Michael Rundell looks at who makes the rules about what makes language 'correct'? Is there one 'Standard English' which we all have to follow, or can we bend and break linguistic rules over time? This presentation gives an alternative (but equally rigorous) view of learning about language.

Michael Rundell

Preview 1: The confusion around 'good grammar'

Downloadable resources

  • Download the session outline and further references.

Michael Rundell looks at who makes the rules about what makes language 'correct'? Is there one 'Standard English' which we all have to follow, or can we bend and break linguistic rules over time? This presentation gives an alternative (but equally rigorous) view of learning about language. It also looks at how we reconcile a descriptive, evidence-based approach to analysing language (which is fundamental to corpus linguistics) with learners' aspirations to achieve accuracy and fluency in another language.

Gain a clearer understanding of what is meant by 'rules' in the context of language and language teaching and learn more about why languages change and how this happens.

Who is this session for?

All English language teachers - EFL, ESOL, EAL - from newly qualified to experienced.

Michael Rundell has been in the dictionary business since 1980. He is co-author of the Oxford Guide to Practical Lexicography. He has been working with language corpora for 30 years, and is deeply involved in the new lexicographic revolution - the migration of reference resources from print to digital media.

  1.  What is your opinion: Are there any aspects of language use which you dislike or disapprove of? Why do you object to these aspects? Is your objection rational and well-founded, or is it based on something else?
  2. Read these blog entries:

    To what extent do you agree with these ideas?

Join the discussion!

Discuss these questions with your peer teachers, if you can:

  1. Is there a right and a wrong way to speak and write in English?
  2. Should we help learners to use 'non-standard' English, such as the language they might find in songs, for example? If so, how? If not, why not?

Remember to log in and share your ideas with us by using the comments section below.

Downloads