BAAL statement on equality, diversity and inclusion within applied linguistics

BAAL is committed to working towards a fair and just society, with a particular interest in the role of language(s), and language use, in achieving this. As an association, we welcome and value participation from all minoritised groups and individuals with a scholarly interest in applied linguistics. As the largest applied linguistics association in the UK, we aim to provide a platform for a diversity of voices, and for our events to be safe and open spaces in which everyone can contribute. We understand, given the colonial origins of our discipline and the ways in which participation continues to be structured along gendered, ethnic, ableist, linguistic and other lines, that not everyone has an equal chance to be heard. We therefore recognise the need not only to support our members and create equal opportunities, but to ‘decentre’ the field of applied linguistics, to reposition the canon of scholarly research to include marginalised theories and experiences. We welcome new ideas and perspectives which diversify, enrich and challenge the field, including research into minority languages, sign languages, multilingualism, discrimination, language rights and linguistic citizenship. We are committed to learning from others about how to get better at achieving this.

BAAL has a particular role to play in making visible the importance of language(s) and language use in creating a just society. Language is both the means by which society is governed and existing social hierarchies are maintained but also the means by which people express identities, create communities and challenge unequal and divisive relations of power. Multilingualism in particular is an important resource, enabling the expression of individual voice and agency and facilitating engagement across difference, as well as preserving the linguistic and cultural heritage of minority and indigenous communities. BAAL has launched and will continue initiatives to make multilingualism visible in the association. Through our research and teaching, members of BAAL and our Special Interest Groups work towards a better understanding of language use, in all its forms, and of its key role in achieving social justice.

BAAL is committed to ongoing discussions about how we can address issues of diversity and inclusion both within the organization and the field of Applied Linguistic more broadly. We would be very happy to hear from anyone working in this area on how we can meet this goal. If you’d like to contact the Executive Committee to discuss this further, please get in touch with Caroline Tagg ( in the first instance.

The BAAL Executive Committee.