IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE professor unveils blue plaque for influential applied linguist

25 February 2022

One of the first blue plaques for an applied linguist in the UK has been unveiled by Professor Zhu Hua (IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society) noting the birthplace of Pit Corder.

Group of people stood in front of Pit Corder blue plaque

Pit Corder was born on Bootham Terrace in York (UK) and is considered as having significantly developed the field of applied linguistics in the UK and worldwide.

Corder was the founding Chair of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), a professional association for people interested in language and applied linguistics. IOE's Centre for Applied Linguistics is an institutional member of BAAL and Professor Zhu Hua is the current BAAL Chair.

The plaque was approved by the York Civic Trust following a campaign by York St John University students to recognise Corder’s birthplace and distinguished career.

After unveiling the plaque, Professor Zhu Hua spoke about Pit Corder and his legacy, highlighting the influence of this work on the broad field of applied linguistics today, an area that goes beyond the classroom to look at multilingual and intercultural workplaces, migration, new media, different professional contexts, and ideology among many topics.

Professor Zhu Hua said: "It was a truly humbling experience to be part of the celebration event and to reflect on how the profession of applied linguistics has developed over the last five decades. Our Centre for Applied Linguistics and linguists across the world have much to thank Pit for. His work has been influential for all of us and in addition to his many achievements, he was also the supervisor of our Emeritus Professor Henry Widdowson, the first Chair of Applied Linguistics in IOE."