English language

Wessex Parallel Web Texts

Wessex Parallel Web Texts

“An electronic anthology of texts and translations of Middle English works in prose and verse, together with background material for use in teaching..”


**NEW** English Language benchmark now published.

The English Subject Centre supports teaching and learning in English Language as well as in Literature and Creative Writing. Many of our events, as well as our printed materials and the resources on this website are, we believe, relevant to broad issues of pedagogy and policy across this group of related disciplines. But while the pooling of insights and crossover practices is invaluable, it is sometimes necessary to discriminate between disciplinary needs. So for example, although much of our work on transition between school and university is relevant to all our communities, we have specifically reported on transition from English Language A Level.

Nevertheless, one context for these pages is the Subject Centre’s commitment to the belief that teachers of Language, Literature and Creative Writing can only benefit from dialogue and from exposure to each others’ practices and pedagogic strategies. This belief underpinned the 2007 Renewals Conference. In view of the interactive and performative nature of much teaching about Language, the Subject Centre hopes that this selection of resources on English Language will frequently be found suggestive beyond the originating subject domain. An obvious example would be the fertile relationship between activities in Stylistics and what literature colleagues think of as ‘close reading’ – see for example the discussion reported in issue 14 of our newsletter.

That said, the object of this page is to provide a guide to more specifically targeted resources on this site and selected resources elsewhere. In supporting the teaching of English Language we work closely with the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS) to whose website you should also refer. Among many other resources on the LLAS site there is the collection of online ‘Good Practice Guides’ (commissioned articles written by authorities in the field) to aspects of teaching Language and Linguistics. Broadly speaking, resources on this (English Subject Centre) site will tend to focus on History of the Language, Stylistics, and to some extent the study of discourse. There is a small number of English Language-oriented contributions within our inter-active teaching resource ‘Teaching Topics and Texts’ (T3) or Case Studies of teaching.

Institutional habitats

Institutional structures and accumulated local histories are in many ways as important as intellectual traditions in shaping relations between language and literary studies. At the same time, patterns of provision are changing quite rapidly. A steady stream of students is coming through with English Language or Language and Literature A Levels. (Data is available on the LLAS website. And an increasing number of English Language programmes are on offer. These have been most recently surveyed by an LLAS project English Language at undergraduate level: its identity as a subject in UK Higher Education in the 21st century. Several English departments offer or are about to offer joint honours ‘Lang Lit’ programmes. (See, for example, the Sheffield programme) . In other programmes elements of Language and Literature (and Creative Writing too) are embedded throughout. (For example at Sheffield Hallam). English Language provision was explored as part of our 2003 Teaching and Curriculum Survey and was mapped again in the 2010 version of the survey . Nigel Fabb has examined some of the issues surrounding Linguistics within an English Department in an article in issue 8 of our newsletter.