"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
Teaching a foreign language can sometimes be like doing linguistics the wrong way round. Grammatical study should be based on sentences that have been produced and understood in actual contexts. We should expect to find some imprecise, changeable conventions, but not any rules. It can be difficult, though, to teach a language with that outlook. A learner will be dispirited if you suggest just taking language as it comes and learning from experience. Learners want rules, as they seem to offer security and a starting-point. Of course, once a teacher has been foolish enough to give a rule, any awkwardly enterprising student can easily find justifiable exceptions to it though, of course, they will not really be exceptions to anything.