They are beginning to see how language, by using only latinate words can obfuscate, intimidate or create an aura of expertise. These are valuable understandings if we want students to have control of language, to be able to shape it to their purpose, to change the register of how they speak or write. Do they want to impress, display an impression of intelligence or erudition or just want to be direct and clear? Is this writing that is reflective and meaningful? However the discussion and reflection about this is very powerful. . I write entirely to find out what Im thinking, what Im looking at, what I see, and what it means ( joan Didion). This is not a substantial enough piece of writing to be doing this.
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Students kept running to the board telling each other not to use this word but try this, they added to the list of plan oe words that they had discovered that might be useful. Without prompting they all read their pieces to others seeking advice when stuck. As soon as Alexis who had been absent for two days returned there was a host of others there to help him locate the oe words and share their ways of expressing an idea. Exuberance with Language : essay This exercise engendered a playfulness, a relishing of language as they accepted the challenge. Lauren and Emma noted how they had fun with this, it made them research words to come up with another way of expressing an idea. Etymological Understandings : This has consolidated students awareness of the etymological layers of the language. They see the germanic underpinnings- they even discovered that many words of Latin were in use before 1066. They realized from their research that Edward the confessor was more norman than English. (He left as a child refugee for Normandy only returning to be king at 36- of course the words of his court would have been Norman.) This tendency to absorb words into English is part of its structure and the crowning of William was not. Using References: Students now have had a lot of practice checking the roots of each word and are far more proficient in reading the Online Etymology dictionary or using the mac dictionary. They are beginning to see how meanings shift over time.
They had background on the battle for the throne between the three contenders of the time harold Godwin, a member of the powerful Godwin clan, who had sold his brother Tostig up the river (Schama) in order to ensure northern support for the time when. Revision: The whole point of the exercise! Word choice : The exercise, more than anything I have done with students, focuses completely on word choice- every word has to be considered and weighed up, discarded if of Latinate origin, replaced by words of oe roots. Is the meaning still clear when using another oe synonym? If I cant table use this word, how can I rework my sentence/phrase so that the same mood is maintained? Will this be even better? As liam discovered, it opened up my vocabulary. I kind of get stuck with the same pool of words! Collegiality: In terms of a collegial classroom environment- again this exercise emphasized this.
If Normans are ravenous for our extermination, why should we not experience antipathy? This is enough to consider the effect and impact of Latinate words. So to whoever reads this blog and works with students, I encourage you to try this exercise with students. It is a drinking remarkably powerful way of addressing the the skills we endlessly hound our students to consider when writing. In doing this you will be emphasizing: Purpose: All writing needs a purpose, a context. In this case students needed to understand the events of the battle and the historical events that preceded this. They needed to understand the form/genre, realize this was a narrative point of view snapshot.
Converting text to words of Latinate origin! Look at the impact below as i altered the first few sentences of Hales oe text! . ( Obviously the function words were maintained.). As a weakly fyrd, i have never come across an iron rain, or have taken part in one, but I would never have though t myself to become so fearful. My alteration to hales version 2 using words of Latinate words: With t repidation and ignorance, i regard the surroundings from the diminutive mountain where i may perish. Although it is my duty to defend the territory of my ancestors, i desire a r esponse that would not result in the expiration of us or the enemy. As ponderings create turmoil in my cranium, my emotions inundate my anatomy. Why do these normans desire the engaging of combative actions with us?
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Why do these normans feel need to fight us? If Normans are hungry for blind our sleep of the sword, why should we not feel hatred? The stillness makes my head ring with aches. The hateful for thoughts of others crowded up to the heavens. Some hoped to win, others to fight for those they love, others take part against their feelings, but what they do not understand is if you go looking for death, you will find. As a weakly fyrd, i have never come across an iron rain, or have taken part in one, but I would never have thought myself to become so fearful.
My body shook with fear so greatly to the length of when I barely stood my ground. What is there to stand up for? I wish to fight for my homeland and my friends, but to threaten my life to murder others is greedy and selfish. I am really pleased with this process of revising writing to words of oe roots. In many cases the oe version has more flashes of poetry.
The hateful thoughts of others crowded the air. Some wanted victory, others to fight for those they love, others were forced to participate, but what they dont understand is if you go looking for death, you will surely find. As a feeble fyrd, i have never encountered a battle, let alone participated in one, but I would never have expected myself to act so cowardly. My body shook with fear so violently to the point where i could barely stand my ground. Stand up for victory?
For the death of those we hate? What are we fighting for? I desire to fight for my country and my people, but to risk my own life to kill others seems greedy and selfish. Version 2 Using words of Old English. Fearful and unknowing, i look over the hill where i may fall. Although it is my work to fight for the land of my fathers, i wish the answer would not be the death of us, or of the foe. As thoughts crowd my head, feelings overtake my body.
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With the last words Ut, ut, ut! Fearful and unsure, i plan look over the hill where i may perish. Although it is my duty to fight for my country, defending my life is not my most desired activity. As thoughts begin racing through my head, feelings overtake my body. Why do these normans want to fight us? If they desire us dead, why shouldnt we desire the same? The complete silence gave me a headache.
However the time had come, we booklet all had to face the opposition and pray we would not go down a failure. Version 2 oe, standing in the war ground, weapons at the ready, the weight put on us to fight for our holy land is so great. The war is about to begin. I stand there not knowing whether I would live through this or be part of the hundreds taken down, yet on the outside i must be strong I will not let myself be swallowed by the fear I feel within. The racket of the fighters and of the horses fill the heavens. Knives and axes are being sharpened- people readying for what lay in the time to come. Every step nearer to those men is unbearable, my worry grows greater. However the time had come, we all had to hope we would not go down without winning.
for our country was so great. The battle was about to begin. I stood there not knowing whether I would survive this or be one of the hundreds taken down yet on the outside i had to be strong, i couldnt let myself be engulfed by the fear I felt inside. The sounds of the soldiers, of the farmer of the horses filled the still air. Knives and axes were being sharpened- people readying for what lay ahead. With every step closed to the enemy the tension grew greater.
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