Language is often regarded as the most important area of the curriculum. There are a number of features about language that contribute to its importance: 1) being literate is regarded as necessary for life, and necessary to access all other curriculum areas; 2) there is a close link between language and identity: this personal connection often results in strong views about the subject; 3) politicians have increasingly linked literacy levels in children and adults with national prosperity. Hence language is also an area that causes controversy, something that is particularly the case with English in the curriculum.