Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices

Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices explores the English language in all its national and international diversity.

Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices

A major exhibition and schools' programme at the British Library

12 November 2010 – 3 April 2011

The British Library is delighted to announce its next major exhibition, Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices. This is the first ever exhibition exploring the English language in all its national and international diversity. Iconic collection items will be set alongside engaging everyday texts and sound recordings to show the many social, cultural and historical strands from which the language is woven. Treasures such as the only surviving manuscript of Beowulf, Caxton's printing of the Canterbury Tales and Shakespeare quartos, and recorded speeches by Pankhurst, Churchill and Gandhi will be exhibited together with handwritten letters, posters, lists of slang, the first dictionaries, adverts and dialect and music recordings from around the world. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see and hear the English language in all its myriad forms, from 5th century runes to 21st century youth-speak.

For Schools

Free workshops exploring the exhibition will be available for Secondary and Further Education students. Workshops support and enrich the English Language and Literature curricula, helping participants to develop skills in language analysis and interpretation. Through creative activities, interactive games and source-based learning, students will develop an understanding of the development and diversity of the English language, its various global influences and the way in which this has impacted on our cultural identity.

Further details:

  • Suitable for: English students in Years 7-13
  • Available: Monday to Friday from 17 November 2010 until Friday 1 April 2011
  • Length: 90 minutes. Please allow more time after your workshop to explore the galleries and public spaces
  • Free of charge

For more information and to book a school workshop please visit our workshop page.

For enquiries please contact the Learning Team:
T +44 (0)20 7412 7797
E learning@bl.uk