Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran
Dear JALDA reader,
Our journal experiences transformations. In its title “Discourse Analysis” gives way to “Applied Literature.” The reason is that our Department offers undergraduate and graduate courses in both English Literature and English Language Teaching and we believe that our Journal should cover both disciplines. We would also like to put emphasis on the “applied” aspect of the disciplines because we believe that within the context of what we have done so far in our Journal this is a meaningful step we take towards dealing more with the “real world” than before. We had a similar intention from the very beginning of our Journal, but, due to mostly theoretically-orientedness of Applied Linguistics and textually-orientedness of Discourse Analysis, we started to realize that we miss the lion's share of what is called the “real world.” Working within the mainstream findings in Applied Linguistics and Discourse Analysis eventually leads to what we have experienced so far: a contribution to the verification of findings we have received from the authorities in the disciplines. This sounds, within the context of today’s globalization, somehow problematic. Do we really look like one another? Do we have similar problems in language teaching and learning and in studying and understanding texts? Should we read literary texts mostly within the frameworks we have received from sources that are usually culturally far from us because they are “great” sources?
Another problem with mainstream research in Applied Linguistics and Discourse Analysis is that the researcher working in these disciplines stands at the centre of research process and determines, on the basis of his theoretical standpoint, what is right and what is wrong and what should be done and what shouldn’t. Such an attitude has been criticised for some remarkable time especially by those who have an orientation towards the real world rather than scientific theories. In the traditional approach, the relationship between the researcher and the researched is that of subject and object, whereas, to our view, the relationship should be between subject and subject. We believe that research should take us into the unknown aspects of the real world so that we may use the teaching and learning of language and literature for effect-driven purposes in our particular societies instead of contributing to what is known as the mainstream flow of knowledge in its academic sense. The researches we would like to be undertaken should show the peculiarities of the researcher’s context of situation and challenge our already held concepts and presuppositions of what language and literature are and how they may be tackled for real world purposes.
Our standpoint towards worldly phenomena is regarding them as precious and invaluable in themselves. We do not eliminate anything because we would not like to play God with things. Literature, both in its broadest sense referring to ordinary people’s understanding of it and in its narrowest sense referring to specific definitions of it, for instance, is of great significance to us because literature has been part of people’s lives from the early periods of the history of mankind. But the tendency in our Journal is to have literature applied to the solution of the problems we come across in our society. It does not make sense to us to read literature within the framework of different theories, for instance, simply because we are supposed to put on fashionable hats throughout of our career. A theory introduced as magnificent to us but without any sensible touch to our lives should not be a source of restriction for us. We may find solutions to our problems in other areas and places especially with reference to real life situations. The “real world” has priority to us.
We are certainly taking our first steps in this regard, but we are hopeful that our enthusiasm and heartfelt wishes for finding ways towards understanding the complexity of the world around us would be our strong source of motivation and moral support. The contributions from colleagues and researchers from all over the world are our source to shed light to this wonderful world and to see its colourful aspects.
Journal of Applied Linguistics and Applied Literature: Dynamics and Advances (JALDA)
15 July 2018