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ERIC Number: EJ858348
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0782
Reviving the Dead Butler? Towards a Review of Aspects of National Literacy Strategy Grammar Advice
Wales, Lynn
Language and Education, v23 n6 p523-539 Nov 2009
In his 2004 article "How was a dead butler killed: The way English national strategies maim grammatical parts" published in "Language and Education" 18, no. 1, Wasyl Cajkler calls for a review of grammar advice to teachers in the UK National Literacy Strategy (NLS) materials. His evidence demonstrates clearly that NLS grammar advice is "a patchwork of the good, the wrong and the imprecise". It is argued here that certain vital areas of the advice conflict with modern grammatical analyses of English accepted by mainstream linguists for decades, the reason for conflict being that the original NLS Framework of Teaching was not based on modern linguistic research. As the Framework was the teaching guideline for the NLS primary programme, it perpetuated errors and confusion, constraining what could be amended in later resource materials. Therefore, parts of NLS grammar advice need a radical and far-reaching review, which will not be easy. Four such aspects are the classification of words, the nature and status of phrase structure, the issue of form vs. function and the issue of clause structure and clause supplements. Problematic NLS descriptions are discussed and compared with modern analyses. The conclusion is that both for curriculum content and for teacher-training, English grammar teaching needs to reflect contemporary research, suggesting the need for continued involvement of professional linguists.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom