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Linguistics and education: a case of mutual dependency?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Calbert Graham.

In syntax, the most basic theoretical choice opposes phrase structure and dependency structure. Perhaps the strongest evidence for dependency is the mutual dependency evident in “What happened?” A brief look at the history of the two opposing theories shows that it played out almost entirely in debates about school grammar. This is a useful example of the mutual dependency between linguistics and education. Education needs good linguistics as a foundation for the teaching of both language analysis and the nature of language; and linguistics needs good education as a foundation for training future linguisticians. These general ideas will lead into a discussion of the current crisis in the UK’s language education (concerning English as well as foreign languages), and what we linguisticians can do about it.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Linguistics Forum series.

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