Linguistics and the History of the English Language

This paper explores the areas of linguistics and the history of the English language in terms of what an English teacher should know before teaching the subject.

This paper asks if future English teachers should study the history of English. The writer shows that teachers should have a knowledge of linguistics. Main points of the paper include: why English is complicated, why languages (especially English) change, grammar rules and problems, spelling history and problems, how dialects are developed and how they influence English in the classroom, semantic changes and more. The paper concludes that all these contribute to a better and more interesting English classroom.
“The English language has a rich history, spanning centuries and passed on by different tribes. A lot of other languages, especially French, has had some influence on the English language. The language has undergone many changes in its history, including the Great Vowel Shift, which changed the way English was spoken. Some people who know more than one language have said that English is the hardest language to learn. As of today, many educated professors and acclaimed administration members probably don’t know the real reasons behind some grammar rules and depend on technology to correct their fragment sentences. What makes English such a hard language to learn and use, even for its native speakers? Will the knowledge of the history behind the English language enable teachers to help students master English? I believe that knowledge leads to understanding; therefore teachers with a strong background in the history of English will be better equipped to teach this difficult subject.”

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