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As the shape of the new global social order becomes clearer, so too does the need for a critical awareness of language as part of language education. I discuss, with a focus on discourse, several key features of late modern society which help make the case for critical awareness of discourse: the relationship between discourse, knowledge and social change in our 'information' or 'knowledge-based' society; what Smith (1990) has called the 'textually-mediated' nature of contemporary social life;doi:10.1080/09658419908667119 fatcat:apol2gugz5ajldbb2vnojdwco4