Dr. Robert B. Kaplan


As long as health permits, retirement for Robert B. Kaplan means keeping busy.  He has been lucky and enjoys good health.  In 1998–99, Bob had the opportunity to serve as Visiting Distinguished Professor of Applied Linguistics at Meikai University in Japan.  He and a colleague founded a journal—Current Issues in Language Planning—and developed a series of books describing language planning activities in some 27 states in Asia, Africs, Europe, and Latin America.  In addition, they co-authored two other books—Language Planning from Practice to Theory and Language and Language-in-Education Planning in the Pacific Basin.  On his own, Bob had the opportunity to edit the Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics and, more recently, the second edition of that volume.  A number of local academic institutions have done Bob the honor of inviting him to lecture to their students.

Robert B. Kaplan is Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Southern California.  He was the founding editor of the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics and has served as an editor of the applied linguistics entries for both the first and second editions of the International Encyclopedia of Linguistics.  In addition, he is founding co-editor (with Richard B. Baldauf, Jr.) of Current Issues in Language Planning.  He has authored or edited some 50 books, more than 165 articles in scholarly journals and as chapters in books, and more than 90 book reviews and other more ephemeral pieces in various newsletters, as well as 10 special reports to government and to various institutions in the U.S. and elsewhere.  Over a relatively long career, he has presented more than 200 talks, papers, and invited plenary addresses at national and international conferences.  He has served as President of NAFSA (1983–84), TESOL (1989–90), and AAAL (1993–94).

Bob’s wife, Audrey, passed away on the 4th of July 2015, she is survived by the couple’s three children and four grandchildren. However, Bob keeps busy, saying he has “published a bit more, though no new books, the number of articles has grown to 195.”

“Keeping busy is the secret to a successful retirement.”  Robert B. Kaplan, 2009