African 804: Critical Applied Linguistics (CALx) Working Group

Designed for African Cultural Studies and Second Language Acquisition graduate students who are advisees of Dr. Thompson. Collaborative exploration and discussion of current research and literature on critical approaches to applied linguistics (CALx), including critical discourse analysis (CDA), mostly in African contexts. Participants will develop a large-scale research project (QP or doctoral dissertation), conduct a review of current research, and present work in progress to receive critical feedback from other class participants.  May be repeated for credit. S/U grading.


This is a working group course (similar to a “lab” in other fields). Students will meet the 3 credits of the course by spending a total of 135 hours on learning activities and working with the instructor. This includes scheduled meeting times and additional time spent on reading, writing, and critiquing others’ work.


Graduate student standing and instructor permission.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this course will:

  • understand and be able to explain what critical applied linguistics and critical discourse analysis are
  • be familiar with the work of key theorists in critical applied linguistics and critical discourse analysis
  • apply critical applied linguistics approaches to their own research by analyzing contextualized language use
  • critique published and draft work in the field of critical applied linguistics
  • develop a consistent writing practice
  • justify decisions about how to selectively incorporate constructive criticism from colleagues
  • develop skills in leading discussion and presenting research to academic audiences
  • develop a large-scale research project (QP or doctoral dissertation)
  • author a chapter or article-length piece of academic work