English and drama

History of English

Module code: Q1077
Level 5
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Unseen examination, Coursework

This module will provide you with the groundwork for understanding the shape and status of the English language.

The module is divided between the study of the ways in which it has changed since the Old English period, and the study of the social and cultural contexts in which those changes have happened. Special attention is given to the emergence of key dialects and to the relations between English and other languages in the British Isles.

You will also gain experience of a range of different varieties of English. History of English I focuses on the Middle English to Modern English periods, exploring the changing phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and lexical semantics of English. You will also explores new Englishes and pidgin/creole varieties.

Module learning outcomes

  • Deploy basic principles of descriptive and historical linguistics.
  • Read and translate texts in several varieties of English.
  • Demonstrate factual knowledge about the changing English language and demonstrate linguistic understanding of those changes.
  • Demonstrate factual knowledge of key incidents in history that have influenced the changing English language, and knowledge of the changing cultural contexts in which English has been spoken.