Abstract：Critical discourse analysis ( CDA),which has given discourse studies a critical dimension,has often been under criticism since its emergence .The criticism and the heated debates that have resulted from it may have some important implications for discourse analysis and related studies .By reflecting on the criticism and some issues that have been continuously debated,we can find out not only the root causes for the criticism of CDA,but also achieve a better understanding of the changes and tendencies of discourse analysis . In recent decades,as discourse analysis has been moving to more of a research focus on″language in use″rather than on″language as text,″the central task of discourse analysis is shifting from description to interpretation .It is just the rich potential possibilities of interpretation that has provided a far more extensive space for various approaches,including CDA,to studying discourse . With the shift of the research focus,many more variables are to be involved in the analysis and some of them seem to be very difficult to deal with because they are uncertain and indeterminate in nature .As any interpretation of a text will naturally relate it to a context,many contextual factors must be taken intoconsideration and contextual analysis plays a very important role .Therefore,discourse analysts are faced with great challenges to developing procedures and methodologies other than those of linguistics for adequately and effectively analyzing contexts . Discourse analysis is no longer just for understanding language and its use for its own sake . As it is more concerned with the social,cultural,political,and economic environments in which language plays an important role,discourse analysis will naturally focus more on″language in use,″particularly the interrelatedness of text and context .Many scholars,including those of CDA,are no longer satisfied with their traditional task of explaining the world,for they hope more and more that their academic studies could initiate or facilitate social reforms and help change the world . Many developments of discourse analysis in the recent decades have to be examined in the postmodern context of shifting disciplinary knowledge,changing philosophical premises and a politicization of the work of academics .What has to be realized is that discourse analysis is no longer the field of linguists and applied linguists .Many scholars from other disciplines are increasingly interested in discourse analysis,and their approaches,frameworks,procedures and methodologies as well as their motivations are different fromeach other .Discourse analysis nowis already a field of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary inquiry,in which different research paradigms co-exist as well as conflict and compete with one another .A proper understanding of this complexity of the situations in the field seems to be very important to discourse analysts today .