Adventure of English: Early Invasions - the Germanic Tribes

Theme: History of the English Language, History of the UK

1. Read some information about the video you are going to watch.

“The Adventure of English” is a British television series (ITV) on the history of the English language presented by Melvyn Bragg, an English broadcaster and author, who also wrote a companion book “The Adventure of English: the Biography of a Language”. The series and the book are cast as an adventure story or the biography of English as if it were a living being, covering the history of the language from its modest beginnings around 500 AD as a minor Germanic dialect to its rise as a truly established global language. Part 1 of the video “Early Invasions – the Germanic Tribes” dwells on the origin of the English language and its development in the IV-VI centuries during Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain.

2. Word study. Before watching the video match the words and phrases with their definitions and check your answers using the key:

  • Tenacity
  • Extinction
  • Siege
  • Slaughter
  • Runes
  • Script
  • Writing using a particular alphabet
  • Determination, persistence
  • The process of dying out, destruction
  • A military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling those inside to surrender
  • The killing of a large number of people or animals in a cruel or violent way
  • Letters of an ancient Germanic alphabet