All human beings, whether educated or not, use language. We do not need to go to school to learn the most important form of language – the language of everyday life. We go to school to learn another variety of language – the abstract language of learning which is based on reading and writing and is, in its turn, the foundation of the further abstractions of mathematical and scientific language.
The books on this site bring the insights and methods of modern Systemic Linguistics into the classroom. All the courses are self-access with answers to the exercises and a glossary available in parallel and are available for viewing or downloading from the Downloads page.
Breakthrough to Learning Books 1, 2, 3: Published as the Wigan Language Project, this course for years 7-9 doubled the percentage of pupils gaining five or more good GCSEs. (Mason, Mason and Quayle 1992.)
Breakthrough to Learning Fasttrack: A short version used in Colleges of Further Education and the prize-winning Widening Participation programme of the University of Central England.
Knowledge About Language: A short course in the linguistic knowledge demanded by the Government. Commissioned by UCE for the PGCE, the course was worked through by students in their own time. All passed the test at the end of the year with an average score of 90%.
The three books of Breakthrough to Learning were developed from an earlier course by Mary Mason entitled Illuminating English which was the subject of an article in the prestigious publication Educational Studies. A copy of this article may be downloaded from the Downloads page.