Archive for January, 2012

A Brief History Of The English Language

English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria. Following the extensive influence of Great Britain and the United Kingdom from the 18th century, via the British Empire, and of the United States since the mid-20th century, it has been widely dispersed around the world, becoming the leading language of international discourse and the lingua franca in many regions.It is widely learned as a second language and used as an official language of the European Union and many Commonwealth countries, as well as in many world organisations. It is the third most natively spoken language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.[12] It is the most widely spoken language across the world.

Historically, English originated from the fusion of languages and dialects, now collectively termed Old English, which were brought to the eastern coast of Great Britain by Germanic (Anglo-Saxon) settlers by the 5th century – with the word English being derived from the name of the Angles, and ultimately from their ancestral region of Angeln (in what is now Schleswig-Holstein). A significant number of English words are constructed based on roots from Latin, because Latin in some form was the lingua franca of the Christian Church and of European intellectual life. The language was further influenced by the Old Norse language due to Viking invasions in the 8th and 9th centuries.

The Norman conquest of England in the 11th century gave rise to heavy borrowings from Norman-French, and vocabulary and spelling conventions began to give the superficial appearance of a close relationship with Romance languages to what had now become Middle English. The Great Vowel Shift that began in the south of England in the 15th century is one of the historical events that mark the emergence of Modern English from Middle English.

Owing to the assimilation of words from many other languages throughout history, modern English contains a very large vocabulary. Modern English has not only assimilated words from other European languages but also from all over the world, including words of Hindi and African origin. The Oxford English Dictionary lists over 250,000 distinct words, not including many technical, scientific, or slang terms

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How to give a presentation / How to structure a talk.

This morning I gave a class on words and expressions for linking ideas and information in a talk or presentation.

When we give talks, presentations or write in formal English, we use linking words to connect ideas or information and help the listener or reader anticipate what is coming next. This helps communicate the message clearly and coherently to the audience.

The following are some examples of  “Linkers” :

First, we will consider all the facts and look at all the statistics…..

Secondly, we will compare them to last year….

In addition, I will summarize the findings of our research team…..

Ok so now some other expressions :

Giving reasons:

so, as a result, as a consequence….etc

Highlighting information:

in particular, specifically, to outline the main points…etc

Contrasting information

in spite of, however, on the other hand…etc

Referring back:

as I said before, let me remind you…etc

Ok so these are just a few linking words and expressions that help to make the presentation we give have a form and structure and flow nicely. There are many more we can say from the categories above, so let me hear some from you!  Feel free to comment on my blog and share your knowledge of “Linkers” .


Good luck with your English language learning.


OK English

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This Blog will be dedicated to communicating information on the methods of learning the English language

Today is the first day of my blog dedicated to informing, assisting and teaching the best approaches to both learning and using the English language.

English  is the language of the international community. It is vital to communication in areas of business, science and politics. So as this blog unfolds and evolves, we will  be looking at all aspects of  the English language. This will include grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.

My blog will include videos showing good pronunciation, intonation and style of speech delivery. There will be short videos of many of the world’s latest news and events.

I hope you will enjoy my blog and that you will feel inspired to comment or ask questions at any time.

Good luck with your English language learning !


OK English

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