What is known as ‘Lily’s Grammar’ is probably the best-selling language teaching textbook ever written. Oddly enough, it was not written, as the title suggests, by William Lily, but by a committee (of which Lily was a member) set up by Henry VIII to establish a uniform method of teaching grammar in schools. It appeared in 1540 with the injunction that it was to be used in all schools, an injunction later repeated by Edward VI and Elizabeth. With this kind of royal support, the book sold around 10,000 copies a year at a time when the edition of books was limited to 1,250 copies. It continued without a serious rival until the middle of the 18th century. It represented everything schoolchildren dreaded most: mindless rote-learning, endless grammar rules and unrealistic sentences only introduced to illustrate grammar points. (Howatt, A.P.R.: A History of English Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984: 32-3)

This entry was posted in Fremdsprache, Grammatik, Sprache and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.