Standardisation and the development of academic writing


A. Definitions

B. Processes of standardisation

C. The development of Standard English

D. The development of academic writing


It might be useful to point out that there are still controversies in the discussion of standard English. A recent book edited by Laura Wright (The Development of Standard English: 1300–1800 [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000]) begins with this statement:


Anyone wishing to find out about the rise of Standard English who turned to student textbooks on the history of the English language for enlightenment, would be forgiven for thinking that the topic is now understood. But the story found there is rather contradictory. (p. 1)


So there is still room for proposing your own point of view on the discussion.


The topic is also very relevant in the Singapore context with the S-GEM (Speak Good English Movement) – which originally was labelled as a Standard English Campaign. Indeed the relevant body in NUS is known as PROSE – Promotion of Standard English. So the topic is very much alive today and has strong resonances in Singapore.


For further reading, perhaps you could savour James Milroy and Lesley Milroy (1999), Authority in language: investigating Standard English, 3rd edn (London: Routledge).


When you’re ready to take the quiz based on this topic, go to the IVLE page and click on ‘Assessment’ on the left, and then on ‘Standardisation’.