Teaching English as a mother tongue in England. Paying particular attention to grammar
The article is an analysis of long-standing discussions taking place at the turn of the 1990s in England in connection with a reform of the education system. The introduction of the National Curriculum (Attainment Targets and Programmes of Study in English) in 1990 was preceded by government reports (Bullock Report 1975, Swann Report 1985, HMI Report 1986, Kingman Report 1988 as well as two reports by Cox from 1988 and 1989), which included such terms as language across curriculum or an English-cum-language. The discussions were focused on grammar. There were arguments for teaching grammar (e.g. by R. Hudson: it helps to build a linguistic sense of one’s dignity, to teach standard English and to learn foreign languages, it strengthens linguistic and cultural tolerance, and expands general knowledge of language) as well as arguments against its excess. A return to grammar in England does not mean a return to its traditional Greco-Latin version but a balanced teaching of grammar together with semantics and pragmatics. The limited role of grammar in teaching has been recognised as there is not much evidence confi rming its great usefulness and effectiveness in developing speaking, writing, reading and listening skills. Experts point to the linguistic awareness of teachers (e.g. B. Mittins, 1991). The term linguistic awareness has been taken over by Polish teachers, becoming an important part of the new curriculum in 2009.