TESOL and the Discipline of English

  • John Gray


This chapter looks at the specialist field of TESOL—Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages—and explores the ways in which it relates to the evolving discipline of English Studies. The emergence of the latter, as has been noted in other chapters in the book, is located in a specific nineteenth century moment in which the study of literature in particular came to be seen as having a unique social function. As the writer Charles Kingsley (1890, p. 262) loftily put it, the study of English was a means of inculcating in the young a thorough knowledge of ‘the English spirit’ and a means of enabling them to appreciate that ‘the English mind has its peculiar calling on God’s earth’ which it alone was capable of fulfilling. Anthony Kearney (1988, p. 260) has described this moment as one in which English literature:

became the focus for certain high ideals and expectations in the Victorian mind [and] was variously regarded as an agency for psychic renewal, as an antidote to the materialistic drives of the age, as a means of refining the crude middle-class philistines, and the even cruder masses, and as a means of creating a new sense of national identity and patriotic pride.


International Student Language Teaching English Study Apply Linguistics English Language Teaching 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altbach, P. G. and Knight, J. (2007) ‘The internationalization of higher education: motivations and realities’, Journal of Studies in International Education, 11 (3) 4, 290–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Angouri, J. (2010) ‘Using textbook and real-life data to teach turn-taking in business meetings’, in N. Harwood (ed.), English Language Teaching Materials: Theory and Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 373–394.Google Scholar
  3. Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G. and H. Tiffin (1989) The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures (London: Routledge).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Atherton, C.(2005) ‘The organisation of literary knowledge: the study of English in the late nineteenth century’, in M. Daunton (ed.), The Organisation of Knowledge in Victorian Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 219–234.Google Scholar
  5. Ball, S. J. (2012) Global Education, Inc.: New Policy Networks and the Neo-Liberal Imaginary (Abingdon: Routledge).Google Scholar
  6. Block, D. (2014) Social Class in Applied Linguistics (Abingdon: Routledge).Google Scholar
  7. British Council (1984) British Council Annual Report1983–84 (London: British Council).Google Scholar
  8. Canagarajah, S. (1999) Resisting Linguistic Imperialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  9. Cook, G. (2005) ‘Calm seas or troubled waters? Transitions, definitions and disagreements in applied linguistics’, International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 15 (3), 282–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eagleton, T. (1983) Literary Theory: An Introduction. Oxford: BlackwellGoogle Scholar
  11. Gray, J. (2010a) The Construction of English: Culture, Consumerism and Promotion in the ELT Global Coursebook (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gray, J. (2010b) ‘The branding of English of English and the culture of the new capitalism: representations of the world of work in English language textbooks’, Applied Linguistics, 31 (5), 714–733.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gray, J. (2012) ‘English the industry’, in A. Hewings and C. Tagg (eds), The Politics of English: Conflict, Competition, and Co-existence (Milton Keynes: The Open University/Routledge), pp. 137–163.Google Scholar
  14. Guy, J. (2005) ‘Specialisation and social utility: disciplining English studies’, in M. Daunton (ed.), The Organisation of Knowledge in Victorian Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 199–217.Google Scholar
  15. Heller, M. (2010) ‘The commodification of language’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 39, 101–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Holborow (2015) The Language of Neoliberalism (Abingdon: Routledge).Google Scholar
  17. Holliday, A. (2005) The Struggle to Teach English as an International Language (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  18. Howatt, A. P. R. (1984) A History of English Language Teaching (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  19. Hudson, D. F. (2010) ‘A-level English Language: a collection of facts and figures’. Available at (accessed 2 February 2015).
  20. Kearney, A. (1988) ‘The first crisis in English studies 1880–1900’, British Journal of Educational Studies, 36 (3), 260–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kingsley, C. (1890) Literary and General Essays (London: Macmillan).Google Scholar
  22. Lury, C. (2004) Brands: The Logos of the Global Economy (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  23. Marx, K. (1976 [1867]) Capital: Volume 1 (London: Penguin).Google Scholar
  24. McCarthy, M. and Carter, R. (1995) ‘Spoken grammar: what is it and how can we teach it?’, ELT Journal, 49 (3), 207–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. McCarthy, M., McCarten, J. and Sandiford, H. (2014) Touchstone (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  26. McCrum, R. (2010) Globish: How the English Language Became the World’s Language (Viking: London).Google Scholar
  27. McKay, S. L. and Hornberger, N. H. (eds) (1996) Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  28. Morton, T. (2013) ‘Critically evaluating materials for CLIL: practitioners’ practices and perspectives’, in J. Gray (ed.), Critical Perspectives on Language Teaching Materials (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 111–136.Google Scholar
  29. Park, J. S. and Wee, L. (2012) Markets of English: Linguistic Capital and Language Policy in a Globalizing World (Abingdon: Routledge).Google Scholar
  30. Pegrum, M. (2004) ‘Selling English: advertising and the discourses of ELT’, English Today, 20 (1), 2–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pennycook, A. (1998) English and the Discourses of Colonialism (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  32. Phillipson, R. (1992) Linguistic Imperialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  33. Rampton, B. (1990) ‘Displacing the “native speaker”: expertise, affiliation, and inheritance’, ELT Journal, 44 (2), 97–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rampton, B. (1997) ‘Retuning in applied linguistics’, International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 7 (1), 3–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Roberts, C. and Cooke, M. (2009) ‘Authenticity in the adult ESOL classroom and beyond’, TESOL Quarterly, 43 (4), 620–642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Said, E. (1994) Culture and Imperialism (London: Chatto and Windus).Google Scholar
  37. Soars, L. and Soars, J. (2003) New Headway Intermediate (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  38. Soars, L. and Soars, J. (2005) New Headway Upper-Intermediate (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  39. Thornbury, S. (2005) Beyond the Sentence: Introducing Discourse Analysis (Oxford: Macmillan).Google Scholar
  40. Viswanathan, G. (1995) ‘The beginning of English literary study in British India’, in B. Ashcroft, G. Griffiths and H. Tiffen (eds), The Post-Colonial Studies Reader (London: Routledge), pp. 431–437.Google Scholar
  41. Wajnryb, R. (1996) ‘Death, taxes, and jeopardy: systematic omissions in EFL texts, or life was never meant to be an adjacency pair’, ELICOS plenary delivered in Sydney, Australia.Google Scholar
  42. Why English Matters (2014) Available at (accessed 03 February 2015).
  43. Widdowson, H. G. (1984) ‘Models and fictions’, in H. G. Widdowson (ed.), Explorations in Applied Linguistics 2 (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 21–27.Google Scholar
  44. Willis, J. (1988) Collins COBUILD English Course (London: Collins COBUILD).Google Scholar
  45. Wiseman, A. and Odell, A. (2014) ‘Should English be used as a university’s language of instruction in a non-English speaking country?’ Available at (accessed 26 September 2014).

Copyright information

© John Gray 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Gray

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations