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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: January ::
Re: Ideology/Teaching British to the Englanders
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0136.  Tuesday, 28 January 1997.

(1)     From:   John Lee <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Jan 1997 17:14:58 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0129  Re: Ideology/Teaching British to the Englanders

(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Jan 1997 22:14:35 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0129  Re: Ideology/Teaching British to the Englanders


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Lee <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Jan 1997 17:14:58 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 8.0129  Re: Ideology/Teaching British to the Englanders
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0129  Re: Ideology/Teaching British to the Englanders

I'm not sure if I should be flattered to be corrected by Terence Hawkes without
the usual humour.

>John Lee still hasn't got it right. It is of course absolute nonsense to say of
>Wales that 'half the country has a different language'. Most Welsh people
>cannot speak Welsh. All those who can speak Welsh can also speak English
>(though they may choose not to do so).

I don't feel very corrected.  I was careful not to say over half the Welsh
speak Welsh.  That would indeed be silly, as only about 28% of the population
are primary Welsh speakers.  Geographically, however, it is quite acceptable to
say `half the country has a different language'.

I feel similarly uncorrected about Hawkes next comment, though that is perhaps
because he did not read the thread from its beginnings.

>He should also make clear which 'system'
>of education he's referring to: the public one, or the no less diverse private
>one to which entrance is obtained by money. This latter system's access to the
>levers of power (via its quaintly named 'public' schools) ensures that it
>remains a major dimension of modern British culture.

A large part of my objection to Gabrial Egan's use of the British system was to
introduce just such discrinations.  And, as I believe a review of this thread
will show, I pointed out the English system itself was a variety of systems.
So my point is not to refer to _a_ system; it's to say, along with Hawkes, that
things are more complicated than that.

The basic point is still that I don't think Egan is correct to say that
Shakespeare isn't studied whole in the British (Scottish/English/English etc)
educational system (I raised doubts as to what was meant by 'whole' earlier.  I
think he might be referring to key stage 3 (of the 4 key stages) in the
National Curriculum, which refers to ages up to 14 (?).

Ignoring such points of fact, however, the argument also fails to convince. if
Egan's argument is that the Conservative government is chopping up Shakespeare
(as opposed to trying to insist that students at least read some) to make the
world safer for their own brand of ideology, then should it follow that
fee-paying schools teach even smaller gobbets? And if so, do they?

(I'd still like to hear what Hawkes made of his head to head with the
Government minister.)

John Lee

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Date:           Monday, 27 Jan 1997 22:14:35 -0500
Subject: 8.0129  Re: Ideology/Teaching British to the Englanders
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0129  Re: Ideology/Teaching British to the Englanders

Roger Schmeeckle writes:

>I believe the propensity to construct languages is innate
>in human nature, i.e. not a construct.

And you are in very good company in this belief.  Yes, it does seem likely that
we humans have a language-gene.

However, I think it's less likely that we have a category-gene, and categories
are contexts.  We create categories with language in our desire to make our
lives meaningful.

Yours, Bill Godshalk
 

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