Why Is English Like That? Historical Answers to Hard ELT Questions

ISBN-10: 0472031341
ISBN-13: 9780472031344
Edition: 2006
List price: $30.50 Buy it from $7.71
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Description: Why is "night" spelled with "gh"? Why can't sentences end with prepositions? Why does English have so many words that express the same ideas? Questions like these can be difficult for teachers to answer when they do not know the historical  More...

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Book details

List price: $30.50
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Publication date: 2/10/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.430
Language: English

Why is "night" spelled with "gh"? Why can't sentences end with prepositions? Why does English have so many words that express the same ideas? Questions like these can be difficult for teachers to answer when they do not know the historical background of the English language. Why Is English Like That? gives teachers a brief and accessible history of the English without assuming any prior knowledge of the subject. The book outlines the historical events that shaped English; describes how its grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation developed over time; and highlights the "quirks" and "exceptions" in English that can be explained on a historical basis. By understanding how the English of today evolved from the English of past times, both teachers and students will be more comfortable with the many conventions of the English language. Why Is English Like That? also contains photocopiable grammar and vocabulary exercises that will help teachers incorporate some of this historical knowledge into classroom activities. This book was written with English language teachers in mind, and the exercises are designed for ESL/EFL students, but it may also be used by teachers in training (L1 and L2).

NORBERT SCHMITT is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Nottingham, UK. He is interested in all aspects of second language vocabulary acquisition, processing, use, and pedagogy. His current research focuses on formulaic language, the interface of vocabulary and reading, vocabulary testing, and implict vs. explicit knowledge of vocabulary.

Richard Marsden is Emeritus Professor of Old English in the University of Nottingham. In addition to numerous articles on Old English literature and language and the history of the Latin Bible, he has published The Text of the Old Testament in Anglo-Saxon England (Cambridge University Press, 1995) and an edition of The Old English Heptateuch for the Early English Text Society (2008).

Guide to the Phonetic Symbols Used in This Book
Why English? Why Are We Teaching English and Not Some Other Language?
The Importance of English in the World Today
How English Became a Global Language
English's Strengths and Weaknesses as a Language
Further Reading
The Importance of English in Today's World
How Does English Compare to Other Languages?
English Use around the World
A Brief History of the English Language: A Language Evolves in a Changing World
Before English
Old English (c. 450-1100)
Middle English (c. 1100-1500)
Early Modern English (c. 1500-1700)
Modern English (c. 1700-Present Day)
Further Reading
The Development of English
English Grammar: Why Are There So Many Irregular Forms in English Grammar?
What Is Grammar?
Describing Grammar
Irregularities in Morphology
Irregularities in Syntax
Modern Changes in Grammar
Further Reading
Irregular Verbs in English
Irregular Plural Nouns in English
English Vocabulary: Why Are There So Many Words, and Where Did They Come From?
The Size of the English Lexicon
The Origins of the Modern English Lexicon
English Words That Have Been Created
Further Reading
Old English Vocabulary in Today's English
Where Did Old English Vocabulary Come From?
Where Did English Vocabulary Come From?
Classroom Handout: A List of Useful Latin Prefixes
The Vocabulary Levels Test
The Sounds of English: Why Does the Pronunciation of English Vary, and Why Doesn't It Always Match the Spelling?
Variation in the Pronunciation of English
Mismatches between Pronunciation and Spelling in English
Describing the Sounds of English
Why Does Pronunciation Change?
Historical Sound Change and Its Effect on Modern English Pronunciation
Further Reading
When Did Words Come into English?
Find the Silent Letter
Many Spellings for One Sound
The Spelling of English: How Did the Writing System of English Develop?
The Origins of the English Alphabet
The Standardization of English Spelling
Changing the Spellings of Words
Further Reading
Comparing British and American English (Spelling)
English around the World: How Is English Different in Various Countries around the World?
The Uniformity of English around the World
Standard English
The Three Circles of Global English Usage
What Are the Differences between American and British English?
English in Non Native-Speaking Countries
Further Reading
Comparing British and American English (Vocabulary)
Comparing Different Kinds of English
English in the Future: Where Is English Going?
Will English Become More Uniform, or Will It Fragment in the Future?
Will English Continue to Be a Prominent World Language?
What Will English Look Like in the Future?
Further Reading
Teacher's Notes and Answers to the Classroom Exercises

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