WP18 Education in England and Speakers of Languages Other than English

Rampton, Harris & Leung
Collection: Key word


This paper charts deteriorating state school provision for speakers of languages other than English in the 15 years or so since 1984, when the first edition of Language in the British Isles (Trudgill (ed) 1984) was published. It focuses primarily on England and it addresses the teaching of English as a second/additional language (ESL/EAL) ias well as the teaching of minority ethnic languages. It begins with a brief characterisation of the approach to multilingualism epitomised in the 1985 Swann Report (Section 1), and it then points to ways in which this has been profoundly altered by the cluster of social, cultural and economic processes associated with globalisation (Section 2). The educational response/contribution to these processes is outlined, particularly as it has affected pupils with a family knowledge of other languages (Section 3), and there is a critical discussion of the role that linguistic research has played in these shifts (Section 4). Government showed little interest in research on language diversity in the 1990s, but this has not deterred researchers, and if/when/as government rediscovers multilingualism, it will be able to connect with a substantial knowledge base (Section 5).