… one of our readers asked a few days ago. “Where was he working when the National Council of Educational Standards asked him to write The Language Trap? Was he an academic?” she asked.
What we know about John Honey is still rather patchy at the moment. We know about several of his publications, i.e. The Language Trap (1983) and Language is Power (1997), and about their reception. See elsewhere in this blog for our current list of reviews. Please let us know if you have more of them.
In addition, we have a biographical document as part of the set of letters we acquired
on the reception of The Language Trap (see elsewhere in this blog, too). This gives us some more information. This document tells us that he was 49 in January 1983, that he attended school in Capetown down to 1948, upon which he went to the UK and eventually became a student at Cambridge (Pembroke College). He taught at the universities of Durham and Cambridge and became a professor of Education at Rhodes University in 1971.
When he wrote The Language Trap he was “Professor and Head of the School of Education at Leicester Polytechnic … where he is now [i.e. in 1983) also Dean of the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Social Science”. Some further information about him may be found in his publications in English Today, which usually contain a blurb of the author of the article in question. So these would be a good source to look at as well. But we still don’t know when he died: we’d be very interested to hear if anybody does! And also do let us have more information about this controversial writer if you have any.