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1 Overview: educational and political context Dick Hudson Cambridge, October 2009.

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1 1 Overview: educational and political context Dick Hudson Cambridge, October 2009

2 2 Plan 1.The ideal education cycle 2.Why education needs linguistics 3.Why linguistics needs education 4.History: History: History: Opportunities and challenges

3 3 1.The ideal education cycle infant adult researcher school teacher Year 1-13 university research know- ledge know- ledge

4 4 2. Why education needs linguistics Descriptive content for: –L1 and literacy –FL –EAL Theoretical content for: –ideas to teach (language awareness) –language pedagogy

5 5 3. Why linguistics needs education Students need good education Researchers need good education We need research in educational linguistics –Does education have any effect on language? –Does education affect grammaticality judgements?

6 6 4. History: HE: No research on language –except phonetics –No teaching of language except OE and philology Schools: Traditional grammar taught and tested –but not English grammar – [it is] impossible at the present juncture to teach English grammar in the schools for the simple reason that no-one knows exactly what it is (Board of Education 1921)

7 7 GCE O-level English 1950

8 8 5. History: GCE grammar test stops –Research shows grammar is useless? English teachers abandon grammar FL teachers follow suit –Research favours communicative methods? But linguistics develops fast –particularly English grammar

9 9 Committee for Linguistics in Education 1978 seminar: Linguistics and the Teaching of Language in Schools –created BAAL/LAGB Language Steering Committee 1980 this committee ran 2 seminars: –Linguistics as an examinable subject in schools –The contribution of linguistics to the teaching of English as the mother tongue 1980 CLIE born –nearly 30 years ago, time to take stock

10 10 6. History: The Tory backlash: the National Curriculum Favoured explicit Knowledge About Language (KAL) But English teachers had no training –So £25 million for LINC 1997: Labour took over

11 11 Strategies 1999 The Literacy Strategy –current teaching was failing –required grammar at primary –extended since to secondary 2002 Languages … A strategy for England –current teaching of FL was failing –again required KAL, including grammar

12 12 A-level English Language Linguistics for English teachers trained in literature –Born in early 1980s –A great success 2011: GCSE English language!

13 13 But how much grammar do schools actually teach?

14 14 NB Grammar KAL is worse. errors per person FL students

15 15 7. Opportunities and challenges Official policy requires KAL in schools –in English and FL Linguistics is viewed as important –but difficult and dry But most teachers lack subject knowledge –so most teachers dont actually teach KAL What is to be done?

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