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The fall and rise of linguists in education policy-making: From "common sense" to common ground

Wallace, Mike ORCID: and Wray, Alison ORCID: 2002. The fall and rise of linguists in education policy-making: From "common sense" to common ground. Language Policy 1 (1) , pp. 75-98.

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This article explores how academic linguists have become marginalised from policy-making aimed at reforming English teaching in English schools,and how they are now beginning to contribute again. A pluralistic model of interaction between central government politicians,linguists and media professionals is applied to two “critical incidents.” First, linguists were commissioned by the government a decade ago to produce materials for teaching English in the National Curriculum. The materials were rejected as reflecting the “progressive” educational ideology that ministers claimed had led to poor standards. Second, in 1998 the successor government introduced a “National Literacy Strategy” into primary schools, developed without linguists' input and reflecting a “traditional” view of language. The materials were flawed, prompting a constructive response by linguists that resulted in unpublicised modifications. Our model shows how linguists best serve theirinterest by staying out of the media spotlight while they engage in seeking common ground with government politicians.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
L Education > L Education (General)
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Descriptivism; English teaching; linguists; literacy; mass media; mutual parasitism and symbiosis; pluralistic perspective; prescriptivism; policy-making
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 1573-1863
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 09:50

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