MWF 12 – 12:50 PM Dillard 328
Old English Language & Literature
Prerequisites: Six hours of English beyond 1123 or consent of chair.
Language, literature, and world view of Anglo-Saxon England. Emphasis on Beowulf and the epic tradition.
English Department Goals:
GOAL 1. Critical Inquiry Objective
1.1: Student engages in an increasingly sophisticated discourse and demonstrates aesthetic and critical discernment through close textual analysis.
Objective 1.2: Student evaluates secondary sources and applies skills in information gathering and management, and document design, using traditional sources and emerging technologies.
GOAL 2. Knowledge of Language and Literature
Objective 2.1: Student understands the usage and structure of the English language.
Objective 2.2: Student recognizes the stylistic techniques that distinguish key literary texts relevant to subject and genre.
Objective 2.3: Student is familiar with the legacy of important ideas and contexts associated with literary periods.
Objective 2.4: Student is introduced to academic and professional publications in the field.
GOAL 3. Writing as Process
Objective 3.1: Student reflects on his or her arguments over multiple stages of development.
Objective 3.2: Using traditional resources and emerging technologies, the student references and formats primary and secondary sources in MLA style.
GOAL 4. Engagement
Objective 4.1: Student is aware of a cultural context for his or her own values and those of his or her sources.
Objectives in Old English Language & Literature
Grading The course presumes a possible total of 1000 points (100 percent). A total of 895 points (89.5 percent) or higher would be an A; 795-894 points (79.5 percent to 89.4 percent) would be a B; 695-794 points (69.5 to 79.4 percent) would be a C; 595-694 points (59.5 to 69.4 percent) would be a D; 594 or fewer points would not be a passing grade.
The Blue Book Final Exam is 300 points or 30 percent of the final grade. For each missed or wrong word in the translation, students lose a point from 100 points; for each missed or wrong definition or attribute of vocabulary, students lose a point from 200 points.
Each quiz is only 20 points (out of 1000 possible points), but taken together the quiz grade (comprising both daily translation and identification of grammar and vocabulary) is worth 70 percent of the final grade.
FINAL EXAM. Blue Book Wednesday, December 7th, at 3:30 to 5:30 PM. Final Exam is NOT Open Book. Translation of passage (minimum of 15 lines) from BEOWULF. Students might consider choosing a passage included in Chickering’s explication, pages 422-446 or from the selection glossed in the Old English Reader. Pre-enter passage in the Blue Book: you may photocopy OE from Chickering (without the translation or explication) or Old English Reader, and affix it inside the Blue Book cover. You must first translate the passage (for 100 points, one point off for each error) and then indicate up to FOUR attributes of 50 words, including definitions (for 200 points, one point for each attribute). If you indicate noun, verb, or adjective, you must say “strong” or “weak.” Indicative and imperative moods are not point-worthy, but the subjunctive would be. In some cases (perhaps a relative pronoun or adverb), words may be indeclinable, but you would indicate such (worth a point).(300 points)
Quizzes are taken on the student’s own loose-leaf paper and administered fifteen minutes before class ends (five minutes for book exercise; five for translation; five for grammar & definition). Quiz answers must be precise and legible (unreadable, vague, and half-correct answers are completely wrong). For grammar & definition, it not enough to say verb, noun, or adjective—must include “strong” or “weak.” All translation should strive to be as literal as possible but still idiomatic. The instructor will indicate which verses or lines must be translated.
First Five Weeks (featuring A Gentle Introduction to Old English). Each error the instructor catches in the book exercise (3b, 4b, etc) is worth one point (open book); each error in translation of the assigned Old English passage is one point per word (open book): e.g., Translating God wolde þâ fandian Abrahames ġehiersumnesse as “God then wanted to test Abraham” misses two words in the opinion of the instructor: “God then wanted to test Abraham’s <span class="scayt-misspell" data-scayt_word="obedience." "="" data-scaytid="1">obedience.” Each error in grammar & definition of an Old English word (or words) is also a point (closed book). The book exercise is 5 points total; translation, 10 points; grammar & definition, 5 points (later 10 points). Quiz time may lengthen on any given day.
For grammar & definition, the word is chosen by the instructor from the glossary of the assigned Old English passage (e.g., the glossary on p. 103, across from p. 102 of Abraham and Isaac) and students say five things about it (for five points), including definition: e.g.,aras: third person, singular, preterite, strong verb, “arose” (see A Gentle Introduction 103). There can be variation: e.g., the instructor may ask students to identify the person (first, second, or third) of three verbs and the case (nominative, accusative, genitive, or dative) of two nouns. Later, grammar & definition increase to 10 answers. The grammar & definition part of the quiz comes last and is CLOSED BOOK.There is no extra credit in this course.
Second Five Weeks (featuring the Old English Reader). Translation in these quizzes is OPEN BOOK from the Old English Reader (10 points). The instructor indicates which lines from the assigned reading for that day should be translated (one point per word). The grammar & definition is CLOSED BOOK. The instructor will indicate at least two words from the glossary (as pertaining to the assigned passage for that day) which need five attributes including definition or variation coming to 10 items for 10 points. Quiz time may lengthen on any given day.
Third Five Weeks (featuring both Chickering’s Beowulf and the Old English Reader). Translation in these quizzes is CLOSED BOOK (10 points). The assigned passage from Chickering will be on the overhead projector. The grammar & definition words, as indicated by the instructor, will continue to come from glossary of Old English Reader and will be (as before) CLOSED BOOK (10 points). Quiz time may lengthen on any given day.
Absence due to Documented Illness
If students are too ill to attend class and take their quiz, they may take a make-up test by appointment with the instructor if they have documentation from Vinson clinic, their doctor, a therapist, or court officer, or some other authority. The instructor will accept a message from the Dean of Students office as well (regarding family emergency). Absence for the sake of others requires similar documentation. If students are too ill for the final exam, the same policy applies.
Roll is taken right away as soon as class begins. The instructor is not obliged to count people present who arrive late. A student with three unexcused absences receives a warning from the instructor. As of the fourth unexcused absence, the instructor reserves the right to notify the Dean of Students and to initiate removal of the student from the course.
Part of the daily quiz (grammar & identification) is CLOSED BOOK. Even the appearance of cheating may result in a quiz awarded a “0” (no points). The same goes for the Blue Book. Cheating at any point results in the entire quiz or exam receiving a "0."
The closed book part of a quiz cannot begin unless everything is removed from the desktop except for the paper for the quiz. The Blue Book is closed book—only the Blue Book (checked by the instructor) can be on the desk-top when the test begins.
The instructor will not confront students in class. The student suspected of cheating will be contacted individually. Students suspected of cheating may be referred to the Dean of Students for further penalty under university policies for academic dishonesty.