History of the English Language (HEL)

Course description:

ENGL 229 is a course required of all English majors, Literature and Language.  It is a cultural history of the English language in a global context.  The course covers the historical evolution of the English language, attempts at standardizing English and its contact with other languages, as well as the contexts of its twenty-first century expansionThe course also introduces students to new technologies of curating, representing and analyzing language data.

Course materials:The reading for the course vary from year to year.  They will be available for purchase at the University Bookstore and via this site.

Learning outcomes:

Students in this course will

  • Acquire cultural and historical frameworks in which to situate texts in the various Anglophone traditions – LANG/LIT PLO 1
  • Be encouraged to situate the history of English in a global context – LANG 3;
  • Be exposed to the idea of languages in contact – LANG 3 / LIT 1;
  • Consider the invention of English as an object of cultural inquiry;
  • Come to understand the unfolding historiography of the English language;
  • Learn about specific formal problems of language found across time and space – LANG 3;
  • Place themselves in Lebanon in the twenty-first century with respect to language change and variation – LANG 3;
  • Be exposed to historical attempts at collecting and standardizing language, as well as the politics of such a process;
  • Gain knowledge about historical remediation of linguistic artifacts and how it impacts our view of the history of  language;
  • Gain hands-on experience with, digital historical corpora (literature and language) as a means of accessing language of various historical periods – LANG/LIT PLO 5;
  • Explore emergent technologies for the representation, and treatment, of language;
  • Collaborate to collect, and curate data, about the Englishes of Lebanon – LANG/LIT PLO 5
  • collaborate to curate a bibliography on languages in contact – LANG/LIT PLO 5
  • learn to use a blogging platform for regular assignments and final portfolio purposes – LANG/LIT PLO 6
  • Be encourage to synthesize rather than memorize material about the history of language.

The Department of English Program Learning Outcomes can be found here.

Attendance and participation in class will be an essential part of the final grade. Attendance means that you are present and that you bring your readings. Class participation means that you come prepared to discuss the materials, that you speak up when you have something relevant to say and that you are respectful of all students’ desire to speak. If you do not attend regularly you should also expect a low participation grade. The same is true if you do not bring your books or if you regularly arrive late.

Attendance Policy:

The course is based on regular, progressive exercises.  It is required for students to attend.  A maximum of six absence in the semester is allowed.  After this point, students will be removed from the class.

Course policies:

  • Phones should not ring in class. You should not text in class.
  • If you must leave class early, inform me, sit by the door and leave quietly.
  • If you know that you have to miss class, please inform the instructor ahead of time, and preferably in writing. Staying in communication is the key.
  • Students should bring their reading, paper, and a pen or pencil to class.
  • Devices are allowed in class, except in the case of in-class assessment.
  • Excused absences must come from AUH, and are subject to verification.

Academic integrity and honesty are central components of a student’s education. Ethical conduct maintained in an academic context will be taken eventually into a student’s professional career. Academic honesty is essential to a community of scholars searching for and learning to seek the truth. Anything less than total commitment to honesty undermines the efforts of the entire academic community. Both students and faculty are responsible for ensuring the academic integrity of the University.

You should be familiar with the AUB Student Code of Conduct including what happens in the case of infraction.

This class has a combination of in-class and out-of-class assessment opportunities. Your work on both should be your own.  For group projects, you should provide me with a breakdown of what team members did what.