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Teaching English, Language and Literacy

Gallagher, Hugh (2009) Teaching English, Language and Literacy. [Review]

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Abstract

[Review of Teaching English, Language and Literacy - Wyse, D and Jones, R] When David Wray decides to accord to any work the status of “an impressive achievement” (Wyse and Jones 2008: xvi), it bears some serious scrutiny. Written for “all primary education students and their teachers” (Wyse and Jones 2008: xviii), this is the second edition of a book first published in 2001 and its authors can lay claim to some substantial revisions. Having sought to address the National Literacy Strategy in 2001, Dominic Wyse and Russell Jones now offer a critique of the Primary National Strategy Literacy Framework and set that out in a much wider and ambitious context as “an essential guide to the teaching of English” (Wyse and Jones 2008: xviii). I found myself in the interesting position of assessing that claim from a tangential Scottish perspective, hoping to mine some generic gems. With the usual reservations about the inevitable limitations of any such guide, I believe that this book offers a great deal of interest and value, not only to primary teachers but to a wider audience. Without doubt, it has a distinct voice which dissents very audibly from some current practice where that has its roots in reactive policy initiative rather than research evidence.