Today, English is the pre-eminent global language, spoken by more than a quarter of the world's population. English plays a key role in international diplomacy, trade and commerce, the global media and entertainment industries, and is used in everyday encounters across the world. In this module, you'll trace the history of its spread across the globe and explore the diversity that characterises present-day English in a range of everyday settings from home to education and work. Using both print and online materials, you'll investigate its influence, alongside other languages, in contemporary global issues such as migration and political protest.
Course image by Pexels from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/ photos/ bench-grass-man-person-reading-1853961/ under Creative-Commons license
This free course, What happens to you when you read? explores our relationship with books and the ways in which engaging with fiction in particular can change readers.
Research shows that as well as providing us with a form of entertainment, the activity of reading can bring benefits to our wellbeing in challenging times. People have experienced and explored these benefits throughout history.
As you work your way through this course, you will have the chance to participate in both reading and writing activities and experience for yourself what happens to you when you read.
After years spent in dark comedy clubs and cramped rooms above pubs, Mary O’Hara knows what makes her laugh. But what else can a good joke do? She meets the performers and researchers who say that comedy can change how we think and even how we act.
The ancient Romans constructed some of the first ever purpose-built venues for mass-entertainment. How do these structures enhance the audience’s experience of the spectacle? This album looks at famous Roman buildings like the Colosseum, a venue designed to impress, where vast numbers of people congregated for gladiatorial combat, chariot-racing and theatrical shows. Structures such as the Circus Maximus and even the Baths were designed as striking symbols of civic pride, glorifying the power of the Emperors who built them. This material forms part of The Open University course A219 Exploring the classical world.