UK Schools: less literature more functional skills

Anthea Fraser Gupta A.F.Gupta at
Mon Nov 3 12:21:42 UTC 2008

Broadcast on 27 October 2008  on BBC Radio 4's education programme, 'The
Learning Curve':

English GCSE
Libby Purves speaks to Dr Bethan Marshall, of Kings College London,
about the new English GCSE, currently under preparation for introduction
in 2010. The new exam is set to put more emphasis on "functional skills"
- spelling, grammar, punctuation and less on literature and imaginative

Further information from the government body responsible for this

[COMMENTS FROM ANTHEA: I heard this on the repeat programme on 2
November. Well worth listening to the intelligent interview with
Marshall, who I wanted to cheer at several points. This change is part
of a general trend to arid functionalism in UK education, and very very
sad. Linguists should resist this every bit as much as specialists in

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Anthea Fraser Gupta (Dr)
School of English, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT
NB: Reply to a.f.gupta at
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