Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Language That Ate The World

In late April, 11 students from local middle schools spent three days in the department, finding out about the past, present and future of English, as part of an enrichment mini-course called “The Language That Ate The World: English and How It Got That Way.” Grad students Rachel Deal and Matt Hunt Gardner, along with prof Gerard Van Herk, took the students through a range of hands-on activities, looking at everything from Old English ulcer remedies to Tok Pisin road safety manuals. And the students generated data of their own, working on recent slang, language use questionnaires, and trends in texting.

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