"The Power of English"
Part 2: The Mother Tongue
This is an assignment for CLAS224 Word Elements. Instructor: Thomas J. Sienkewicz (email@example.com)
Monmouth College Monmouth, Illinois
Assignment: Watch the video and answer the following questions.
This part of the series surveys the history of the English language from its origins through the year
1500. You will learn how English evolves from Old English to Middle English to Modern English.
As you watch this program, look for three invasions which have influenced the development of the
Before you watch this program, be sure to read the introduction to Ayers and note the list of
important terms which you should associate with the history of English.
As you watch the program, answer the following questions.
- Why is a Hindu temple an appropriate place to begin the study of English?
- What is Sanskrit and what is its relationship with English?
- Who was Sir William Jones?
- What is Indo-European and what is its relationship with English?
- Whose invasion of Britain marks the first step in the development of English?
- Who lived in Britain before this? What language did they speak? Where do their descendants
- What is the relationship between English and Welsh? What are some of the characteristics of
- What are some of the characteristics of Old English? How is it similar to modern English? How
is it different?
- What is Beowulf? What is its relationship with English?
- How did Latin make a contribution to Old English?
- How did Alfred the Great save the English language?
- Who led the second major invasion in the history of English? In what parts of the island did
they settle? What language did they speak? What happened to this language in England?
- Why was the Norman Invasion called the supreme test of the English language?
- How did French enhance the English language?
- How did the structure of English change during the Middle English Period?
- Why is Chaucer's Canterbury Tales important in the history of the English language?
- Compare Chaucer's English with modern English.
- What was William Caxton's contribution to the English language?
- Why is the London-Oxford-Cambridge triangle important in the history of the English
- What is the plot of the medieval play "Mankind"? How is this play significant in the history of
the English language?
This material has been published
on the web by Prof. Tom
Sienkewicz for his students at Monmouth
College. If you have any questions, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
to Monmouth College Department
of Classics Homepage.