Grammar in the curriculum for English: what next?

Clark, Urszula I.L. (2010). Grammar in the curriculum for English: what next? Changing English, 17 (2), pp. 189-200.


It is clear from several government reports and research papers published recently, that the curriculum for English in primary and secondary schools is about to change, yet again. After years of a bureaucratic stranglehold that has left even Ofsted report writers criticising the teaching of English, it seems as if the conditions are right for further revisions. One of the questions that inevitably arises when a curriculum for English is reviewed, relates to the place and purpose of the teaching of grammar. This paper outlines a possible curriculum for grammar across both primary and secondary phases, arguing that for the teaching of grammar to have any salience or purpose at all, it has to be integrated into the curriculum as a whole, and not just that of writing. A recontextualised curriculum for grammar of the kind proposed here, would teach pupils to become critically literate in ways which recognise diversity as well as unity, and with the aim of providing them with the means to critically analyse and appraise the culture in which they live.


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