You are here

Teaching English in Secondary Schools

Teaching English in Secondary Schools

March 2015 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This book is an indispensable guide for anyone training to become a secondary English teacher. It provides an overview of the main topics taught in schools, informed by good teaching practice drawn from the classroom and supported by research and theory, and engages with the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum for England.

Each chapter is based around a ‘lesson feedback’ case study informed by real classroom observations combined with research findings to explore and analyse what underpins high quality English teaching.

Coverage includes:

·         Encouraging a love of reading in your classroom

·         How to teach effective writing for pleasure and for information

·         Developing students’ grammar, vocabulary and spoken English

·         Inspiring teaching using drama, poetry and Shakespeare

·         Intelligent use of media and new literacies in teaching

This is essential reading on all secondary English initial teacher education courses, including school-based (SCITT, School Direct, Teach First), university-based (PGCE) and employment-based routes into teaching.


Introduction: the knowledge of English teachers and this book
Lesson design for learning in English
Reading a set text
Analysing literary texts
Writing based on literary models
Teaching about language
Teaching points of grammar
Media and multiliteracies in English
Spoken language
Teaching Shakespeare
Teaching drama in English
Teaching poetry
Your growth as an English teacher

This inventive and engaging book explores different facets of English teaching by focusing each chapter around a particular lesson and how it was taught. Crucially, this makes the links between theory and practice transparent, showing clearly how the debates, principles and values that underpin teaching can be manifested in the classroom. Teachers will find it particularly valuable for helping them to understand, reflect on and critically evaluate their teaching – central components of teacher education and development. 

Annabel Watson
Lecturer in Language Education, University of Exeter

Drawing on lesson plans to prompt discussions is a great starting point, supporting readers in considerations of different teaching and learning strategies. The text is rooted in actual classroom practice, and this opens up wider debates about approaches to English education. 

Karen Lockney
Senior Lecturer, University of Cumbria

This thought-provoking and pertinent new book takes a deep and critical look at classroom experiences and the teaching of specific lessons. This is an extremely useful approach that will support English teachers to reflect critically upon their own practice and engage with the complexities of teaching their subject. 

Vicky Macleroy
Senior Lecturer in English in Education, Goldsmiths, University of London

Great to prep students who aim to teach English in secondary or college based education.

Miss Holly Joanna Magenta Scott
Education Department, Newcastle College
May 15, 2019

This book is invaluable for student teachers or newly qualified teachers of secondary English. It looks at the different skills English teachers are asked to tackle with learners, offering anecdotes, ideas and points for reflection throughout. It also looks at vexed questions such as the teaching of Shakespeare. A very useful resource for those starting out in English teaching.

Dr Louise Campbell
Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh University
May 4, 2018

An excellent book. The focus on individual lessons enables student teachers to see themselves in the lessons that are discussed and so explore different perspectives - it's a simple but very effective premise. I will definitely be referring to it during the year in my whole-cohort sessions and recommending it to individuals where appropriate.

Ms Lorna Smith
Graduate School of Education, Bristol University
July 6, 2015

This was an interesting and enjoyable read.

Mrs Ruth Steyert
Functional Skills, Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
May 21, 2015

The book I have inspected is truly very contributive as the book fills the vacancy in the area. When I inspected closely I have seen that the book is divided into carefully organized chapters giving the lesson design, including reading and writing activities. Speaking and grammar are given tandem in the book. Also the use of authentic material is supported with media and Multiliteracies in English and Teaching Shakespeare and using drama. Authenticity also includes poetry teaching and writing activities. Although there are some certain principles that teachers have to follow, they should depend on their own experiences and skills. My personal view is that this book more focuses on literary texts which cannot stand alone for an efficient teaching in the classroom. Especially foreign language learners may find it difficult to learn through literary texts. So all in all Teaching English in Secondary Schools could be a good course book in ESL environments while it can be a supplementary book for EFL settings.

Professor Fatih Yavuz
English language Teaching, Balikersir University
April 27, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Gordon Chapter 1

For instructors

Please select a format:

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781446253175

ISBN: 9781446253168

SAGE Knowledge is the premier social sciences platform for SAGE and CQ Press book, reference and video content.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.