Saxons to Shakespeare

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Saxons to Shakespeare

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Pre-requisites: LS1SG Sounds, Grammar and Meaning LS1ELS English Language and Society
    Non-modular pre-requisites:

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    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.

    Summative Assessment Methods:
    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 Convener 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.

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

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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