The History of the English Language


Syllabus for students autumn 2021, autumn 2020, autumn 2019

Course Code:
EN237L revision 4
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
No main fields
Date of ratification:
20 June 2019
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
02 September 2019
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
20 June 2019

Entry requirements

Basic eligibility for university studies and the higher education course English I, 30 credits (en101E/A).

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course can normally be included as a part of a general degree at undergraduate level.


This course aims to provide an overview of the development of the English language in terms of its syntax, morphology and pronunciation, with reference to both history and to canonical literature.


Part history, part human geography and part linguistic analysis, the course explores and explains the development of the English language. Starting in the fifth century with the migration of Germanic tribes to Britain, the course will take a largely chronological approach to the study of the English language, combining linguistic, literary, and historical perspectives, finishing in the seventeenth century.

Learning outcomes

After completing this course, the student will be able to

1. recognise, describe and account for changes in the development of the English language in the British Isles.
2. identify linguistic and textual features in works of literature in order to establish the historical and sociocultural context of the text.
3. analyse texts for evidence of syntactic, morphological, semantic and phonological change.
4. write and present concise, informed and informative texts relating to the Learning Outcomes 1-3 outlined above.

Learning activities

The learning activities will include workshops, self-study, exercises evaluating relevant online material (both primary and secondary), and short oral presentations.


Assessment will be in the form of a portfolio. (7.5 credits.). This portfolio will contain both written and oral components.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

Ishtla Singh, The History of English: A Student’s Guide. London: Hodder Arnold, 2005

Additional material in the form of scholarly articles and podcasts available online.

Course evaluation

The course is concluded with an individual course evaluation focusing on the goals of the course. The evaluations are summarized and made available to the students at the completion of the course.

Interim rules

In a case when a course is no longer given, or the contents have been changed essentially, the student has the right to two opportunities during a one year period to be examined according to the course plan which was valid at the time of registration. The exam opportunities are set by the department and it is the student’s responsibility to contact the department to find out how and when re-examination will take place.


The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the School of Arts and Communication.

Further information

Studentservice, K3 - Malmö universitet,


31 August 2020 - 08 November 2020 Day-time 50% Malmö This course is offered as part of a program

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 10000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 10000 SEK

08 November 2021 - 16 January 2022 Day-time 50% Malmö This course is offered as part of a program