Welcome to the website of Mary Mason, the author of Breakthrough to Learning. This is a linguistics – based course for secondary schools, which teaches the language needed for academic success. When used systematically in Wigan 1984-91, the program had the effect of doubling the percentage of pupils gaining five or more GCSE’s grades A-C across the curriculum. (See Mason, Mason and Quayle 1992 under downloads.)
In 2012 Matthew Moss High School, an 11-16 comprehensive school in Rochdale, took up Breakthrough to Learning with enthusiasm. By July 2013 all pupils have worked through all or part of the course and the results are now being analysed. A first account of this experience can be downloaded on this site: BTL at MMHS
The three books (for years 7, 8 and 9) and the Fasttrack (a one-year shortened course) can be downloaded FREE from this site.
A companion website is www.languageofideas.co.uk, an interactive computer course for post-16 students, based on the same linguistic research. This is a prize-winning course commissioned by Birmingham City University. It is available on the above site FREE.
Information about the author, the course, its history and articles can be accessed on the two sites.
This site is set up as a “blog”. Every week I shall put up news of books on linguistics, cognitive psychology, neuroscience and other subjects with direct relevance to the language of education.