The History of the English Language has been a standard university course offering for over 150 years. Yet relatively little has been written about teaching a course whose very title suggests its prodigious chronological, geographic, and disciplinary scope. In the nineteenth century, History of the English Language courses focused on canonical British literary works. Since these early curricula were formed, the English language has changed, and so have the courses. In the twenty-first century, instructors account for the growing prominence of World Englishes as well as the English language's transformative relationship with the internet and social media. Approaches to Teaching the History of the English Language addresses the challenges and circumstances that the course's instructors and students commonly face. The volume reads as a series of "master classes" taught by experienced instructors who explain the pedagogical problems that inspired resourceful teaching practices. Although its chapters are authored by seasoned teachers, many of whom are preeminent scholars in their individual fields, the book is designed for instructors at any career stage-beginners and veterans alike.
The topics addressed in Approaches to Teaching the History of the English Language include: the unique pedagogical dynamic that transpires in language study; the course's origins and relevance to current university curricula; scholarly approaches that can offer an abiding focus in a semester-long course; advice about navigating the course's formidable chronological ambit; ways to account for the language's many varieties; and the course's substantial and pedagogical relationship to contemporary multimedia platforms. Each chapter balances theory and practice, explaining in detail activities, assignments, or discussion questions ready for immediate use by instructors.