History

Ref: C2524931

In 1604, the Table Alphabetical - the first English dictionary - was published. We'll take that as a starting point for a wide-ranging exploration of how the English language adapted and evolved over the next three hundred years and more, taking in major works like the King James Bible and Samuel Johnson's dictionary as well as lesser known corners of the language. Learn the connection between the Oxford English Dictionary and a murderous American soldier, how to speak like a Georgian toff or Victorian costermonger, and the plight of "Poor Little H". We'll see how and why words encountered in all corners of the British Empire were brought back to "blighty", consider the origins of Malapropisms and Bowdlerisation, and watch the continuing battle between those trying to control the language, and those playing with it (usually in the name of smut). Featuring lots of activities and original sources.

Course aim

To explore the history of the English language from 1600 to the twentieth century.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Understand how language developed from 1600 onward
  • Appreciate the contributions of other countries and cultures to English
  • Describe some of the key sources used in studying the English language

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • There is no set course material but suggestions of interesting websites or books will be made throughout the course should you wish to pursue them.There is no set course material but suggestions of interesting websites or books will be made throughout the course should you wish to pursue them.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

History

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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