David Makes English Language Crystal Clear

World famous linguist visits Rainford Sixth Form for vital exam preparation. 

Students from Rainford Sixth Form may feel that preparation for their upcoming English Language A Level exams has been helped by the visit of a well renowned figure in the world of linguistics. David Crystal OBE has been involved in English Language and published the first of his 100+ books in the field more than 50 years ago.

His best works include two encyclopaedias for Cambridge University Press: The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language and The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language. Crystal has also produced more recent books on Shakespearian language, including The Oxford Dictionary of Original Shakespearean Pronunciation, which was published last year. He is also world renowned for his theories and research into English language variation over time, something that is a focal point of the A Level Syllabus.

These two areas of expertise are what Crystal heavily focused on during his three talks in his visit to the Sixth Form (Wednesday April 26th). These were Shakespeare’s Tongue, Grammar Rules and The History of English in 100 Words. These tied in perfectly with the content the students have learnt in the past 2 years, which made Crystal’s visit very much worthwhile. The visit from the Northern Irishman also attracted the attention of colleges from all over the North West, including local centres such as Winstanley, St Helens College and Sutton Academy.

Key Stage 5 Manager, Miss Tiffany Dyer, organised the event and had this to say on his visit: “It was fantastic to see David come and talk to the students for the day. I think it will be great preparation for their forthcoming exams, consolidating what they already know about the subject as well as learning from a huge figure in the field. The reaction from all students from around the North West was brilliant, they were fully engaged to what he was saying and they clearly got a lot out of it, making the day a huge success.”

Rainford Sixth Form English Language student Mark Porter also commented on the day: “I wasn’t sure what to expect to be honest; I was hoping he was going to live up to the hype that Miss Dyer had given. I can safely say he did and today has really helped me to prepare for my exams and I have also come away from the event feeling truly inspired”.

Article by Kieran Ford (Y13)

Photography by Mark Porter (Y13)

Video by Megan Ramsay (Y13)