Creative English lecturer and author called to be keynote speaker

Creative English lecturer and author called to be keynote speaker 

A University of Cumbria lecturer and author of a book aimed at sparking creativity in the way English is taught in primary schools is a keynote speaker at a major education literary conference.

Adrian Copping, primary PGCE programme leader and senior lecturer in English and literacy based at the Lancaster campus of the University of Cumbria, has been asked to present to delegates at the United Kingdom Literary Association’s (UKLA) conference next month.

The UKLA was established in 1963 to promote good practice nationally and internationally in literacy and language teaching and research. The event, called Enriching the English curriculum through creativity, is aimed at teachers, trainers and students.

Adrian has spent years researching and practising techniques to fill the ‘creative neglect’ that he says exists in English teaching.

“Writing for different audiences is the key – whether it’s a letter to a newspaper, review of a school trip or even a murder mystery,” Adrian said. An alumnus of the University of Cumbria where he studied English and drama, his particular interests are the use of teacher-in-role and other drama techniques to develop children’s writing and understanding of text.

“Whether it’s extracts from Hansard or highlights of Macbeth there’s always a way of bringing the text alive in a creative way which can stimulate the interest of children in what might seem to be dry text,” Adrian said. A suitcase which contains wigs, sunglasses and even a spacesuit lies on a shelf in his office which gives an indication of the variety of roles he’s filled to try and spark children’s imagination.

His book, Being Creative in Primary English, (SAGE Publications Ltd) has been well received and aims to offer a toolkit of techniques based on his own experiences of teaching and more recently as a teacher educator.

“To be asked to present at the UKLA event is a real honour and comes at a time when teachers are under increasing pressure to teach English well,” Adrian says. “Giving time to the thinking process to allow children to be creative is essential.”