Monday, 24 August 2009

The English language - how did it all start?

One of the competence aims for the first year students that really scared me when I first saw it, is the one that says that the students should be able to "explain the main characteristics of the development of English from an Anglo-Saxon language to an international world language". I guess I have always taught my students about how English came to be a world language, but the history of the language was not a part of the curriculum here in Norway until "Kunnskapsløftet" in 2006. Honestly, I believe the first time I really learned something about the history myself was as a master student at the university, and I therefore thought it a bit over the top to teach my own students about the topic. My opinion has changed, however, and knowing that they have to learn something about the history of the Norwegian language, too, it makes sense to point out some of the similarities between our own language, spoken only by 4,5 million people, and the number one world language English.

Using online resources for most part of my teaching, it has been a challenge to find pages on the internet dealing with the history of the English language in a way that is not too difficult for my students. has a page that can serve as a starting point, and I am also happy to find that Norsk Digital Læringsarena, NDLA, has come up with varoious resources on the topic. On this page we can read a short text about how the English language has developed through history, and I particularly liked the audio clip with examples of various varieties of English. I guess the students will also like the "Drag and drop" activities trying to place the origin of various words in the English language. So now that I have found some internet pages that I can use in class, I hope neither language history nor the teacher will scare away the students tomorrow afternoon. It will, after all, be our first meeting this year...



  1. I've also pointed my students at:

  2. Eu gostaria de saber realmente como surgio
    a língua,o ingles na verdade,por que alguns alunos Não conseguem achar como eu
    sou um aluno de uma escola de ensino médio
    e curço o 1º ano e não estou tendo acesso a este
    assunto por aqui . Muitoo obrigado,mais agredecido ainda de vocês poderem me ajudar .
    By: Flávio Henrico