How Linguistic Origins can help learning English for Academic Purposes

France, ID CLEaR2015-250

Modern English is a hybrid language which has evolved from Germanic and Latin sources over the past 1,5000 years. Current TESOL literature (Crystal et al.) minimizes the extent to which a study of linguistic origins can assist in making connections which facilitate English language acquisition for academic students (intermediate level or above).

This research sets out to show that knowledge of these origins can be extremely beneficial for EAP students in general and especially those studying multiple languages from the same linguistic group e.g. English/German or English/French

Observation of EAP university foundation students combined with results from open and closed questionnaires during a two semester period showed that relating English to its origins not only increased the understanding of structure and phonetics but also widened the vocabulary corpus. The vast majority of those surveyed (80%) agreed that by linking English to its Latin and Germanic roots, a system of synonymy emerged which facilitated paraphrasing and increased understanding of register.

Key Words: English/ Origins/ EAP (English for Academic Purposes)