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Rethinking English in Schools Towards a New and Constructive Stage by Viv Ellis

Rethinking English in Schools Towards a New and Constructive Stage


Rethinking English in Schools Towards a New and Constructive Stage by Viv Ellis

This book suggests that English teaching has something both to reclaim and renew. Why should young people study a subject called English? This question lies at the heart of this fascinating monograph, which brings together the diverse perspectives of many leading thinkers about English and literacy education. This meticulously researched and well-written collection takes as its starting point the importance of the history of the subject in the formation of its constitution and its boundaries. First and foremost, it proposes that questions of aims and values have informed these choices. Equally, it suggests that returning to these educational questions helps us to understand curriculum and pedagogy in complex ways that a simple focus on content and methods neglects. Curriculum and pedagogy bring learners, teachers, institutions and the wider society into the debate.


With eloquence, intelligence and collective wisdom, this excellent collection of essays sets new directions and agendas for English Education.--Ilana Snyder, Monash University, Australia No Title

Ths is a timely book about English and English teaching by writers whose professional interests keep them in touch with the English children learn to speak and the school English that comes to them as an educational package. Their central argument is that 'English in school - as an intellectual project - needs to be rethought and renewed in a 'constructive age of development
in the field of English studies, which includes contemporary awareness of the multimodality of language in the lives of children. The relevance of the matters discussed here extends to all who have comunication responsbilities with the young

. 'Rethinking
will keep this book well to the fore. Margaret Meek Spencer, Reader Emeritus at the Institute of Education, University of London, November 2008 This book addresses the issues of why and how to study a subject called English. Although its assumed audience appears to be teachers of English in the UK for whom the National Curriculum is relevant, its thoughtful discussion addresses the concerns of teachers of English throughout the world. Of particular importance are the multiple perspectives it brings to the discussion. The teaching of English is shaped by history and politics. That is, the imperialist reality of multiple languages shapes the teaching of English. It is also shaped by teaching literatures. Ideally, teaching English reflects Vygotskyan theory, transactional theory, dialogic theory, and existentialism. Primarily, however, teaching English is a way of helping students make sense of their lives

; therefore, in the modern classroom there is room for comics and graphics as well as traditional aesthetics. Of major importance is the inclusion of sociolinguistics in this discussion the recognition that monolingualism in English is a not a universal, and that societal bilingualism and multilingualism are the reality for students in much of the world. This book is highly recommended for teachers in training, as well as experienced teachers. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All undergraduate and research collections. - E. S. Swing, CHOICE, March 2009 This book is a timely and proactive reminder that critical analysis of English (and literacy) teaching, the long tradition of socially critical work in English Education referred by its publishers, has been patchy of late...the book is a challenge for us as an association to extend the writers
analyses here to a specific part of the

primary literacy. Literacy Volume 43, Nov 2009

About the Author

Viv Ellis is Tutor for English Education and University Lecturer in Educational Studies at Oxford University. He has written widely on teacher education and has served as Vice-Chair of NATE. Carol Fox was formerly Reader in English Education at the University of Brighton. Her research on young children's oral storytelling and the literature of war and peace in education has been widely influential. Brian Street is Professor of Language in Education at King's College, London and Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He has written and lectured extensively on literacy practices from both a theoretical and an applied perspective.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th March 2009


Viv Ellis

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Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


266 pages


Teaching of a specific subject
Educational: English language & literacy



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