Government commissioned reports
Answer one of the following questions:
1. Using evidence from various government commissioned reports (Bullock, Kingman, Cox, Rose, Newbolt, Gove..) identify keys changes in attitude towards the teaching of English Language/Literacy and
how this manifested as changes to the curriculum between (a) 1960s to 1990s or (b) 1990s to present.
2. Using evidence from various government commissioned reports (Bullock, Kingman, Cox, Rose, Newbolt, Gove..) identify keys changes in language policy and the importance attached to language as
identity in the English language classroom.
3. Discuss the curricular changes and government policies which have promoted the centrality of phonics in the teaching of reading to primary age children. Is there consensus within the teaching
profession on whether this is the most successful method?
4. Evaluate the effectiveness of the Phonics Screening Check for raising standards of literacy in primary education.
5. Evaluate the effectiveness of the current glossary of terms provided to teachers for the Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation test. What problems do you foresee with its implementation?
6. Evaluate the effectiveness of the new Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation (SPAG) test. To what extent are you convinced that this will provide an adequate preparation for writing at secondary
school and beyond, leading to more accurate punctuation use in student work?
7. Should children/students be taught grammar explicitly and, if so, from what age? What are the perceived advantages and disadvantages? Focus can either be on the first language classroom or the
second language classroom or a comparison of the two.
8. Gather a sample of written work produced by students/children/young adults and compare the development of writing ability between two stages focusing on one or all of the following: sentence and
phrase complexity; spelling and word choice; punctuation; coherence, cohesion and discourse organisation; use of adjectives and adverbial phrases; narrative ability.
9. What is dyslexia? Detail the ways in which the condition affects the reading and/or writing ability of students.
10. Conduct a research project on how the features of a first language, dialect or language code interfere with the writing of Standard English. This could either relate to accentual features
affecting spelling, non-standard dialects affecting written Standard English, a first language (Polish, Bengali, Sign language) affecting written English, online communication affecting written
11. To what extent do you agree with Honey that ‘Language is Power’? Consider the key theoretical positions in this debate.
12. Consider the curricular aims and schemes of work for the teaching of English language at one of key stages (KS1-4 or post-compulsory) and focusing on one defined topic, produce a lesson plan
which indicates how you would deliver a teaching session. You should provide a supporting commentary which explains the rationale for the style of delivery. You should also comment on how the
knowledge gained on the Language and Linguistics degree will assist you, and how you would assess students’ understanding of the material.
13. Conduct a survey of teacher opinions on some clearly defined aspect of the current curriculum and try to decipher the ways in which current policy is deemed unsuccessful. This could be related
to one of the topic areas mentioned in the questions above or some other area (e.g. some aspect of the SPAG test (training and support, teaching and implementation, perceived efficacy…).
14. Explore and research classroom discourse in either a native first language school setting or the TESOL classroom.
15. Consider the key difference between language acquisition and language learning either within a first language or a second language context.
16. Compare the approaches to teaching the school subject English to native speakers of English in the UK to the approaches taken to teach the native language within the education system of a
different country (i.e. the academic subject French, as it is taught to native French children/young adults in France).