Welcome to The English Project

The English Project promotes awareness and understanding of the unfolding global story of the English language in all its varieties – past, present and future. We try to present ideas about English in an intelligent, entertaining, inclusive and interactive way. Our hope is that a greater understanding and enjoyment of English can enrich people’s lives and enable them to make more of the exceptional cultural and communications phenomenon which English has become. We intend to reach a broadly-based audience, globally, socially, ethnically and by age amongst English’s two billion speakers worldwide (that's as a first or second language).

January: King Lear and Old English

By 1564 when William Shakespeare was mouthing his first words, Old English had become Middle English and was becoming Modern English. It was still a language that few not born to it would bother to learn. By 1616 when William Shakespeare was sounding his last words, English was moving out of the British Isles to be heard in stations and settlements in Africa, Asia, and America. 

William Shakespeare's greatest poetry is found in King Lear. The play was performed before King James and his courtiers on 26 December 1606. They were the first to feel the nuclear power of its language ...Read More

News

The English Project teaching resource
Primarily aimed at students of A-level English Language, this thought-provoking material looks at two samples of World War I -related text: a soldier's personal diary from 1914 and a recruitment poster from 1916.Exercises encourage students to think... Read more
In the course of research by The English Project into the colloquialisms used by soldiers during World War I for our new teaching resource, we came upon a fascinating WWI glossary credited to a Paul Hinckley.  His list of ... Read more
100 places
'The extraordinarily prolific David Crystal has deluged the market with authoritative books about language over the last couple of decades – but it’s a testament to the enduring appeal of language as a topic for the lay reader that this hasn’t... Read more
English Project Bill Lucas on BBC Breakfast
Prof Bill Lucas appeared on the BBC's flagship Breakfast programme on English Language Day (Sunday 13th October). Bill chatted with presenters Naga Munchetty and John Kay about the significance of the date of English Language Day, which commemorates... Read more