Power, policing, and language policy mechanisms in schools: A response to Hudson

Ian Cushing

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This discussion is a response to Richard Hudson's response to my article, ‘The policy and policing of language in schools’ (Cushing 2019). Hudson argues that current education policy in England generally rejects and avoids prescriptivism and sets out to illustrate this in reference to a number of policy documents. As in my original article, I conceive of language policy as p/Political and one way in which language ideologies get turned into practices, through a series of policy mechanisms such as curricula, tests, and guidance for teachers. I show how these mechanisms do not ‘reject’ prescriptivism, but explicitly perpetuate it, and thus act as a system of coercion which can lead teachers into reproducing these ideologies in their practice. I argue that Hudson's argument is limited because of its depoliticised stance and understanding of key sociolinguistic concepts and issues, such as ‘Standard English’, ‘linguistic correctness’, and language education itself. (Language education policy, language ideologies, critical applied linguistics, schools, England)
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)461-475
JournalLanguage in Society
Early online date24 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Education
  • Education policy

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