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As posted earlier, this appears to be "Early English." Fifty ... included Chaucer's English (1400 Canterbury Tales preface and one tale).

I'm not sure we studied Chaucerian English (language), though. Admittedly I took O-level English (Language and Literature, separately, but Chaucer ... in translation. I'm fairly sure I didn't read Chaucer in the original until undergraduate level, though I could be misremembering.

I can remember "doing" Chaucer for O level in the original in the early 60s. We had great fun creating Chaucerian parodies and pastiches (which Bill Bailey has not yet tired of). We were pointed in the direction of Neville Coghill's translation if we wanted a translation but I didn't see a copy of that until the exams were all over.

John Dean
Oxford
I'm not sure we studied Chaucerian English (language), though. Admittedly ... but Chaucer counted as Literature) a mere 47 years ago,

I can remember "doing" Chaucer for O level in the original in the early 60s.

Or it may have been A level. Damned if I can be sure.
John Dean
Oxford
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I'm not sure we studied Chaucerian English (language), though. Admittedly I took O-level English (Language and Literature, separately, but Chaucer counted as Literature) a mere 47 years ago,

I certainly didn't do Chaucer for Eng Lit O level, but my husband did some (in the original) when he was about 13, so it must have been school/exam-board-dependent. My colleagues who did A level English did lots of Chaucer in the original, and I think it was pretty well compulsory for them.

If there is any being done in schools now, it would certainly be at A level and whether it's optional will depend on the school. Anyone here know more about present practice?
Katy
Dear all, I want to know if high school students in the US, Canada, or Britain learn the following sort of English. If so, is it a obligatory school subject or optional one? Tham cynge licoden peran. I'd appreciate your reply. Ray

That's a slice of Saxon (Anglo-Saxon) which was a University subject in England when I was there. Maybe they are making kids learn it in high school these days, so they can understand Lallans better.
For O-Level, we had "Animal Farm" and Hardy's "The Trumpet Major" (the most boring novel ever written).

Snap! We did the Trumpet Major too, which ruined it for me for thirty years or so. But I have recently re-read it and it isn't as bad as I thought.

Also Keats, and Henry IV Part 1 (I never did read Part 2). I don't remember another novel, though there may have been one.
Katy
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I can remember "doing" Chaucer for O level in the original in the early 60s.

Or it may have been A level. Damned if I can be sure.

As a former teacher, I can confirm that at one time (I suppose as late as
1960) Chaucer in the original Middle English was set for O and C GCE O Level(an exam taken at the age of 15 or 16): once, at least, the text was the General Prologue and the Pardoner's Tale. It was an option, however, I think - not a requirement. Once the initial shock had passed, pupils found Chaucer much easier than Shakespeare.
Study of a substantial Chaucer text was until fairly recently compulsory for A-Level Eng.Lit. with the London and the O & C Boards: I recall the agonies of teaching large parts of "Troylus and Creseyde" - The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale were much easier. The new A-Level syllabuses enable students to bypass most of the older literature.
The line quoted by the original questioner was in Old English / Anglo Saxon, and that was not part of any exam syllabus in my time. But at one time I taught an outline history of the language to my 3rd Form (13-14 year olds) classes, including bits of "Beowulf" and the Chronicle. That wouldn't be so easily done now within the constraints of the National Curriculum,

Alan Jones
For O-Level, we had "Animal Farm" and Hardy's "The Trumpet Major" (the most boring novel ever written).

Snap! We did the Trumpet Major too, which ruined it for me for thirty years or so. But I have ... IV Part 1 (I never did read Part 2). I don't remember another novel, though there may have been one.

Lists, is it?
Great Expectations and Twelfth Night (both of which utterly captivated me). And about half of "Ten 20th Century Poets" which both engaged me (Frost) and drove me to distraction when considering the supreme wetness of poetry (de la Mare). Hello clouds. Hello sky.

David
==
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For O-Level, we had "Animal Farm" and Hardy's "The Trumpet Major" (the most boring novel ever written).

Snap! We did the Trumpet Major too, which ruined it for me for thirty years or so. But I have ... IV Part 1 (I never did read Part 2). I don't remember another novel, though there may have been one.

We did Vanity Fair and the Mayor of Casterbridge, some Wordsworth (the Prelude)and the Tempest. I wonder why Hardy was so popular as an O level author? At A level we did Mansfield Park, which put me off Jane Austen for many years, some Shelley and Byron but I can't remember what Sheakespeare or anything else. For French Lit we studied great gobbets of Racine and Moliere, as well as Giraudoux's "La Guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu" and some Saint-Exupery - all much more interesting than the English Lit syllabus, I thought.

Laura
(emulate St. George for email)
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Fifty years ago the high school curriculum in Britain (as indicated by Oxford & Cambridge Joint Board GCE examinations at Ordinary levell) included Chaucer's English (1400 Canterbury Tales preface and one tale).

Confirmation: I studied the Nonnes Preestes Tale, in the original, for my GCE O-level English literature examination (O&C Joint Board) in 1962.

Grade 2, since you ask. But don't ask me how - I was expecting a 6 or worse. I've always assumed there was some sort of ***-up in the marking.

Mike Barnes
Cheshire, England
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