History of English I

Aims

Aims

Knowledge outcomes

By the end of this module, students are expected to:

  • be acquainted with the major historical developments in the history of English
  • have some knowledge of important aspects of the older stages of the language, Old, Middle, Early Modern English
  • understand the nature of our evidence for the history of English
  • have explored in detail the historical sources of some features of the modern language

Practical skills

By the end of this module, students are expected to:

  • have developed abilities in the linguistic analysis of historical developments
  • have improved their ability to use evidence to support arguments
  • be able to use various tools to aid their study of older stages of the language

Prerequisites

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this module.

Programme

Programme

Contact hours

You will attend one hour of lecture and one hour backup group each week, and you are expected to do three-four additional hours of work on preparation and formative assessment each week.

Teaching programme

An introduction to the most important characteristics of the English of different periods, and some major changes in English, set within the background of the linguistic and sociolinguistic development of the English language. Practical work will develop your analytic skills and give you an understanding of the nature of our evidence for the history of English.

Teaching materials

  • Crystal, David. (2005). The Stories of English. Penguin.
  • Culpeper, Jonathan. (2005). History of English, 2nd edition. Routledge.

You may also want a general History of English textbook for further (structured) reading. There are many, many books of this sort in the library, or either of the following (not too expensive) books would be suitable.

  • Barber, Joan C. Beal, & Philip A. Shaw. (2009). The English Language: A Historical Introduction 2nd edition (Cambridge Approaches to Linguistics). Cambridge: CUP.
  • Crystal, David. (2003). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge: CUP. -- This book also covers much of the grammar of Modern English, so if you aren't taking Understanding English Grammar, it may provide some useful background in this area as well.

Assessment and feedback

Assessment and feedback

Formative assessment

You are expected to complete regular written assignments, to prepare for class discussion and for oral presentations in class, and to participate in group work.

Summative assessment

  • An essay
    • Length: 750 words
    • Due: Week 10 of Autumn Term
    • Weight: 20%
  • A portfolio
    • Due: Spring Term
    • Weight: 20%
  • A team project
    • Due: Summer Term
    • Weight: 20%
  • A 90-minute closed exam
    • Weeks 5-7, Summer Term
    • Weight: 40%

About this module

  • Module name
    History of English I
  • Course code
    E02C (LAN00002C)
  • Teacher 
    Ann Taylor
  • Term(s) taught
    All terms
  • Credits
    20