Introduction: Language and Literacy Across the Secondary School Curriculum



This chapter provides a context for the remainder of the project, by providing an overview of initiatives into developing language and literacy in English across the curriculum in England and associated teaching of grammar from the 1960s to the present day. It discusses how developing language and literacy across the curriculum is nothing new, and has long been of concern in education in the UK and beyond. The realisation of the importance of language for learning characterised early work in the field by Barnes et al. (1971) and The Bullock Report of 1975. At the same time, the theoretical underpinnings of what a pedagogic grammar could look like had as yet to be developed, which it now has. It discusses the ideological clashes in relation to the teaching of grammar that characterised the introduction of the national curriculum in the late 1980s through to the present day, and how various whole scale initiatives such as NLS in the 1990s and 2000s failed to impact upon teachers’ imagination and pedagogic practices. Its central argument is, that for any kind of literacy across the curriculum strategy to have any purchase, it has to align with teachers’ day to day affordances across all curriculum subjects in ways that take account of the local as well as the regional and national contexts within which they work, rather than as top down, generic initiative that are imposed upon them.


Secondary School Curriculum Bullock Report Grammar Instruction Language developmentLanguage Development Schleppegrell 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishAston UniversityBirminghamUK

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