Applied linguistics makes use of analytical tools from many not only language-related disciplines. The purpose of the research was to examine how the methodological choices of analysis are driven by the nature of the object of analysis itself. The ‘hate speech’ phenomenon is particularly interesting for this, due to its complexity which is reflected in a series of definitions, none of which really grasps completely its multifaceted nature. Indeed, one needs to use a variety of analytical tools originating from different social and human disciplines to support and integrate an ‘applied linguistics’ approach. Current ‘hate speech’ research focuses mainly on a lexical-semantic level (verbal communication), adding in some cases also visual aspects (visual communication), but neglecting body language (non-verbal communication) and the use of the voice (paraverbal communication). The same restricted understanding of hate speech emerged from the analysis of legal texts and their language use talking about hate crime and hate speech. The empirical case studies presented here stem from a two-year European project named RADAR - Regulating AntiDiscrimination and AntiRacism (JUST/2013/FRAC/AG/6271) and include the analysis of two advertising images from the UK and one talk show extract from Italy. Given their different communicational configuration, the materials needed to be analyzed by means of different tools ranging, in our case, from Language Critique (Sprachkritik), Critical Discourse Analysis, Ethnomethodology, Ethnographic Conversation Analysis, Psychology of Color and Forms. The RADAR project advocates for a deeper understanding of the ‘hate speech’ phenomenon, not only in its verbal dimension; we, therefore, had to apply a multifaceted interdisciplinary approach, through which raise a deeper understanding of racist communication practices.Keywords: Applied linguistics, hate speech, race categories; critical discourse analysis; visual analysis.