Making Sense

By Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS)

Curriculum Corporation is delighted to announce that David Crystal, the renowned English writer, editor, lecturer and broadcaster, will deliver the SCIS Oration at the ASLA Conference to be held in Darwin, July 8 to 11.

His paper is titled Sense: the Final Frontier. Meaning, or sense, is at the heart of literacy, English teaching and all structurings of knowledge and thus provides an obvious focus for the conference's language day, however, it is one of the least understood and therefore most unsettling topics in language work. The paper investigates the way sense and especially vocabulary is handled in reading schemes and other teaching material, and makes a number of practical suggestions.

Born in 1941, David Crystal moved with his family from Wales to Liverpool in 1951-where he completed his secondary schooling. He then read English at University College, London and specialised in English language studies. He joined academic life as a lecturer in linguistics, first at the University of Bangor, Wales, then at the University of Reading. He published his first book in 1964, and became known chiefly for his research work in English language studies and in the application of linguistics to clinical and educational contexts.

He held a Chair at the University of Reading for 10 years and is now Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales where he now lives. These days he divides his time between works on language and working in publishing. He has written or edited over a hundred books mainly in the field of language, and is perhaps best known for his two encyclopedias from Cambridge Press: The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (second edition appeared earlier this year) and The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (1995). David is also the editor of several general encyclopedias in the Cambridge University Press family, including The Cambridge Encyclopedia and The Cambridge Biographical Encyclopedia. He was the founder-editor of the Journal of Child Language, Child Language Teaching and Therapy and Linguistics Abstracts. His work for schools includes the Skylarks, Databank and Datasearch reading programmes, Nineties Knowledge, Language A to Z and most recently Discover Grammar (1996).

David was honorary president of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language and chairman of the National Literacy Association. He is currently director of the Ucheldre Centre, Holyhead, a multi-purpose arts and exhibition centre. His wife Hilary trained as a speech therapist and now works with David as a business partner. She is accompanying him on this visit to Australia together with their youngest son Ben currently in his second year reading English language and linguistics at Lancaster University.

We look forward to welcoming the Crystal family to the Top End in July.

Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS)