Old English

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by jlc13j
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies
European history

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Old English

Old English (450-1100 AD)

An Exploration of the Evolution of the English Language

Time Line


Germanic Tribes Arrive


Christian missionaries arrive

c. 800

Beowulf composed



Vikings Invade

Normans Invade

A map of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms

Germanic tribes began to arrive in the British Isles, Anglo-Saxon dialects form the basis of the language we now call Old English.

Vikings controlled Eastern England for hundreds of years. They brought almost 2000 new words into the English vocabulary.

Christian missionaries convert Anglo-Saxons to Catholicism. The missionaries inject hundreds of new Latin words into the English language.

The Normans transform England linguistically and for over 300 years French is spoken by the people in power. Thousands of French words enter the English vocabulary.

Beowulf, one of the most well-known examples of Old English, was written at this time.

A map of how the Vikings came to the British Isles

Source: "Language Timeline." Changing Language. The British Library Board. Web. 18 May 2015. .

Learning about the evolution of the English language from 450-1100 AD made me realize just how much the English language has changed over time. This influences the way that I will teach students today because the English language is still constantly changing. As a teacher, I will stay up-to-date with the new words and phrases that my students use.

When the Celtic population in Britain was conquered by people that spoke West Germanic dialects, the dialects of the various invaders eventually merged to form what we now know as "Old English."https://www.englishclub.com/english-language-history.htm

c. 700

Earliest manuscript records of Old English

Important Figures


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