WP321 A new coalition for language education? Report on an initial consultation

Rampton
2023

Abstract

This document reports on an informal consultation with 50+ people involved with different subfields of language education in the UK (EAL, ESOL, EAP, EFL, CLs, MFL, Early Years, mainstream English).  They were asked what they thought the main problems were, whether there could be a case for a new cross-sectoral coalition, and what its unifying principles might be.  A number of areas of concern emerged, together with potential actions.  These centred on approaches to linguistic diversity, models of language, teacher education, assessment, and policy making.  After elaborating on each of these areas, the document tries to synthesise it all in seven tasks for a new coalition: Identifying collective problems; reinvigorating models of language for education; engaging with linguistic stratification & diversity; probing traditional boundaries; energising language classrooms; taking action on policy; reviving language teachers and enriching teacher education.  The text was produced as the prelude to a seminar on 18 November 2023.