* Is it the role of English teachers to teach basic literacy skills?* If not, what do English teachers think they should be doing?* How should basic literacy be taught in schools?These are important questions which have recently attracted significant political, media and parental debate. In addressing them, this book explores the question What is English Teaching? from a variety of perspectives, including teachers' beliefs about what they should be teaching, the views of the government, and the reality of young people's experiences in the 1990s. In particular, it explores the question of how - and even whether - the English subject area is capable of meeting its own, and the outside world's, expectations for teaching not only its specialist concerns, but also general literacy. The book explores ways in which the teaching of English might develop - for instance, by balancing its efforts evenly between literature study, media study and knowledge about language - and how it might contribute to wider literacy teaching, by sharing its distinctive teaching strategies with teachers of other subjects.