Having spent six formative years working for Michael Halliday, I am keen to see more linguistics in schools, whatever we call it – ‘Knowledge About Language’, `Language Awareness’, `English Language’ or even `Linguistics’! I have written a book and numerous papers about education (mostly about grammar), and more recently I’ve given a number of talks about language education and have even contributed to the Language Log.
I’m proud to have helped to set up and run three ongoing organisations for promoting linguistics in language education:
- I am a founder-member of CLIE (the Committee for Linguistics in Education).
- I am a founder-member of the LAGB Education Committee.
- I am a founder-member and currently Chair of the committee for the UK Linguistics Olympiad.
My web-site contains a number of relevant information pages:
- A-level in Linguistics
- A summary of progress so far in developing a new school-level course in linguistics.
- A collection of
- statistical trends in the language education of England (or the UK)
- official documents about the teaching of grammar
- official documents about the KS2 Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) tests.
- official reports on Foreign Languages
- research reports on interactions between L1 and L2 in teaching
- historical material on how English and Foreign Languages were taught in the past
- A page about diagramming systems used in teaching grammar in schools.
- A page of official and factual information about the A-level English Language exam
- A survey of research on the effects of grammar teaching on writing (and other skills)
- (with Geoff Dean) A website about grammar teaching: Teaching grammar.
- (2012) an unfinished draft book: Becoming a Grammar Teacher
- (2011) A ‘benchmarking statement’ on degrees in English Language.
- A page about the low research status of language in UK universities’ ‘language’ departments.
- A page about a series of tests of undergraduates’ knowledge about grammar.
- A page about the extremes of multilingualism (2007)
- About the world record for the number of languages spoken by individuals and by entire communities.
- Grammar in the Secondary National Strategy (2005)
- A large commentary on the approach to grammar teaching which has been adopted in the Secondary National Strategy (formerly the English strand of the KS3 Strategy, extending the primary-level National Literacy Strategy).
- KS3 grammar (2003)
- A large collection of pages full of basic grammar for secondary (Years 7-9) teachers of English, with some self-test exercises and links to the UK National Curriculum.
- Grammar in the TES (2002-5)
- A collection of short (450-word) pieces about elementary grammar, called “The writer’s tool-kit”, which I co-wrote with Geoff Barton (a school teacher) for two years. They appeared every week (of term-time) in the Times Educational Supplement.