Prescriptivism and the genre of pedagogical reference grammars for Italian students
Despite being thought of as – rightly or wrongly – one of the essential tools for in- structed language learning, pedagogical reference grammar books are still mainly uncharted ter- ritory within English grammaticographical research. The aim of this paper is to illustrate some distinctive features of the genre of pedagogical reference grammar books for Italian students of English vis-à-vis the notion of prescriptivism. The genre originated in Italy in the 80s of last cen- tury as communicative approaches started to become mainstream in Italian schools. The analysis is based on a corpus of eleven grammar books and shows that the genre is rooted in a view of grammar and an approach to grammar selection and presentation which may be dubbed ‘peda- gogical prescriptivism’.