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Learning Languages in Early Modern England$
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John Gallagher

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198837909

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198837909.001.0001

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Extracurricular Economy

Extracurricular Economy

Language Teachers and Language Schools in Early Modern England

(p.14) 1 Extracurricular Economy
Learning Languages in Early Modern England

John Gallagher

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the vibrant economy of language teaching and learning in early modern England. The period witnessed a boom in both autodidacticism and private educational provision. Language teaching was central to a vibrant urban ‘extracurricular economy’. New spaces, schools, and teachers reshaped the educational landscape. Working within an economy of reputation, skill, and prestige, language teachers advertised their services and attracted students through a mixture of their presence in print, networks of contacts, and claims of pedagogical skill and linguistic prestige. In doing so, these teachers—particularly teachers of French—contributed to new ways of thinking about the English language itself. New perspectives on the places, people, and practices of this extracurricular economy ultimately demand that we rethink the concept of an early modern ‘educational revolution’.

Keywords:   educational revolution, language teaching, early modern, private educational provision, autodidacticism, school, extracurricular economy

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