LINC material available

on CD ROM or DVD

By agreement with the DfES, the material is made available only for use in teacher training. See below for how to order it.

Free sample: the first 12 pages in .pdf format.

Introduction (by Prof Ron Carter)

The LINC (Language in the National Curriculum) project was an in-service teacher education programme funded by the UK government between 1989-1992. It was set up as a response to the publication of the Cox (1989) and Kingman (1988) reports on the state of English teaching and learning in the school years 5-16 in England and Wales. Its principal aim was to assist teachers with materials in preparation for the delivery of a National Curriculum and was designed with a recognition that most teachers at that time did not receive formal training in or had only minimal background in the description of the English language.

The comprehensive study units that make up the LINC programme are applied linguistic in character; that is, language is described not in isolation but mainly in relation to particular contexts of learning in primary and secondary schools with examples largely drawn from written and spoken language produced by children. The materials come with specially commissioned television and radio programmes produced by the BBC and an accompanying reader (Carter, 1990). The approach adopted by the LINC writing team, which was drawn from at that time current local education authorities in England and Wales, is functional in orientation, adopting above all a view that stresses the way in which language varies according to purpose, audience and, above all, social context.

When this in-service programme was reviewed at the end of 1991, it was decided by the government of the day that it was insufficiently formal and decontextualised in character and failed to pay sufficient attention to the rules of standard English. As a result and against a background of considerable public dispute, the government decided against publication but allowed the materials to be distributed in samizdat form for purposes of continuing training. Until 2006 the materials have been distributed in paper, video and audio tape format to many parts of the world where they have been universally praised as a resource for teachers and advanced level students of English. In the UK they have additionally been recommended by examining boards as a valuable resource for students and teachers of A’level English Language. A history of the political and ideological debates surrounding the LINC project can be found in Carter (1996 and 1997).

[Added in July 2015] The materials are now available in Digital format on a USB drive from this online shop. The format of the USB drive means that copies of the written and digital text can easily be made.

Professor Ron Carter


Carter, R (1996) `Politics and Knowledge About Language: The LINC Project’ in Hasan, R

and Williams, G (eds) Literacy and Society (London, Longman, 1996), pp 1-21.

Carter, R. (1997) Investigating English Discourse: Language, Literacy and Literature

(Routledge, London: Ch 3)

Carter, R. (ed) (1990) Knowledge About Language and the Curriculum: The LINC

Reader (Hodder, London)

DES (1988) Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Teaching of English Language (the Kingman Report) (HMSO)

DES (1989) Report of the English Working Party 5-16 (the Cox Report) (HMSO).



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