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The Dead Butler revisited: grammatical accuracy and clarity in the English Primary Curriculum 2013–2014

Bell, HM (2015) The Dead Butler revisited: grammatical accuracy and clarity in the English Primary Curriculum 2013–2014. Language and Education, 29. ISSN 1747-7581

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Abstract

This paper is an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the grammatical description and advice contained in the new National Curriculum documentation from 2013, focusing on key stages 1 and 2. It builds on previous analyses of deficiencies in the systems of grammar and the materials in earlier incarnations of the National Curriculum. It suggests that there have been advances in the accuracy with which grammar terms are used and illustrated, although there is still no coherent overall view of what grammar is, nor a fully consistent approach to describing language. In addition, the lack of any pedagogic guidance save the most basic suggests that knowledge about language may continue to be taught in a way which is incompatible with real understanding and more in line with prescriptivist approaches.

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