Course syllabus history of great britain and the english language (hgbel) Fall 2014

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Fall 2014

Course Information

Title: History of the English Language

Number (code): ENGL-317

Credit hours: 3

Semester/term : Fall 2014

Prerequisites: LING-215

Instructor Information

Full name: Naila Qasimova

Title: MA

Office location(optional): English Language and Literature Department

Email address:

Course Description:
The course is offered to graduate and post-graduate students majoring in translation/interpreting, teaching English as a second or foreign Language, and Journalism. It introduces students to the history of Great Britain and offers an extensive analysis of the evolution of the English Language and its place among other Germanic languages. The course will help students enhance their general and linguistic background and enable them to better understand the main regularities of Language change and development. This course can be regarded as a rewarding addition to any theoretical language discipline, and be used in all teaching situations where the aim is to improve overall language proficiency that students need to satisfy growing academic requirements.

Course Objectives:
1. to introduce students to the early history of GB and emergence of the English language (Old English)

2. to trace the language change and development due to the main historical events of the Middle Ages (Middle English)

3. to introduce students to historical and socio- political changes in the country that led to the formation of the national literary language (Modern English)

4. to make the course an integral part of the English language curriculum for the Humanities

5. to briefly acquaint students with the history of English usage

History of the English Language Content Area

Week 1

Introduction. The origins of the English Language. The Indo-European family of Languages. Germanic Branch. Discussion

Week 2

Pre-Germanic Britain. Germanic Settlement of Britain. Beginning of English (Roman conquest, Anglo-Saxon conquest). Discussion

Week 3

The origin and position of English.

The Periods in the History of English. Discussion

Week 4

(Quiz 1)

700 A. D. - 1100 – the period of full endings 450- 1150 OLD ENGLISH. Some characteristics of Old English. Old English alphabet and pronunciation. Linguistic History (spelling, grammar, vocabulary). Discussion

Week 5

Runic inscriptions. Old English Manuscripts.

The poem Beowulf. Discussion

Week 6

Old English Vocabulary. Foreign Influences on Old English. The Contact of English with Other Languages. Celtic Place Names and Other Loanwords. Discussion

Week 7

(Quiz 2)

1150-1500/ 1066-1509 A.D. MIDDLE ENGLISH (Germanic- Romance). The Scandinavian Conquest (early 8th century, late 9th century). The Norman Conquest and Middle English (1066-1200). Effect of the Norman Conquest on the linguistic situation. Struggle between English and French. Discussion

Week 8


Midterm Exam

Week 9

Dialect division. Rise of London dialect. Late Middle English. Reestablishment of the English Language as the State and Literature. Written records in the Late Middle English. Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare. Discussion

Week 10

MODERN ENGLISH (1500-present) – the period of lost endings (Renaissance). Development of the Literary Language. Flourishing of Literature in Early New English Language. Literary Renaissance. Introduction of printing. Discussion

Week 11

(Quiz 4)

Modern Period. Varieties of English in Britain in the 19th and 20th c. Discussion

Week 12

Geographical expansion of the English Language. English outside Great Britain. Modern English vocabulary, phonetic and grammatical changes. Discussion

Week 13

World English. Discussion

Week 14

(Quiz 5)

Paper presentations.

Week 15

Paper presentations. Revisions

Week 16

Final Exam

Week 17


1. Midterm = 30 points / Final Tests = 30 points

2. Attendance = 5 points

3. Participation (Discussions ) = 10 points

4. Quizzes = 10 points

5. Course paper and presentation (4 typed pages and list of references) = 15 points

Total: 100 points

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