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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
Evolution of English
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0507  Friday, 18 March 2005

[1]     From:   Joe Conlon <
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        Date:   Thursday, 17 Mar 2005 18:57:35 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0493 Evolution of English

[2]     From:   Nora Kreimer <
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        Date:   Thursday, 17 Mar 2005 21:08:04 -0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0493 Evolution of English

[3]     From:   Kathy Dent <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Mar 2005 00:18:32 +0000
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0493 Evolution of English

[4]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Thursday, 17 Mar 2005 19:29:49 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0493 Evolution of English

[5]     From:   Susan St. John <
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        Date:   Thursday, 17 Mar 2005 21:50:16 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0493 Evolution of English

[6]     From:   Edward Brown <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Mar 2005 06:25:52 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0493 Evolution of English

[7]     From:   William Sutton <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Mar 2005 04:56:17 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0493 Evolution of English


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joe Conlon <
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Date:           Thursday, 17 Mar 2005 18:57:35 -0500
Subject: 16.0493 Evolution of English
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0493 Evolution of English

You might want to try The Story of English by Robert McCrum, William
Cran, and Robert MacNeil.  Description is available at Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0140154051/qid=1111103477/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/103-0885029-6811029

This book was a tie-in to the PBS series on the development of the
language.  The mini-series itself was quite interesting -- particularly
the chapter on Shakespeare's English.  I would think this would be of
interest to your students.  I work with tenth graders and I've used the
video of that chapter in some of my work.

Joe Conlon
Warsaw Indiana

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nora Kreimer <
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Date:           Thursday, 17 Mar 2005 21:08:04 -0300
Subject: 16.0493 Evolution of English
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0493 Evolution of English

There is a marvelous PBS mini-series with a companion book on The Story
of English, Viking 1986. Robert McCrum, William Cran, and Robert
MacNeil, the latter being the host of this miniseries in 9 episodes.

Regards,
Nora Kreimer

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kathy Dent <
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Date:           Friday, 18 Mar 2005 00:18:32 +0000
Subject: 16.0493 Evolution of English
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0493 Evolution of English

 >I am teaching a short course to an 11th grade class on the history of
 >English.  It focuses on the evolution of the English language and
 >literature from the beginning (whenever that is) through the
 >Renaissance.  I am looking for information on what might be appropriate
 >to this age group, if there are any topics I should focus on, sources I
 >would find helpful, and idea on how to make this interesting to 16-17
 >year olds.

For the language, Melvyn Bragg's recent book _The Adventure of English_
is very accessible and written in a lively way. The early chapters
provide an easy introduction to the historical events that caused
important developments in English and he explains how modern British
regional accents and dialects still show the signs of very early
influences.  He also does a great job of including more recent changes
in English (from the American Frontier to Australia, India, the
Caribbean and African American and even glancing at text messaging) and
I think this may be a good 'hook' to get teenagers interested in how
language changes over time.

Kathy Dent

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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Date:           Thursday, 17 Mar 2005 19:29:49 -0500
Subject: 16.0493 Evolution of English
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0493 Evolution of English

Hannah Lemberg <
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 >I am teaching a short course to an 11th grade class on the history of
 >English.  It focuses on the evolution of the English language and
 >literature from the beginning (whenever that is) through the
 >Renaissance.  I am looking for information on what might be appropriate
 >to this age group, if there are any topics I should focus on, sources I
 >would find helpful, and idea on how to make this interesting to 16-17
 >year olds.

Well, assuming that they've been reading Tolkien (a better than usual
bet, just now), one obvious starting point lies in his fiction that he
translated the entire Middle-Earth corpus from the actual memoirs of
Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and, in order to illustrate the relationship
between the language spoken by the Hobbits (which he was "translating"
into MnE) and the language spoken in Rohan, he "translated" the latter
into Old English. He goes into many details of his fictional translation
process.

I don't know whether you'd get complaints about Caedmon.

There is a movie due to come out this year called "Beowulf & Grendel". I
have no idea whether it will be any good, of course.

Since you seem to be in a public school, I do /not/ recommend (if you
value your job) looking at the recent BBC series of dramas based on the
"Canterbury Tales". But any normal HS English text will give a taste of
Chaucer, anyway.

Since I suppose you are not actually trying to teach them OE or ME, do
not forget "Sir Gawayn and 

 

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