Study Abroad and Exchanges



SEL1012 : Language Through Time: Introduction to the History of English (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


(1) To introduce ideas and concepts relevant to the study of linguistic variation and change;
(2) To introduce students to the history and diachronic analysis of the English language;
(3) To utilise the concepts and structures established in SEL1027 and apply them to historical data;
(4) To provide the foundation for more detailed and specific studies of linguistic variation, linguistic change and the history of the English language, in second and third year modules.

Outline Of Syllabus

There will be two lectures and one seminar each week. The lectures will cover themes related to the what and how of language change (weeks 1-3), the why and wherefore of language change (weeks 3-5), change in prehistoric and early medieval English (weeks 5-7), late medieval and early Modern English (weeks 8-9), and Late Modern English (weeks 10-12). These topics will be further illustrated, discussed and applied in the seminar meetings (weeks 1-12).

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion136:0036:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1118:00118:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity101:0010:00Seminar preparation in study groups
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to impart information, demonstrate and discuss historical linguistic methodology and reasoning, and provide overall coherence for the module.

Seminars will be used to build skills in historical linguistic analysis and will therefore focus on work with concrete lingustic material of various types. They also aim to enhance understanding of approaches to historical texts from a linguistic perspective, practise and improve oral presentation skills.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A60N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M10A short written assignment (400 words) on an aspect of linguistic change
Written exercise2M10A short written assignment (400 words) on a historical English text
Written exercise2A20An essay-type assignment (800 words) on a set topic in the field of language change
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation2MA brief presentation analysing a passage of 18th-century English
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative assessment asks students to analyse a (short) historical text, giving them further practice in this essential component of the module. The presentation format means that all students will see many examples of such analysis in action within a single seminar hour.

The first two written exercises allow students to demonstrate their level of attainment of the intended skills outcomes. The third written exercise in addition allows students to demonstrate their discursive writing skills, as introduced in the first-semester module SEL1029.

The exam paper allows students to demonstrate (under controlled conditions) their full command of the knowledge and analytical skills imparted in the lectures and practised in the seminars.

Reading Lists