The Survey of English Usage
Quarterly Newsletter
September 2010

This newsletter is part of a series of quarterly newsletters from the Survey of English Usage, intended to keep the academic community and other interested parties informed about research in the Survey. The newsletter will be sent out in March, June, September and December. The March issue is the Survey’s Annual report.


The following seminars will be held in the Autumn term:

Wednesday 27 October



Dr Jill Bowie (UCL)
Recent change in spoken British English: the perfect construction.
Wednesday 24 November Dr Sylvia Shaw (Middlesex University)
Gender, Language and Political Participation in the Devolved Political Institutions of the UK.

More information is on our Events page.

The Glamour of Grammar

A one day workshop held on Thursday July 8th 2010.

8th July saw the first teachers’ day put on by the Survey of English Usage, entitled The Glamour of Grammar, as part of the AHRC-funded Knowledge Transfer project Creating a Web-Based Platform for English Language Teaching and Learning. The day was aimed at secondary teachers of English and forms part of the Teaching English Grammar in Schools knowledge transfer project which aims (among other things) to boost the knowledge and confidence of teachers when it comes to the grammar of English.

Across four sessions led by Bas Aarts, Dan Clayton and the English and Media Centre’s Barbara Bleiman, over 25 teachers from several parts of the country were given the chance to look at a range of areas. In the first session, Bas Aarts looked at the background to grammar teaching in English schools and at how the teaching of grammar can feed into a more investigative approach to learning, giving students the chance to develop their skills of argumentation and analysis. Elsewhere, teachers had the chance to explore ICE-GB and were introduced to resources designed to encourage understanding of morphology and syntax and their place in language study at Key Stages 3 and 4, while Barbara Bleiman talked about the new spoken language study at GCSE, a unit which opens up spoken language for systematic study for the first time to hundreds of thousands of 15 and 16 year-olds, and offers the chance for corpora to be used in teaching in a way that hasn’t been seen before.

For more information, see here.

The day was a great success and a second event aimed at helping teachers with the basics of grammar ('The Clamour for Grammar’) is planned for early November 2010.

The project blog can be found here.

Conference presentations

Dan Clayton and Bas Aarts presented a paper on the project at a workshop entitled Teaching English Grammar held at the University of Winchester on 3 July 2010 and Dan presented papers at the National Association for Teachers of English (NATE) conference in July 2010 and at the British Association for Applied Linguistics conference at Birmingham University in June 2010, as well as at the Linguistics Association of Great Britain (LAGB) conference at the University of Leeds in September.

Bas Aarts

September 2010

This page last modified 1 February, 2018 by Survey Web Administrator.