The Open UniversitySkip to content

Language Education Policy in England. Is English the elephant in the room?

Lanvers, Ursula (2011). Language Education Policy in England. Is English the elephant in the room? Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, 5(3) pp. 63–78.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (186kB)
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This paper offers a critical review of language education policies and the state of language education in England over the last decade (2000-2010), which has been characterised by a bewildering array of initiatives to promote language learning, year-on-year improved grades of school exams, and language education policies showing little coherence. Conversely, both media and student voices on the subject of language learning in the UK reveal high awareness of the UK’s poor performance relative to other EU countries. This picture is interpreted within the context of Global English, proposing that a tacit assumption that English is enough offers a coherent explanation of current practices and policies. Citing economic, cultural and political arguments, the conclusion illustrates the costs to the UK of this dangerous assumption and proposes some strategies that might help to counter complacency towards language learning in the UK.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2011 Applied Linguistics Department University of Jyvaskyla
ISSN: 1457-9863
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 30479
Depositing User: Ursula Lanvers
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2011 17:18
Last Modified: 18 May 2018 21:05
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU