LS3SXS-Saxons to Shakespeare

Module Provider: English Language and Applied Linguistics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: LS1SG Sounds, Grammar and Meaning LS1ELS English Language and Society
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Françoise Le Saux


Summary module description:

To provide students with an understanding of the development of the English language from the Saxon and Viking invasions of Britain until the time of William Shakespeare. To locate this understanding in a knowledge of the linguistic, historical, economic and social forces which have shaped this role.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module it is anticipated that the student will be able to:
•explain how the English language came into being;
•describe grammatical, lexical, phonological and other linguistic features of English at various points during the time frame covered, and be able to apply general principles of language change to the development of English;
•describe the context in which the English language developed;
•evaluate theories on how the English language changed over time, including internal as well as external (socio-political and cultural) factors;
•describe, identify and give reasons for the principal varieties of English in the British Isles.

Additional outcomes:
The module aims to encourage students, and especially those for whom English is their first language, to consider issues of language development, and the notion of standard language.

Outline content:
This course looks at how English developed into a unified national language from the Saxon and Viking invasions, at which point we can see the emergence of Old English, up to the early 17th Century, when we refer to the language as Early Modern English. The linguistic, social, historical, economic and political context in the spread of English is considered. As well as looking at English through time, different varieties of English in the British Isles are examined from the perspective of sound systems, vocabulary, and grammatical patterning. There will be opportunities for students to use knowledge of linguistics gained elsewhere in the course to analyse samples of English in its different stages of development.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Interactive lectures, Blackboard discussion and activities.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 90
Set exercise 10

Other information on summative assessment:
• Students will write two short assignments (700 – 1,000 words) analysing historical change in English. (30%)
• Students will do a weekly online multiple choice questionnaire, answering 10 questions on weekly reading. (10%)
• Students will write an essay of 2000 – 2500 words on a question of the history of the English Language. (60%)

Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-submission of coursework by 22 August in the year the module is taken.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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