership of AsiaTEFL.

International Joint Conference of APLX, ETRA40, and TESPA 2023