Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Applied linguistics has not sufficiently addressed theories of teaching subject English in the mainstream classroom. This is unfortunate because applied linguistic theories can offer a great deal to the development of a theory of subject English. Over the last century, subject English has changed quite fundamentally, and it is increasingly in need of a theory of language to shape its future. At the end of the 19 century, English was a set of discrete English skills. Later, as literature achieved greater status at the university level, its teaching was also brought into school English, though the discrete skills and literary pursuits were at best brought into an uneasy amalgam. By the 1960s, in an effort to overcome the uneasy amalgam, “integrated” models of English teaching were proposed, and it was argued that the goal of the English program should be to promote “growth” through language. Terms like “language development” were adopted in English, though this was ironically at a time that teaching of knowledge about language became discredited. By the 21 century English had become increasingly synonymous with “literacy”, though a robust theory of knowledge about language was badly needed. Subject English needs new directions, of a kind that functional theories of language can provide.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Allen, D.
    (1980) English teaching since 1965. How much growth?London: Heinemann Educational Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Belsey, C.
    (2002) (2nd Ed.) Critical Practice. London and NY: Routledge/Falmer
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Bernstein, B.
    (1971) Class, codes and control. Volume 1. Theoretical studies towards a sociology of language. London, Henley and Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. (1975) Class, codes and control. Volume 3. Towards a theory of educational transmissions. London and Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul. doi: 10.4324/9780203011430
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203011430 [Google Scholar]
  5. Christie, F.
    (1993) The “received tradition” of English teaching: the decline of rhetoric and the corruption of grammar. In B. Green (Ed.) The insistence of the letter. Literacy studies and curriculum theorizing. (Critical Perspectives on Literacy and Education Series. Ed. A. Luke ). London and Washington: Falmer Press, pages75-106.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. (2002) The development of abstraction in adolescence in subject English. In M. J. Schleppegrell and M.C. Colombi (Eds.) Developing advanced literacy in first and second languages. Meaning with power. Mahwah, NJ and London: Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. (in press) Authority and its role in the pedagogic relationship of schooling. In L. Young and C. Harrison Eds Systemic functional linguistics and critical discourse analysis: studies in social change. London and NY: Continuum Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Christie, F. and Rothery, J.
    (1979) English in Australia: an interpretation of role in the curriculum.. In J. Maling-Keepes and B.D. Keepes (Eds.) Language in education. The Language Development Project Phase 1. Canberra: Curriculum Development Centre, pages193-242.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Commissioners of National Education, Ireland
    Commissioners of National Education, Ireland (1856) An English grammar for the use of schools. Dublin: Thom.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Connell, W.F.
    (1980) A history of education in the twentieth century. Canberra: Curriculum Development Centre.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Constable’s Educative Series (ND)
    Constable’s Educative Series (ND)The primer. Edinburgh: Laurie.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Curriculum Development Centre
    Curriculum Development Centre (1978) Language development project occasional paper number 1. Curriculum Development Centre: Canberra.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Dixon, J.
    (1967) Growth through English. Oxford: NATE and Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Doughty, P.
    (1974) Language, English’ and the curriculum. Schools Council Programme in Linguistics and English Teaching. London: Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Foster, W. and Bryant, H.
    (ND) The new graded word book for Australian schools. Junior and senior classes. Sydney: Land Printing House.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Hasan, R. and Martin, J.R.
    Eds. Language development: learning language, learning culture. Meaning and choice in language: studies for Michael Halliday. (Advances in Discourse Processes Series, Volume XXVII Series Editor R.O. Freedle .) Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Hunter, I.
    (1994) Rethinking the school, subjectivity bureaucracy criticism. Sydney: Allen and Unwin:
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Leavis, F.R. and Thompson, D.
    (1964) Culture and the environment. London: Chatto and Windus.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Martin, J.R. and Rose, D.
    (2003) Working with discourse. Meaning beyond the clause. London and NY: Continuum
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Murray, L.
    (1795) English grammar. Facsimile reprint No.106 (1968) Menston: Scolar Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Peel, R. , Patterson, A. and Gerlach, J.
    (2000) Questions of English. Ethics, aesthetics, rhetoric, and the formation of the subject English in England, Australia and the United States. London and NY: Routledhge/Falmer.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. ’Plowden Report, The’
    ’Plowden Report, The’ (1967) Children and their primary schools. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Standards for Teachers of English Language and Literacy in Australia
    Standards for Teachers of English Language and Literacy in Australia. www.stella.org.aU/about.jsp#wel.
  24. Street, B.
    (1997) ‘The implications of the “New Literacy Studies” for literacy education’. English in Education, Vol.31, No.3, pages45-59. doi: 10.1111/j.1754‑8845.1997.tb00133.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1754-8845.1997.tb00133.x [Google Scholar]
  25. (Ed.) (1993) Cross-cultural approaches to literacy. Cambridge, NY and Oakleigh, Victoria.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. (Ed.)(2001) Literacy and development. London and NY: Routledge doi: 10.4324/9780203468418
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203468418 [Google Scholar]
  27. VATE
    VATE (2001) ‘Stages of schooling curriculum, middle years reform, and the implications for “subject English’”VATE Newsletter5,1-3.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error