English in Education


The English in Education SIG will provide a forum for researchers to investigate what is a broad and complex area of knowledge – its starting point is the school subject of English — but it will embrace many aspects of the subject as it exists in all phases of education and include all of initial teacher training concerned with English teachers. English includes the four language modes, reading, writing, speaking and listening which can be addressed separately but can also be treated as elements of the holistic subject; it embraces literacy but literacy of an emancipatory and critical kind.

English pays particular attention to the teaching of language in schools and there are certain linguistic elements that tend to get high profile attention such as grammar and spelling and its scope extends to the kind of linguistics taught in English Language ‘A’ level. There is also a very strong focus on texts of all kinds, especially literary texts but usually including ‘viewing’ in a broad sense, sometimes called Media Education — and these areas shade into digital literacy and uses of technology. There is a continuous and fierce debate about what constitutes English now, but also it has a problematic history as a subject and an always contested and developing future. English is generally viewed as the most important of all school subjects in many countries, in the UK it shares many commonalities therefore with both subject English in those countries and with mother tongue education everywhere; it therefore has a very important international and comparative dimension. Whatever else, it is a subject that needs much more research and evidence to support what is truly good practice in the teaching and studying of English.

The English in Education SIG will connect usefully with other associations – research e.g. AERA , EERA and professional e.g. NATE, UKLA and The English Association and also The International Association for Research into L1 teaching.

Latest SIG Content

English in Education SIG event

16 September 2019 | Event

SAVE THE DATE! Further details will be confirmed soon. However, if you have any urgent queries, please contact us at: events@bera.ac.uk   [...]

Developing readers, developing selves

24 May 2019 | Blog

The process of reading actually changes the neural connections in our brains, enabling new thought processes to form and develop our thinking (Wolf, 2008). Indeed, the experience and act of reading embodies highly nuanced and complex social and... [...]

Shifting power in children’s literature: Story Makers Press

17 May 2019 | Blog

Literary criticism of children’s literature focusses on the power relations between the adult writer and the child reader. At one end of the spectrum, this relationship is described as ‘domination’ (Knowles & Malmkjaer, 1996); at the other,... [...]

English literature: An aesthetic form of knowledge

12 March 2019 | Blog

English literature was introduced as an essential component of Britain’s school curriculum in the early 20th century as part of a broader effort to create, inter alia, an education system based on culturally liberal principles. A significant... [...]

The ambiguities of knowledge, expertise and purpose

6 March 2019 | Blog

In a recent BERA blog, ‘The neglect of practice’ (14 December 2018; see also Hordern 2018), Jim Hordern argued that we need to consider not just what teachers do when they teach, but what normatively governed purposes and expertise guide this... [...]

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English in Education

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