Pit Corder retired from the chair of Applied Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh in September 1983. For over twenty years he had directed the development of applied linguistics studies there, until the Edinburgh department became the most influential in Britain, and probably in the world. Professor Corder's especial interest lay in error analysis, and in the early 1970s he combined this with a growing interest in second-language acquisition, thereby establishing 'interlanguage' as a theoretical study. His book Error Analysis and Interlanguage (1981) brought together his papers in this field. (A list of other publications by Pit Corder is appended to this article.)
We asked Professor Corder to record a conversation with us in which he would reflect on the implications for language teaching and learning of recent research into second-language acquisition and language transfer, as well as on the status of applied linguistics in the mid- 1980s. This he kindly agreed to do, in a two-hour conversation with the Editor and Dick Allwright, lecturer in applied linguistics at the University of Lancaster, in late May 1985. What follows is taken from a recording made at the time. A/though it is incomplete, we believe that it gives the flavour of the discussion, and of Professor Corder's views.