1.Language and languages: an introduction; 2. The sounds of current english; 3. Letters and sound: a brief history of writing; 4. The backgrounds of English; 5. The old English period (449-1100); 6. The middle English period (1100-1500); 7. The modern English period to 1800: sounds and spellings ; 8. The modern English period to 1800: forms and syntax; 9. Recent british and American English; 10. Words and meanings; 11. New words from old; 12. Foreign elements in the English word stock.