© 2003

Standard English and the Politics of Language


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Tony Crowley
    Pages 1-10
  3. Tony Crowley
    Pages 138-173
  4. Tony Crowley
    Pages 174-216
  5. Tony Crowley
    Pages 217-230
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 267-292

About this book


The status of 'Standard English' has featured in linguistic, educational and cultural debates over decades. This second edition of Tony Crowley's wide-ranging historical analysis and lucid account of the complex and sometimes polarised arguments driving the debate brings us up to date, and ranges from the 1830s to Conservative education policies in the 1990s and on to the implications of the National Curriculum for English language teaching in schools. Students and researchers in literacy, the history of English language, cultural theory, and English language education will find this treatment comprehensive, carefully researched and lively reading.


English language language teaching theory of language

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English and American StudiesUniversity of ManchesterUK

About the authors

TONY CROWLEY was born and grew up in Liverpool. He has taught at the Universities of Oxford, Southampton, Rutgers, Barcelona and San Diego. He is currently Professor of English at the University of Manchester. His publications include Proper English?, Language in History and The Politics of Language in Northern Ireland.

Bibliographic information


Review of previous edition:

'...a great work of demythologisation, which puts the concept of standard English in its proper historical perspective...a book which every teacher of English in the country should read.' Professor Roy Harris, University of Oxford

Review of this edition:

'Crowley demythologizes 'standard English' as a marker of uniformity, neutrality, and the one language of truth...One strength of these core chapters is that Crowley positions opposing views/theories in interesting ways in an attempt to offer some balance in prespective...By the end...[he] has successfully woven an historical tapestry of parallel, yet interesting discourses to reveal that every time the question of language means that a series of problems are coming to the fore.' - Marina Engelking, Language Awareness