Deleuze’s philosophy of difference and its implications for ALL practice

  • Steve Johnson Murdoch University
Keywords: Deleuze, difference, language, learning, ALL practice.


An ongoing challenge facing Academic Language and Learning (ALL) practitioners is to make sense of residual tensions in the field such as the ‘generic vs. specific’ debate, as well as responding to the different teaching and learning situations they encounter in their work. This paper introduces the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze as a philosophical ground for understanding language and learning, in all its diversity. The paper argues that while Deleuze’s ideas provide philosophical support for some ALL practices over others, it does not limit the ways in which ALL practitioners can promote learning, but can rather help to expand these ways. The paper first explores Deleuze’s philosophy of difference and his ideas on language and learning, then discusses the implications of these ideas for ALL practice, including the teaching of ‘generic’ skills, approaches to integrating academic literacy skills in the disciplines, and the delivery of ‘non-discipline specific’ academic writing programs.
How to Cite
JohnsonS. (2014). Deleuze’s philosophy of difference and its implications for ALL practice. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 8(1), A62-A69. Retrieved from