Somerville Secondary College

Words, Words, Words

Featured Learning AreaEnglish
Additional Learning AreasHumanities
Learning Capabilities DevelopedCritical/Creative Thinking


This course is designed for anyone who has an interest in the history of words, grammar, and language itself. This unit includes elements from the VCE English Language course, and is a perfect trial of this subject for any student who is interested in linguistics or loves to argue about the Oxford comma or blame the French for our non-phonetic spelling of bridge!

The course will begin with a look at the history of the English language itself, and how it developed from a lost Proto-Indo-European language into modern English, via Old Germanic and with the influences of Latin, Greek and Norse. This will also involve a study of modern English itself, and how it is still changing as it develops into a world language and creates more dialects. Along with the history of the language itself, this course will also study etymology, or how certain words have developed over time; students will also enjoy a look at our ever-evolving grammar and engage in debates over the use of the Oxford comma, whether it is ever acceptable to split an infinitive verb, or what it might mean to be whelmed.