King Alfred's English: A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do  -     By: Laurie J. White
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This homeschool product specifically reflects a Christian worldview.
 King Alfred's English: A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do

The Shorter Word Press / 2009 / Paperback

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One needs only to glance at Chaucer, or even further back at Beowulf, to see that English has not always what we call English. Divided into the major epochs of the language--Pre-English Britain, Old English (which was formed from an invasion of Latin & Old Norse), The Transition from Middle to Modern English, and finally Modern English--this casual re-telling of history will engross you. Mingling history, religion, famous people, and linguistics, the story of English is integrated into the story of Western History. 150 pages, softcover. Supplemental material is available online (website in book) for chapter worksheets, unit tests, links, and suggested movies.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 150
Vendor: The Shorter Word Press
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 7 X 10 (inches)
ISBN: 0980187710
ISBN-13: 9780980187717
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-5 of 5
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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    This book is a treasure chest of history!
    September 2, 2014
    Sharon Watson
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Have you ever laughed out loud when reading a history book? If you have, then you've been reading the delightful KING ALFRED'S ENGLISH: A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do by Laurie J. White. White, in her casual style, traces the history of the English language from the days of Julius Caesar to the present. Here's her summation of the people groups who had the most influence on the English language, giving it a larger vocabulary than any other language on earth: "When English arrived in England, it was a lean, trim, meaty stock of Anglo-Saxon words. Then over the centuries it feasted on Latin and Norse, gorged on French, and chased down the whole meal with a fizzy swig of Greek and a fresh twist of Latin during the Renaissance."

    In KING ALFRED'S ENGLISH, you'll get an entertaining history of England and Western Europe, an intriguing record of the development of the Bible, and a greater appreciation of the language that brings you the word "bodacious," named for a bold Celtic queen. Where else can you learn the funny reason capital letters are called "upper case," why cow meat is called "beef," why someone was burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English, why we say "Let there be light" instead of "Let there be illumination," and what the evidence is for divine design even in language. And, yes, Shakespeare's name is embedded in the King James Version of the Bible, but is this on purpose?

    KING ALFRED'S ENGLISH is suitable for homeschools as a textbook or as a supplement to English Literature or western history. Students desiring to know more about the invasions that pummeled the English language into its current shape will enjoy it, as will adults who have a linguistic bent and a love of language. Links to fascinating videos, articles, images, and literature related to each chapter can be found at White's website www.theshorterword.com.

    So glad I found this book!
  2. Texas
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Must-Have Book for Homeschoolers and Everyone Else
    June 17, 2011
    toomanybooks
    Texas
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The author does a wonderful job explaining how the English language developed historically and linguistically, while making it interesting and fun to read. Doing this from a Christian world view perspective makes it a true treasure. I am reading it aloud to my 4th and 7th graders currently. The main point for the younger one is why and how the spelling of our language seems to have so many inconsistencies and exceptions to rules. This has helped my reluctant speller tremendously! I am having the older one do the worksheets and tests that are available free on the author's website. All 3 of us are immensely enjoying the discussions we are having. This is one of my all-time top recommended books for my homeschooling and non-homeschooling friends. I have personally learned so much.
  3. Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A great addition to your teen's studies -and yours
    March 21, 2011
    Lisa Hodgen
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    What does King Alfred have to do with the English we speak today? Plenty and we should all be thankful for this King of 11 centuries ago.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading King Alfred's English: A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do. It was a fun, quick and easy-to-read book, but one that packed a punch. I think teens will wish all their required subject reading was this enjoyable. Laurie White presents this subject, not in a dry, boring way, but as a living story that easily explains how we got from point A to point B. She does a great job of bringing understanding to basic historical events, just in case your not familiar with them. In other words, you don't have to have your history down pat ahead of time to understand the flow.

    This book about the English Language really gives a great concise history of England itself. The invasions, the literature, and all that shaped the conglomeration we speak today. It also includes a good overview history of the English Bible, and the role it played in developing the language we all, Christian or not, speak. Laurie does a good job of showing the leading causes that led to the consequences that developed our language.

    This book will be added to our children's required reading list, and I don't think they will mind at all. I suggest you add it to your high schooler's English course - and that you read it too. Not only will you learn some great useful information about the history of our language, those things will help you teach English also. You'll know why, things are the way they are. And you'll enjoy your reading time along the way. So will your students.

    The author's website also includes free supplemental material for students working through this book. But I haven't checked that out yet.
  4. Richmond, TX
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    5 Stars with a Caution
    March 10, 2011
    piper5o
    Richmond, TX
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    I give five stars because it is absolutely fascinating. My 15 year old and 12 year old are really enjoying it. If you have studied the middle ages before, this ties it all together. We are printing out the quizes etc. from the website.

    My caution goes to the mention of movies in the text and website. Readers have the assumption that these flicks are recommended viewing. Please, moms, check out the movies before letting kids see them. Titles are mentioned by the author with no caveat as to content. Braveheart has nudity, Gladiator contains incest. Go to a website like www.kidsinmind.com before your kids view these movies.

    Having said that, I would HIGHLY recommend this book.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    April 9, 2010
    Comer Turley
    I'm no History or English student and didn't know what to expect, but truly enjoyed this book. It answered a lot of questions that I didn't even realize that I had and made so much sense out of a very complicated period of time. I'm retired and I highly recommend this book, no matter what your age, 7th Grade and up.
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Author/Artist Review

Author: Laurie
Located in: Dalton, GA
Submitted: September 26, 2015

    Tell us a little about yourself.  I am a teacher, writer, and mom of 3 grown kids who were homeschooled k-12. When my youngest child left for college, I began teaching world history at a private school and working on my book King AlfredÂ’s English. It was a wonderful project that helped me as I adjusted to life without children in the house (where did all the music, conversation, and chaos go?!). Since then I have branched into working with adult literacy and helping kids trying to get their GED. I have lived in Georgia all my life.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  Ever since I took a college class in the history of the English language, I felt it was a shame that the subject is reserved for college English majors only! It should be taught in high school or even younger. The subject matter is intrinsically interesting to anyone who speaks English. It enhances one's understanding of English literature, gives clarity and a basic framework for understanding English history (which to me had always seemed dense and way too complicated), and it opens the doors to get a peek at how languages operate, how they change over time, and why we speak as we do today. So I didn't want those in middle school or high school, or just the non-English majors, to miss out!

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  My hope is that readers will gain a foundation for a better understanding of the Middle Ages, the Reformation, English literature, and especially the English Bible. I want King Alfred's English to deepen the reader's faith. I also wanted to provide some quality laugh-out-loud moments. History can be very humorous because of the perspective it gives us on our own lives or by way of the events themselves, but historians just seem to leave these things out of the usual textbook. What a waste!

    How were you personally impacted by working on this project?  I began this project thinking I would put together a brief "paper" on the history of English and market it to homeschoolers. The history of English had been my favorite subject in college and I still had all my old notes. But the project soon mushroomed and I couldn't seem to quit. I kept running into men like the Venerable Bede, Wycliffe, Tyndale, and of course, Alfred himself, who captured my heart and drew me into their story. I was continually saying, "This is profound. I can't leave this out," or "Wow, I have to include that!" and "Oh, no, this is too funny--gotta fit that in somewhere!" Before I knew it, five years had gone by and I had a book. So the book didn't change me so much as the men of faith did--their lives, their stories. Well, the book started me on a new career path--that was a huge impact!

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  Top of the list, without question, is C.S. Lewis. His books began to shape my thinking in college and I have read and re-read them ever since. Then also Dr. Paul Brand, Richard Foster, John Eldredge, Stephen Covey, Dr. Eliot Engel, and more recently N.T. Wright and Eric Metaxas, to name just a few. I tend to read a lot of non-fiction, so when I turn to fiction, it is usually something easy to read. For instance, my daughter recently gave me Ready Player One, and I loved it! I also enjoy children's novels. I read The Little Princess a few months ago, then went on to A Wrinkle in Time which I somehow missed reading even though my kids all read and loved it years ago. I love Jane Austin, both the books and the films. Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth--does it get any better than that?

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  Thank you for coming to my page on CBD!

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