Johnson Reference Johnson2009). They have different needs and their students have different issues. The grammar tests then, are one vehicle through which prescriptive language policies and agendas are imposed and justified. advertisement. Linguistics 432, UH Hilo . As a school principal, it is essential that you keep your student handbook up-to-date. Although the media plays an important role in shaping public views about language, this data must be taken with caution, with stories often being sensationalised in order to meet readership demands, which can raise questions of authenticity. Department for Education 2012). This journal covers both language policy and educational policy. Macro-level policies are one factor in a complex assemblage of mediating factors, from the typically limited level of teachers’ linguistic knowledge (e.g. The policy also provides guidelines to schools implementing the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Primary Years Programme (PYP) in languages not supported by the organization. ‘emosh’), contractions (e.g. Schools are crucial sites for the implementation of language policies. SE is a variety with classist and racial ‘privileges’ (e.g. Most states require children to begin school at age 6, and attend school for 180 days each year until they reach the age of 16, 17, or 18. Global evidence has been in support of mother tongue-based education as a critical part of high quality education, and the report adds to this body of knowledge. (Circular Despatch 1847, cited in Augier and Gordon 1962). Grammar in the curriculum for English: What next? At micro-level, teachers can come to reproduce these ideologies in their practice, often using a ‘rulebook’ metaphor, where language is, for example, a ‘set of rules dictating what people can and can't do with language’ (Cushing Reference Cushing2019:163). Reports suggest that around 5,000 UK schools have their own dedicated police officer, deployed to ‘intervene when children step out of line … and patrol the school grounds’ (Paton Reference Paton2009). watch these programmes which are full of bad grammar and slang you know (.) "hasAccess": "1", The 2015 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSA) found that most people in Scotland (89%) think that learning a language other than English in school from the age of five is important. The research in this article employs critical discursive approaches to analysing language policy. Language here becomes a proxy for the employability ‘enhancement’ of students, indexing ideologically related meanings (Eckert Reference Eckert2008) and as something that was seen to increase their chances when ‘competing’ against other people. Unfortunately, students will occasionally be sick without even knowing it, thereby infecting other students before being sent home. I am not suggesting that all instances of language policing are a direct result of current curriculum policy or media discourse, acknowledging that this would be a gross over-simplification of how policy levels interact with each other (Johnson Reference Johnson2009). Bucholtz & Hall Reference Bucholtz and Hall2005; Moore Reference Moore, Maguire and McMahon2011; Snell Reference Snell2018b). "relatedCommentaries": true, because of the way they use language (David), really I see my job as preparing them for work once they leave school and language is obviously a crucial thing in that (.) Thank you to Jenny Cheshire and to two anonymous reviewers for their constructive and helpful comments on an earlier version of this article. Resources need to be allocated to support the delivery of initiatives related to learning, assessment and teaching set out in the language policy. The policy to make available home-language education for Grades One to Six counters the dominant view amongst teachers and parents that English is the key to a better life and the sooner children are taught in English, the better. Reference Perryman, Maguire, Braun and Ball2018) that are typically designed in order to appease government inspectors rather than enact the genuine views of teachers and school management. Attendance policy. This in turn has a positive impact on the way learners see the relevance of school to their lives. "isLogged": "0", Articles were published between 2008 and 2019 and covered the political spectrum of the UK press, with eighteen being aligned to right-wing political views and ten to the left. Language plays a critical role in reproducing imbalances in power and dominance, especially when powerful policy arbiters have the ability to regulate and control the language of others (e.g. After reading the media coverage of language policing, one might be forgiven for assuming that young people's written and spoken language in schools is characterised by a high frequency of nonstandardised forms. I discuss the current version of the NC, implemented in 2014, in closer detail in the following section. (Curtis Reference Curtis2016). It is important to remember too that more than one million school students already speak a language in addition to English at home and this is an important resource to be valued. The final tier, the micro-level, is the policy that individual teachers hold about language use, typically manifested through classroom decisions about language use. The organization's internal working language is English, in which most operational and development activities take place. He claimed that fillers such as ‘um’ and ‘err’ are a ‘sign of a lack of confidence’ and that such policies would allow students to ‘take part in a formal interview’ in later life. There were seven ‘cases’ of language policing that were considered, each from a different school. Yet languages, varieties, and speech communities are not homogenous, bounded groups that can be mapped onto different spaces like sorting blocks. Furthermore, curriculum policy dictates that children learn about hyper-formal constructions such as the subjunctive, despite this being an ‘archaic’ form of the verb in UK usage (Huddleston & Pullum Reference Huddleston and Pullum2002:1000). To summarise this section, the indexical links between nonstandardised language and academic success, employability, and financial prosperity was a prominent theme across the dataset. Insisting on linguistic borders within language policy is an arbitrary decision that can legitimise practices of ‘belonging’ and ‘not belonging’ and establish margins of exclusion—especially in educational settings (e.g. Posters will be placed around the school displaying the banned words while teachers have been told to listen out and crackdown on rule breakers (Curtis Reference Curtis2016), Banned words are put into “word jails” on classroom walls (Griffiths & Henry Reference Griffiths and Henry2019), I police things pretty closely in terms of the language they use and the words they say (Rachel). An overall picture of the data reveals a dominant prescriptive discourse, with the ubiquitous use of evaluative adjectives and adverbs such as ‘poor’, ‘incorrect’, and ‘[speak] properly’ used to describe nonstandardised language. Valdés Reference Valdés, García, Flores and Spotti2017). Yandell Reference Yandell2017) and the promotion of ‘core factual knowledge’ pedagogies (Gove Reference Gove2013) over creativity and critical inquiry. In this article I show how an additional set of metaphorical terms, related to ‘policing’, provide ways of describing practices where policy arbiters at different levels suppress, control, and regulate stigmatised forms of English in the classroom through oral or written ‘corrections’. In the run-up to and post-implementation of the current UK curriculum, there was a flurry of media articles reporting cases where schools had ‘banned’ the use of non-standardised forms. This ensures that everyone in the country has the opportunity to … Within and across each of these levels, language policing is a pervasive practice that policy arbiters engage in across all levels, legitimised in particular by the linguistic conservatism and linguicism of current UK curriculum policy. For instance, ‘parent’ codes (e.g. "clr": false, For instance, some participants talked about how their language use had been judged by management against the Teachers’ standards document (Department for Education 2013c), part of which requires them to uphold and promote the ‘correct’ use of SE. Language teaching is shifting to a more learner centred communicative approach (Pica, 2000). Of course, these forms are not exclusive to TOWIE nor the Essex dialect, but transcend isoglossic boundaries including region and age, and are likely to be features present in the Essex-based teacher's repertoires who were instructed to enact the policy at micro-level. It therefore becomes important to encourage the use of home language as the LOLT, especially in the earlier years of schooling. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019, Hostname: page-component-546c57c664-xrkbf language linked to employment and language linked to academic achievement). Fifteen articles came from tabloid newspapers; thirteen came from broadsheets. Learning in Broadly then, I argue that instances of language policing in schools arise as a result of contact points between macro-level curriculum policy and micro-level aspects of teacher knowledge, and that language policing in schools is endorsed and legitimised by the media, who engage with such policies in uncritical ways. This in turn suppresses young learners’ potential and liberty to express themselves freely. This section has drawn on textual traces of the crime metaphor across the three levels of language policy in the dataset, showing how language policing at micro-level is often part of a wider policy and ideology that serves to impose control and power on young people and their teachers. "languageSwitch": true There are ten essential policies that every student handbook should include. The media articles and interview transcripts were first read, and then thematically coded using NVivo software. The ‘dumbing down’, ‘culture of stupidity’, and ‘jeopardisation’ of the government's education reforms are equated to the use and presence of nonstandardised language, with some policies citing the influence of reality television shows such as Love island (see Griffiths & Henry Reference Griffiths and Henry2019) and The only way is Essex (TOWIE) on students’ language. "metricsAbstractViews": false, ‘literally’). !function (d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0], p = /^http:/.test(d.location) ? As such, they provided me with an insight into the ‘lived experience’ of micro-level policy makers (e.g. In tracing this history, Watts reveals how prescriptive grammars were reconditioned into pedagogical materials, with schools reproducing linguistic ideologies about the ‘value’ of SE that was underpinned by an assimilationist agenda. The majority of UK schools follow the National Curriculum (NC), a prescribed programme of study first introduced in 1988 in order to standardise classroom content. To what extent does a regional dialect and accent impact on the development of reading and writing skills? English for the spread of information: a. it's not the right place to use that kind of language or bad grammar (Seth). Mr Boinamo wanted to know if this language policy was for both public and private schools. To do this, the policy lists ‘improving the spoken word’ and ‘ensuring that students are corrected if they lapse into poor spoken habits’ in order to ‘prepare students for the world of work’ (Ongar Academy Reference Academy2016). and they see that and think it's OK to talk like that (David). when I've been observed before (.) Although the content of the NC has undergone various iterations since its introduction, criticisms have consistently pointed to a didactic encroachment on classroom practice that has curtailed teacher autonomy and deprofessionalised teachers (e.g. Teachers have the potential to be critical arbiters in the way that they interpret and implement meso- and macro- policy, in that they can ‘create a space where dominant ideologies are interrogated, and, over time, dismantled with the goal of providing equal language rights for all’ (Alim Reference Alim, Hornberger and McKay2010:227). Most schools establish their attendance policies on the assumption that the students can't learn unless they are in school. (Park & Wee Reference Park and Wee2012:186). Here then, policies define spaces as having neatly defined edges, and attempt to apply the same idea to language and its varieties. Opportunities to travel . It is important to remember too that more than one million school students already speak a language in addition to English at home and this is an important resource to be valued. (Lemov Reference Lemov2010:47–48). Not rigorous, just wrong: Gove's English language, Standard English and the politics of language, Grammar policy and pedagogy from primary to secondary school, Resources not rulebooks: Metaphors for grammar in teachers’ metalinguistic discourse, Independent review of key stage 2 testing, assessment and Accountability, The national curriculum in England: Key stages 1 and 2 framework document, The national curriculum in England: Key stages 3 and 4 framework document, Department for Children, Schools, and Families, Language in late capitalism: Pride and profit, Thinking about the coding process in qualitative data analysis, Why do linguistics? deeply concerned about the dumbing down of culture in the UK … children's education and interest in learning face unprecedented threats from the ‘culture of stupidity’ all around them … Michael Gove's education reforms are being jeopardised because appearing dumb seems a better way to make a fortune than working hard. Published online by Cambridge University Press:  Reflective linguistics and the study of language, Language in the news: Discourse and ideology in the press, Evaluating dialect in discourse: Teachers’ and teenagers’ responses to young English speakers in Wales, Narrative constellations: Exploring lived experience in education, Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourse, English and its teachers: A history of policy, pedagogy and practice, Citizenship education as placebo: ‘Standards’, institutional racism and education policy, Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, Knowing about language: Linguistics and the secondary English classroom, ‘I'll speak in proper slang’: Language ideologies in a daily editing activity, Critical language pedagogy: Interrogating language, dialects and power in teacher education, An education system which works for every child, Discourse, grammar and ideology: Functional and cognitive perspectives, Undoing the macro/micro dichotomy: Ideology and categorisation in a linguistic minority school, On the school beat: Police officers based in English schools, British Journal of Sociology of Education, The Cambridge grammar of the English language, Grammar-teaching and writing skills: The research evidence, Language in the media: Authenticity and othering, Language in the media: Representations, identities, ideologies, Language policies in education: Critical issues, Research methods in language policy and planning, Conservatism and educational crisis: The case of England, The history of ‘zero tolerance’ in American public schooling, Speak English or go home: The anti-immigrant discourse of the American ‘English only’ movement, Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines, Teach like a champion: 49 techniques that put students on the right path to college, Understanding children's non-standard spoken English: A perspective from variationist sociolinguistics, English with an accent: Language, ideology and discrimination in the United States, They're my words – I'll talk how I like! I draw on teacher interview data to examine this level, acknowledging that whilst teachers operate within the parameters set out by the meso- and macro-levels, they undoubtedly retain professional agency and autonomy, and are not just ‘cogs in the language policy wheel’ (Johnson Reference Johnson2013a:99). One school whose policy was covered in the media was Ongar Academy (in Essex, south east England), who indexed formal language with employability in the title of their policy, calling it ‘Elocution for employment’ (Ongar Academy Reference Academy2016). My focus is on the UK, given that this has been the site of major recent changes in educational policy, characterised by a shift towards an increasingly available and explicitly conservative discourse about language, education, and nationhood (e.g. Prior to A-level, opportunities for young people to study sociolinguistics in UK schools are limited and have been reduced by current educational policy—for instance, a popular unit at GCSE (ages fourteen to sixteen) level in the UK about spoken language and language attitudes was removed by Michael Gove in favour of ‘traditional’ grammar and canonical literature (see Clayton Reference Clayton2013, Reference Clayton2016). I rationalise this approach to unpicking policy discourse in further detail below. They are frequently held up as examples of successful schools by education ministers in the UK. Spatial language was used across the dataset in order to talk about how it is expected that different spaces ought to yield different forms of language in terms of accommodating the ‘appropriate’ code—for instance, ‘turning it on and off in different situations’, ‘using the right language for the right context’, and ‘formal English in the classroom and slang in the playground’. It was made explicit across policy levels, and in media discourse about language policies, ultimately resting on the perceptions of nonstandardised forms by those in positions of institutional power, which come to frame language varieties having different monetary and commodity values. Introduction Language policy plays a profound influence on instruction of languages in school (Olson, 2007). Zero-tolerance is a growing educational ideology in the UK,Footnote 4 originally stemming from US border-force narcotics programs and then appropriated into schools in order to ‘show no lenience for certain kinds of student misconduct’ (Kafka Reference Kafka2011:2). Cajkler & Hislam Reference Cajkler and Hislam2002). In order to examine how this metaphor and its associated ideologies about young people's language might emerge in such contexts, this article assumes that language prescription is part of language policy, adopting a critical discursive approach (e.g. Writing policy and procedures for schools is a part of an administrator's job. Reference Godley, Carpenter and Werner2007). These are (cf. Many of these teachers cited current curriculum policy as a powerful mechanism that can control and regulate their classroom behaviour. The organization aims to provide materials and services of comparable high quality in all the supported languages. Piller Reference Piller2016). Schools have the freedom to develop home languages, encouraging multilingualism from an early age. However, although a compulsory subject, there are fewer English lessons than for Chinese and mathematics, the other core subjects. (Fricker Reference Fricker2013), they have to use language correctly if they want to work and earn money and look after themselves and (.) important to encourage the use of home language as the LOLT, especially in the earlier years of schooling. Whilst macro-level policies and media discourse have provided a platform for linguicism then, they are not the sole reason for the existence of language policing. We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites. ‘Appropriateness’ and ‘context’ were recurring themes used to justify policies, and although these are indeed more in line with the aims of descriptive linguistics as opposed to the prescriptive discourse of macro-level curriculum policy, they are still often used in meaningless ways in order to give the impression of policies that are sociolinguistically astute (see Godley & Reaser Reference Godley and Reaser2018:34 and Fairclough Reference Fairclough2013:33–56 for a critical discussion on language ‘appropriateness’). Email. (Language policy, language policing, schools, language ideologies)*. "comments": true, Trudgill Reference Trudgill1975; Cheshire Reference Cheshire1982; MacRuairc Reference MacRuairc2011a,Reference MacRuaircb; Snell Reference Snell2013). Tyler (Reference Tyler2013) argues that the UK government and the media actively ‘crafts’ the stigmatising and marginalising of certain societal groups (such as welfare claimants), in order to garner public support for punitive policy reforms. A policy that will work in one district, may not be as effective in another district. For instance, studies in Tyneside (Williamson Reference Williamson1995) showed that nonstandardised forms made up around 6% of usage, and similar numbers were reported for data from London, Merseyside, and the South West of England (Williamson & Hardman Reference Williamson and Hardman1997a,Reference Williamson and Hardmanb). Resources need to be allocated to support the delivery of initiatives related to learning, assessment and teaching set out in the language policy. Of course, no school wants to encourage students who are sick to attend school, lest they infect others. The IB language policy defines the ways in which the IB provides support to schools and teachers for the implementation of its programmes in different languages. In order to understand the importance of language in school education, for all subjects and across the whole curriculum, we have to identify and summarise the basic tenets on which LAC rests. These are most notably in the policies of the Common Core State Standards (2010), which insist on children ‘demonstrating command of standard English grammar’ (Common Core State Standards 2010:25), with limited references to spoken-written differences and language variation (see Poza & Valdés Reference Poza, Valdés, Shohamy, Or and May2017 and Godley, Carpenter, & Werner Reference Godley, Carpenter and Werner2007 for a broader critique). Other core subjects macro-level policy, language policing, schools, while facilitating the development of reading and skills. 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