Please note that 10:30 - 12pm and 1:30 - 3pm sessions for Evolving English workshops for learning groups are now fully booked. We have some 3:30 - 5pm slots still available. To enquire about availability, please fill in a booking form.
Suitable for: Years 7-13
Available: Monday to Friday from 12 November 2010 until 3 April 2011
Length: 90 minutes. Please allow more time after your workshop to explore the galleries and public spaces
Group size: minimum 10
Subjects and Key Skills
English Language, English Literature, Media Studies
Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices
The British Library is proud 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 recordings to show the many social, cultural and historical strands from which the language is woven.
Treasures such as Beowulf, Shakespeare Folios, the King James Bible, Johnson’s Dictionary, Austen manuscripts, Scott’s diary and recorded speeches by Pankhurst, Churchill and Gandhi will be exhibited together with handwritten letters, recipes, posters, lists of slang, trading records, adverts, children’s books, dialect recordings, text messages and web pages.
Free workshops exploring Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices will be available for Secondary and Further Education students. Workshops support and enrich the English Language and Literature curriculum, helping participants to develop skills in language analysis and interpretation.
Workshops will provide students with the unique opportunity to see and hear texts, artefacts and recordings that exemplify language change and variation. Through creative activities, interactive games and source-based learning, students will develop an understanding of the diversity of the English language, its various global influences and the way in which this has impacted on our cultural identity.
Year 7, 8 and 9 students will:
- Explore the diversity of written and spoken English
- Discuss the historical, cultural and technological influences on language
Year 10 and 11 students will:
- Explore variations in spoken English and attitudes towards the usage of different forms
- Investigate the development of English over time and its global influence
AS and A2 Level students will:
- Examine the global, regional and cultural influences on the development of the English language
- Develop research, enquiry and analytical skills in the context of English language study
Also suitable for English Language students…
We recommend booking this workshop in conjunction with Sounds Familiar, a classroom-based session that introduces ways of analysing spoken English. Led by British Library research staff, experts in English accents and dialects, students will learn about language change, language variation, and regional vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar in the UK.
A range of conferences is available for teachers. For more information, visit our Conferences page.
We have a range of online resources for English students and teachers, including an innovative Timeline of historic texts showing language change over time; Sounds Familiar, which explores UK accents and dialects; and resources on Dickens and other authors.