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This text explores the question - "What is English teaching?" - from a variety of perspectives, including teachers' beliefs about what they should be teaching, the views of the government and the reality of young people's experiences in the 1990s. In particular, it explores the question of how - and even whether - the English subject area is capable of meeting its own, and the outside world's, expectations for teaching not only its specialist concerns, but also general literacy. The book explores ways in which the teaching of English might develop - for instance, by balancing its efforts evenly between literature study, media study and knowledge about language - and how it might contribute to wider literacy teaching, by sharing its distinctive teaching strategies with teachers of other subjects.
Chris Davies taught English in comprehensive schools for fourteen years, the last nine of these as a Head of English. Since then, he has trained secondary English teachers at the University of Oxford Department of Educational Studies. During this time, he has completed a doctoral research project into the training of English teachers. He has also written a number of media and English textbooks for schools.