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History of English II - LAN00001I

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Eleanor Rye
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module summary

Building on History of English I, this module will give you a deeper understanding of the development of the English language from the Old English period to the present day.

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2019-20 to Summer Term 2019-20

Module aims

During the module, you will:

  • explore, in-depth, scholarly literature on the historical developments which have shaped the English language.
  • consider these developments within a framework of ideas about the causation and progress of linguistic change.
  • carefully consider the social context of these changes.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should:

  • understand some of the major linguistic events in the history of the English language, and the social context in which they are embedded.
  • be able to read a scholarly article on the history of English and understand the key points of the article.
  • be able to write a piece in appropriate academic prose reviewing and discussing the findings of a scholarly article on the history of English.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 30
Online Exam
History of English II
N/A 70

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
Reassessment: History of English II
N/A 100

Module feedback

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Formative exercises will be done individually or in groups throughout the module. Oral feedback on these exercises will be provided during class discussions.
  • Written feedback on a 750-word formative essay will be provided by the end of the Spring term.

Summative assessment and feedback

  • Students will be given written comments on their essay and a mark within four weeks of submission.
  • Students will have the opportunity to view their exam script, under supervision, at the end of the summer term.

Indicative reading

Barber, C., Beal, J., & Shaw, P. (2009). The English language: a historical introduction. (2nd ed.). Cambridge: CUP.

Baugh, A. C., & Cable, T. (2002). A history of the English language (5th ed.). London: Routledge.

Brinton, L., & Arnovick, L. (2011). The English language: a linguistic history. (2nd ed.). Oxford: OUP.

Crystal, D. (2004). The stories of English. Penguin.

Mugglestone, L. (2012). The Oxford history of English. (Rev. ed.). Oxford: OUP.

Smith, J. (1996). An historical study of English: function, form and change. London: Routledge.

van Kemenade, A., & Los, B. (Eds.) (2006). The handbook of the history of English. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students