Centre for Curriculum, Pedagogy and Policy Seminar: Standards, surveillance and language policy enactment in schools

Join us for this Centre for Curriculum, Pedagogy and Policy seminar with Dr. Ian Cushing from the Department of Education, Brunel University London.

Chaired by Dr. James Simpson, University of Leeds, with discussants Dr. Martin Lamb and Dr. Lucy Taylor, University of Leeds.


This talk presents an analysis of various standardised language policy mechanisms currently circulating in secondary schools in England and the processes by which these are interpreted, enacted and resisted by teachers. In particular, I focus on a cluster of top-down mechanisms which textually reproduce and propagate the standard language ideology, such as national curricula documents, teacher performance benchmarks, Ofsted inspection reports and assessment instruments.

I explore how these mechanisms are constructed as technologies of language surveillance and how they are enacted by teachers in schools, drawing on a range of ethnographic data including interviews, school-produced language policies, pedagogical materials, classroom observations and linguistic landscapes. I show how these mechanisms exist in network of intertextual and interdiscursive relationships across policy ‘levels’, tracing contact points and trajectories between ideology, policy and practice. This analysis is sensitive to the sociopolitical context of present-day education in England, where discourses about standardised language regularly get wrapped up with discourses of behavior, discipline and compliance.

About the speaker

Ian Cushing is a Lecturer in Education at Brunel University London. His research examines the ‘social life’ of language policies in schools, with a particular focus on the standard language ideology, language surveillance and language policy enactment. His work has appeared in journals such as Language in Society, Literacy and Metaphor and the Social World. Forthcoming work is to appear in Language, Culture and Curriculum and the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.

Booking details

The seminar will be held on MS Teams.

To register, please email J.Ukkonen@leeds.ac.uk