Soran University College of Arts English Language Department Course Handbook Course Name: History of English Language Fourth Year Students/ Education

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Soran University - College of Arts - English Language Department

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Course Handbook

Course Name: History of English Language

Fourth Year Students/ Education

Instructor: Vean Matti Al-Saka


Coordinator: Chiaye Kh.Faqe


Course overview:

This course deals with the history of English which is a fascinating field of study. The historical account promotes a sense of continuity, and enables the students to find coherence in many of the conflicts of present-day English language use.

Course objectives::

By the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate knowledge of the history of English language which can be understood only if they know the history of England.

  2. have an understanding of the different types of invasions that conquered England and how the English language survived and was also enriched by the invaders' languages. i.e., the effect of the conquests on English language.

  3. identify the changes that took place in the language whether in the structure, lexicon, pronunciation or semantics.

  4. explain the origin of many common words or affixes with their meanings.



Barber, Charles. (1993). The English Language: A Historical Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Blake, N. F. (1996). A History of the English Language. Macmillan: Macmillan Press LTD.

Bybee, J., Perkins, R., and Pagliuca, W. (1994). The Evolution of the Grammar: Tense, Aspect and Modality in the Languages of the World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of The English Language . (2003). Crystal, David. (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Crystal, David.(2005). The Stories of English. London:Penguin.

Millward, C. M. & Mary Hayes. (1996). A Biography of the English Language. USA: Nelson Education, Ltd.

Minkova, Donka and Robert Stockwell (editors). (2003) Studies in the History of the English Language: A Millennial Perspective. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Mugglestone, Lynda (editor). (2006) The Oxford History of the English Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sambrook, G. A.( 1949 ) The English Language . Melbourne : Longmans, Green & Co., 


Chaucer Review

Studies in Language

Rules and Instructions

Students have to attend %90 percent of the lectures or they miss 3 marks. All the exams will be done according to the agreement between both as there is no delay after the discussion except for necessary cases.

Weekly Quizzes are expected and all the quizzes are considered.

No cell phone rings are allowed to be heard inside the class.

Students have the right to enter the class 10 minutes after the formal time especially for the first lectures as they have right to leave the class if the instructor did not attend or inform them during the first 20 minutes.

Quizzes are expected suddenly without discussion.

Daily behavior is important as it influences the personal relations between both. So we have to be careful to keep this kind of friendly relations.

Course Content



1st Week

Introduction to the History of English


The Beginnings of English language

The Heritage of Rome



The Celtic Heritage



English Comes to England


The Beginnings of Written English


The Danish Contribution


Class Test (Out of 20)






The Norman Influence


Old English Alphabet


Old English Grammar



Middle English Spelling



Middle and Modern English Grammar


Middle English Vocabulary


Class Test (Out of 10)


The Richness and Variety of English


Contributions to Modern English


First Class Test Two-hour examination ( % 20)

Second Class Test One-hour examination ( % 10)

Presentation (%10)

Final Course Examination Three-hour examination (%60)

Samples of Expected Questions and answers:

  1. The arrival of Augustine and his monks marks the beginning of a higher type of civilization in England. Explain

  2. During the Norman conquest three languages might have been heard in England. Comment

  3. The Norman invasion had an important effect on English.

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