Critical approaches to teaching language, reading and writing

Authored by: Hilary Janks

The Routledge International Handbook of English, Language and Literacy Teaching

Print publication date:  February  2010
Online publication date:  February  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415469036
eBook ISBN: 9780203863091
Adobe ISBN: 9781135183141


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When Foucault (1970) talks about the policing of discourse, it is possible to imagine a teacher armed with a red pen, holding the line in defence of standards and correctness, keeping both change and unruliness at bay. The word the is used for shared knowledge and in the previous sentence suggests both that the line exists and that we know where to draw it. This is not as simple as it sounds. For example should the red pen set to work to eliminate all code-switching in students’ writing, both switching between languages and switching between varieties? Should it banish from the page the use of first person in academic essays? Should it insist on the use of whom as the relative pronoun required for objects even though it sounds pompous as in, ‘;To whom am I speaking?’. Should the question mark and the full stop be corrected in the previous sentence?

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