King Alfred’s English — Literacy in Britain & the New World for Students, Grades 7 – 12

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King Alfred’s English by Laurie White, is the perfect book for middle and high school students to illuminate the history and relevance of English in England and ultimately, the United States. King Alfred, Alfred the Great, lived from 849 to 899 A.D. and successfully defended his country against the Viking invaders. He had health problems all of his life and because he was not physically strong, was more important as a philosopher-king than as a warrior. He considered himself King of the Anglo-Saxons, being the first English king to do so, and he was a well-loved ruler. Alfred was merciful and sensible and he improved the quality of life of his subjects in a variety of ways.

As part of his fortification of England, Alfred created a system of 33 burhs (later called boroughs) that were placed 19 miles apart, (a day’s ride) so that no matter where trouble flared up, his army could be there to defend in a very short time.

The book, King Alfred’s English explains the story of the publishing of the English Bible and its effect on literacy throughout Britain and the U.S. The book caps off with the story of the Reformation and the fascinating struggle to get the Bible into English. King Alfred’s English provides a guided tour of forces and events, conquerors and writers that have shaped, simplified, matured and expanded English into what it is today—the first truly global language in history.

Laurie White also offersFree Supplemental material to users of her book as well.

Teacher Page – The optional supplemental materials on this page include:
1. Worksheets for each chapter
2. Tests that cover each unit
3. How to use King Alfred’s English as the sole text for a 1/2 unit credit in either English or history by taking advantage of the free supplemental resources above and those on the Student Page (described below).
Student Page — chapter by chapter expansion of topics using free online articles, videos, images, and original source material along with suggested activities, many of which are fun as well as educational.
To become excited about English and to inspire your students to as well, visit the website and delve into the mist-enshrouded world of Britain in the 800s!

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