The Relatedness of Languages
- Grade level: Middle school
- Subject Area: Language Arts, Foreign Language
Students use Internet and library resources to select and examine the origins of phrases or words, particularly words that have origins in other languages.
- Examine words and phrases that may have their origins in languages other than English.
- Consider the evolution of the meanings of words and phrases and the effect this may have on culture.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as a World Wide Web browser. In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: None.
- Special software requirements: None.
- Internet access: A medium-speed or higher connection.
- Have students use the books (see Library Resources below) and Internet resources (see Internet Resources below) provided to think about some of the words and phrases they use every day whose origins may be in other languages and/or vastly different from their current usages.
- Have students think about why it might be important to have an awareness of the interrelatedness of languages. For instance, given the history of the United States, why would words from other languages find their way into English?
- The Logical World of Etymology
This site contains archives of words that have been defined and traced from their origins. Users can also submit words they'd like to know more about.
- Search the Oxford English Dictionary Online
The Oxford English Dictionary contains extensive etymological information on thousands of words used regularly in the English language. The online version of the OED allows users to search for etymological information about words of interest to them. There is a fee for use of this site.
- a dictionary; preferably the Oxford English Dictionary, but other dictionaries will give some etymological information as well.
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