President and Program, Wayne Malcolm reported on the March 2012 Akita-JALT session: Old English for Today by Professor Susumu Hiyama of Akita Prefectural University.
This presentation was in two sections – discussion then workshop. Hiyama specializes in English philology – literary history of the English language. He first treated participants to a discussion of the three main periods in the history of the English language (Old English, Middle English, and Modern English), which gave the audience a base so they could engage Old English readings. Hiyama then led the group in sounding-out the fundamental Old English alphabet. Finally, led by Hiyama, everyone read passages from the Old English text Beowulf. It was noted during the concluding discussion that learning to read Old English might assist with improving English language pronunciation. This was an educational and interactive session.