Literacy and the idea of English
The possibility is considered that the intuitive judgments of experienced English teachers about what is and is not appropriate ‘English' content embody knowledge, and indeed potential theory, that are worth studying and making explicit as a way of moving towards an adequate theory for English. As an example, a text by Isaiah Berlin is examined, which both enacts a quality important to English and makes a relevant statement. Before that, a curricular initiative, deriving not from professional knowledge but from inadequate doctrine that makes ‘literacy' the overarching business of English, is found wanting.
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