The 'Standard English' question has featured in linguistic, educational and cultural debates for decades. At critical points in British history the language became a symbol and focus, with particular varieties of the language acquiring ideological importance. In this careful and balanced account, Tony Crowley draws on theoretical insights from Bakhtin, Foucault and Volosinov in a study of representations of the English language from the eighteenth century onwards, on the development of different concepts of the 'Standard Language' and the value attached within the wider society to varieties of spoken and written English. Placing the 'Standard English' question within its historical perspectiv he explores the educational consequences of these debates, bringing the reader up to date in this second edition with an analysis of the effect on English language teaching of
Conservative educational policies of the 1980s and 90s and the implications of the National Curriculum. Students and researchers of English language, cultural theory, and language education will find this treatment comprehensive, carefully researched and lively reading.
1 Highly topical as literacy, teaching methods, standards of English are again at the forefront of debate in Britain following the introduction of the National Curriculum
2 Very detailed chronological historical account of the theory and practice behind 'standard language' teaching from the 1830s to the present
3 Additional chapter and updated bibliography bring the story up to the present day, discussing the very significant policy debates and changes of the 1990s
4 While the detail is about experience in Britain, the theory andargumentation is generally relevant, with many of the intellectual sources,
Bakhtin, Foucault, Voloshinov, for example, informing the discussion worldwide
5 A head-on challenge to the conservative view of the importance of standard English
A History of 'The History of the Language'
Archbishop Trench's Theory of Language: The Tractatus Theologico-Politicus
The Standard Language: The Literary Language
The Standard Language: The Language of the Literate
Theorising the Standard: Jones and Wyld
Language Against Modernity
Continuities: Past and Present
Conclusion: Further Confusion: Kingman, Cox, The National Curriculum and
Bibliography of Works Consulted
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
TONY CROWLEY was born and grew up in Liverpool. He has taught at the
Universities of Oxford, Southampton, Rutgers, Barcelona and San Diego. He is currently Professor of English at the University of Manchester. His publications include Proper English?, Language in History and The Politics of Language in Northern Ireland.