ZIP Final Project

1. How might I go about learning Old English? How has the language changed/ stayed the same over time?
2. I have expanded on my language and comprehension skills, as well as my memory skills. My language skills are important for my success in English and German, as I find that learning the sentence structure and vocabulary helps me with other languages. I have improved my comprehension by using context to figure out the harder words that I don’t know, and I can use these skills when learning English and German. My memory will help me in all my subjects because it helps me remember material vital to the course.
3. How has language changed/ stayed the same over time?
– I found that some vocabulary/word stems have remained the same or similar. These include man (Modern English) to mann (Old English) and have to habban. Also, verbs have simplified over time, from many conjugations to just one or two. In addition to that
○ English is now an analytical language
§ Now uses Subject-Verb-Object
4. How might I go about learning Old English?
– I found that writing everything down improves memory and increases comprehension. Using a course provides an outline to follow and provides helpful information on conjugation that is not available online. Also, I found keeping all notes together, prevents me from losing them. My learning project also demonstrates my learning because I am able to demonstrate the changes and similarities between the two languages, as well as the differences. I am also able to demonstrate my learning through the texts and translations, because I am applying all the vocabulary and the sentence structure I have learned to create the artefacts. An important thing to note is that I am not doing a word-by-word translation of the texts, rather, I am doing a sentance-by sentance, so I am trying to preserve all the original meaning, but altering the structure so it fits better into the language. It also connects to my chosen curricular competencies because I used my ability to assess and refine texts to translate the different documents and still keep their meaning while upholding different language conventions and structures. I applied appropriate strategies to comprehend written, oral, visual, and multimodal texts by using my knowledge of reading comprehension stratagies, like reading the word aloud and using the context to understand it, while reading in Old English. I accessed information from a variety of sources and texts, including a course, website, and Old English text to inform my writing and translations through structure and clarity.
i. This site is the course I took. It is run by the University of Texas Linguistics Center, and it was very helpful for me to learn to vocabulary, as well as the sentence structure and grammar rules
i. This website was very helpful for me when writing my introductory blog post. It provided me with a lot of the information about Old English. This included the background, the different dialects, and some of the verbs and sound changes. I found this website a good jumping-off point for my Zip journey.
i. This is one of the translators I used for harder nouns. Some of the vocabulary wasn’t available on the language course, and this was helpful when I was unsure of the word and it’s meaning.
i. I used this site for harder verbs and their conjugations in Old English. I used this site because I did not know many of the different irregular verbs and there conjugations, so this site was invaluable for my learning in that respect.
i. This site was invaluable as it was very useful to tracking down the remaining Old English works. It is a collection of works in Old English, including the poem I am translation.
Some new questions that I have are:
a. Why do some verbs have irregular conjugations?
b. How do historical context and norms influence language?
i. How does the sexist views of the time relate to the different uses of female pronouns and nouns. Eg. Man for man, but different descriptors for females.
c. How has Proto-Germanic influenced all Germanic languages?
These questions excite me because they go into more depth in a subject I am interesting in and excited by. I look forward to pursuing them in my own time.

In-Depth Introductory Post

For my in-depth project, I am studying forensic etymology, crime scene investigation, and a variety of other subjects related to the forensic sciences. The ultimate goal, my learning center for In Depth, is to be able to build a mock crime scene that demonstrates my learning as well as informs others about the field of forensic sciences I chose this project because I am interested in this field, and I have definitely been captivated by the media surrounding forensic sciences, further interesting me.

       I hopefully will have several mentors for this project. I am in contact with two forensic science teachers up at SFU, as well as a graduate student who is conducting research and an undergraduate student, who are both involved in the field. I will be taking classes up at SFU starting next week, on Fridays from 10:30-12:30. I will also be doing a forensic sciences course online through EBUS academy (an accredited, four credit online course). I am doing my project in tandem with Grace Kim.

Blog Post #3

Related to your learning evidence, what have you done to make retrieving information or more effective in class?
To make my work more accessible, I have bookmarked my Old English – Modern English dictionary on my phone and on my computer. I have also bookmarked the course I am taking on both my phone and my computer, to cut down the amount of time I need to set myself up. In addition, I always keep my “Old English Bible” with me at all times, so I can record everything I learn. To make myself more effective, I listen to music that allows me to block out outside distractions better. In terms of retrieving words and grammatical information from my memory, I have gotten into the habit of writing everything down. I have also gotten into the habit of review my notes so it can stick better.

Blog Post #2: Research Notes

This is an embedded Microsoft Office document, powered by Office Online.

What concepts in your learning do you now feel you have a solid grasp on?

I feel that I have a solid grasp on class I weak verbs, as well as class I strong verbs. I also feel that I have a good grasp of the flow of Old-English, which is different from Modern English in that it has less structure. I also feel that my grasp of (Old English) pronouns and different grammatical cases has greatly improved. I am struggling a bit with class II weak verbs as they follow less rules than class one, but I am allowing myself extra time for practice.

Which ones might be helpful for other students in their learning?

Something that is not necessary helpful, but definitely interesting is the connection between Old English and Modern English. For example, our conjugation of past-tense verbs stems directly from the Old English conjugation of the preterite tense. In weak verbs you conjugate the ending with a -de or -te; which is quite similar to our -ed conjugation. Certain exceptions can be explained through Old English as well. In run/ran, that also mirrors the Old English practice of changing internal vowels to conjugate it for preterite tense in strong verbs.

Blog Post #1

Take a moment to reflect on your inquiry plan/calendar. Do you need to make any revisions to your original plan? Why?

I do feel that I have to make a few minor adjustments to my inquiry plan. The course that I am taking covers verbs in chunks, going a class at a time. While I have already learned the basic conjugations for class I strong and weak verbs, I would like to amend my plan to learn verbs for longer. Also, nouns are also an ongoing portion of the course, so I would like to amend my timeline to allow for that. In addition to those two changes, I have decided on the texts that I will translate. I would like to do the first chapter of The Philosopher’s Stone, the first Harry Potter book, as it is pretty well known, so a lot of people in my audience will be able to connect with the text. I would also like to translate the first part of the Beowulf epic, as it is widely recognized, but not very well read in my class, so my classmates would be able to get a taste of Old English literature.

How do languages change over time?/More specifically, how have the conventions and grammar in Old English changed as time went on? What are some differences and similarities that we see today?

I would like to learn Old English for my  grade 10 Zip project. I chose this skill because I think that it will be a fun and unique experience, and it will give me a cool set of bragging rights! I enjoy learning languages, specifically German, and I believe that my experience learning German will further motivate and interest me in Old English. This line of inquiry excites me because unlike “living” languages with are constantly evolving and changing, Old English is dead! Except for a few enthusiastic academics, it’s really not spoken that much, which makes it an exciting challenge as I will have to work harder to find quality sources and resources.

I know:

      • Old English is also known as Anglo-Saxon
      • Spoken in England before 1100 AD
      • Four main dialects
      • West Saxon
        • Kentish
        • Mercian
        • Northumbrian
      • Most writings are in West Saxon, so I shall be focusing on that dialect
      • Experienced a renaissance in the ninth century under King Alfred the Great
      • Non-standardized spelling (phonetically spelled, so differences in pronunciation between regions)
      • Standardization was attempted but it was not effective
      • Less structure than modern English
      • Descendant of Proto-German
      • Precursor to Middle and New English

I have been taking German courses for a few years, and I think that my experience with another Germanic language will help me with my inquiry.

I hope to expand on my knowledge of Old English by the end of ZIP. This includes my spelling, knowledge of sentence structure, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

There is a surprising number of online courses designed to teach one Anglo-Saxon, including one through the University of Texas. I could reach out to an academic in the linguistics field if I happen to get stuck.

Some sources to help me with my inquiry are:

      • U of Texas “Old English Online” -a course on Old English that is part of a series of old/dead language courses
      • Richard Hogg, An Introduction to Old English (2002)
      • Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson, A Guide to Old English (7th edn., 2006)
      • Roger Lass, Old English: A Historical Linguistic Companion (1994)
      • Richard Hogg ed., The Cambridge History of the English Language vol. i: The Beginnings to 1066 (1992)
      • Philip Durkin, The Oxford Guide to Etymology (2009)
      • Philip Durkin “Old English- An Overview” (Oxford English Dictionary)

I might demonstrate my learning in a couple of different ways. I was thinking that I could have an organized notebook with an accumulation of everything that I’ve learned, a couple of translations, and some spoken dialogue for my learning center.










-Set up notebook

-Lesson 1 (U of T)


-Lesson 2


-Lesson 3


-Lesson 4

-Translations (simple)

-Lesson 5

-Lesson 6 + 7


-Lesson 9

-Lesson 10


-Organize notebook

-review other sources

-Work on dialogues

-Read in Old English

    • Highlight/annotate
    • Plan and Prep for presentations
    • Read in Old English

BREAK – Review – Put in final touches