The ESC group has conducted research on the models and assumptions that English teachers operate with, on their changing perceptions of language use, and on the role of language across the curriculum. There is ongoing research on the complicated relationship between the design, production and actual use of school texts. We are researching the history of the London Association for the Teaching of English from its foundation in the late 1940s, and with colleagues in the London English Group (see below), we are conducting a research project on ˜The History of English Teaching in London, 1945-1965’. Through research, journalism and activity within professional associations, we have also had a lot of critical engagement with the recent wave of UK government initiatives concerned with literacy and English (for example, the National Literacy Strategy and the Initial Teacher Training Curriculum).
The ESC Group is a founder member of the London-wide English Group, established in 2004. This provides a forum in which London-based scholars involved with English teaching and the study of language can meet once a month to discuss common issues, consider members’ research activities, listen to distinguished speakers, and in general further the development of fresh theory to underpin the teaching of English in schools. Through the London English Group, we have also responded to the QCA inquiry ‘English 21: The Future of English’.
Simon Gibbons, Bethan Marshall