So how do we get over the confusion and frustration? By learning how English became ... English. ;) And what better way then by reading a book that explores the great influence that the world's history had on the formation and creation of the English language we have know today.
Laurie J. White has written the perfect book - King Alfred's English: A History of the Language We Speak And Why We Should Be Glad We Do - to help with just this issue. She has taken the history of our language and written it with an engaging tone to guide your 7th - 12th graders through wars, events, conquerors and the like that have helped mold and shape our English language.
Laurie's love for the history of our English language can be felt when you read the words on the pages of King Alfred's English. She takes you on a tour beginning with the beginning - even before England became England (when it was still Britain.) As you traverse the path of our English language, Laurie will point out four key invasions that have forever placed their mark on our language.
You will also learn how the invention of the Printing Press would FOREVER keep the written word in stasis. Not only would our words be in a way 'frozen in time', but the press would help spread the Bible to the common people. I don't want to give you too much information, but let me tell you I have LOVED this book!
I was super excited to get my hands on this book. I am an English person and I love history so I knew that this book was going to be a great read. And I was right! Not only is it a great read it has really taught ME something - this is not just for your middle and high schoolers. And for just $16.95 in softcover ($5.95 on the Kindle) it is money well spent.
Not only can you just read it for the sake of reading, Laurie has created lots of supplemental resources including worksheets, tests, movie recommendations, images, articles, primary sources, and more. She has split the resources between a student and teacher area so that you can follow along with each chapter. And to make it even better you can offer this as a course that allows you to give your student a 1/2 credit of history or you can give them 1/4 credit of both history and English depending on what fits your needs.
I told my husband about this book and he wanted to read it too. So last night, while I was working on my review, I asked him his thoughts about the book. Here is what he said.
"Nothing happens in a vacuum, so when I've studied English in the past it has always been disconnected. Even through studying phonics and language it doesn't put it into context. It teaches rules, but doesn't explain the WHY.
Now seeing the historical development of the language over time, it helps to know where our words and roots came from not just that a root is derived from some other language.
This book was very engaging. Sometimes sections were longer for me then the time that I had to read the section and I just couldn't put the book down, but I had to due to my own time constraints."
As you can see he's a fan. And so am I.
I would encourage anyone who is interested in English, history, or in learning why our language is so confusing to get a copy of this book. Laurie wants to bless 3 of my blog readers with the opportunity of receiving this book at the wholesale discount for half-price - just $8.47! So if you are interested in this book and getting it at a discount, leave me a comment with your email address and I will give you the link and the code to purchase your copy. But don't wait - this discount is ONLY good through the end of September 2012!
As always please take some time and read other reviews from my Crew members by clicking the banner below. Enjoy your trek down history!
*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2011-2012 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***