Monday 16 April 2018
The great linguist, M.A.K. Halliday has died.
The great linguist, M.A.K. Halliday has died. His work used to be central to the way secondary English teachers treated language as 'language in use', with an emphasis on how language is part of social existence. Some of it got mis-used (I would argue) by the National Literacy Strategy as 'genre' work, though I'm not against a light-handed use of genre as a way of doing writing in schools. He taught my father linguistics, (as I wrote about jokily in 'So They Call You Pisher!' ) and - to put it crudely - fled the UK, once he realised that the government weren't interested in rational discussion of linguistics as a way of talking about language in schools.
I hope there will be long and thoughtful obituaries to him. We still have much to learn from his work.