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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The emergence of 'English' as a school subject in Natal
Author:Harley, K.
Year:1991
Periodical:The English Academy Review
Volume:8
Pages:1-14
Language:English
Geographic terms:South Africa
Natal
Subjects:language instruction
English language
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/10131759185310031
Abstract:This historical account of the emergence of English as a school subject in Natal, South Africa, starts with the year 1849, when the first 'Government Free School' in the Colony of Natal was declared officially open. In that time, the subject matter embraced by 'English' included not only the elements of reading and writing, but also arithmetic, grammar, geography, history, etc. By 1913 a relatively unified subject called 'English' had emerged from the earlier generic concept of 'English subjects'. In the 'Standard Syllabus' published in 1923, English was unequivocally categorized as an identifiable, unified school subject with aims of its own. By 1937, the importance of appreciation of literature had been affirmed in the English syllabus. In the 1951 syllabus, the trends of the previous three decades were entrenched. Literature now enjoyed more prominence than ever. Silent reading still had a role to play, but the emphasis had shifted. The new syllabus also marked the demise of grammar and recitation as major, independent elements within the subject. And most significant was the fact that English was described as a fully integrated, indivisible subject. Bibliogr., note.
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