English Languages Linguistics Teaching

The Viking Invasion – English With John Extra #2

Written by Ioannes Oculus

In the second edition of English With John Extra you will find a full lesson plan based on the Vikings Invasion. The materials in pdf file are therefore more lesson oriented but also self learners can find the reading section and exercises useful for them.

Here is one of the exercises (the answers are in the pdf file):

Ragnar Lodbrok was one of the most famous Vikings. Complete the extract from Historical Dictionary of the Vikings about him with the verbs from the box. Please use the verbs in the appropriate past simple form, active or passive.

throw   become   divorce   kill   derive   live   forced

RAGNAR LODBRÓK (Ragnar “Shaggy-Breeches”). Legendary Viking, whose nickname (1) ___________ from the trousers he wore in order to protect himself during a battle with two giant serpents. In William of Jumièges, the first writer to mention Lothbroc, he is said to have been an Anglo-Scandinavian king and the father of Björn Ironside, who (4) ___________ Björn into exile and thus into a life of raiding and pillaging. Book nine of Saxo Grammaticus’s History of the Danes describes Ragnar as a relative of the ninth-century Danish king, Godfred, who (3) ___________ king himself and made heroic conquests across the Viking world. His first wife was said to be Laðgerða, but he later (4) ___________ her and married a Swedish princess, þóra, whose father wished to reward him for killing two giant serpents. However, the 13th-century Icelandic Saga of Ragnar Loðbrók names his father as Sigurd hringr, another Danish king, and he is said to have married the daughter of Sigurd the Dragon-Slayer and the valkyrie Brynhild after þóra had died. According to tradition, Ragnar (5) ___________ by the Anglo-Saxon king of York, Ælla, who (6) ___________ him into a snake pit. His sons, Ivar the Boneless, Björn Ironside, Halfdan, and Ubba are said to have invaded England and to have killed Ælla with the gory ritual of blood-eagle to avenge their father’s death. Although his sons are historical figures, there is no evidence that Ragnar himself ever (7) ___________, and he seems to be an amalgam of several different historical figures and pure literary invention.

source: text: Katherine Holman, Historical Dictionary of the Vikings, Lanham, Maryland, and Oxford 2003, p. 220.

PDF file with lesson plan: English With John Extra #2 The Viking Invasion

For class usage:

The exercises from pdf can be followed by a discussion on topics like:

  1. What references to Vikings can you find in modern books, films or TV series? Which of them do you find interesting and why?

More of the English With John Extra materials are available to those who have a free membership plan: Beginner. Register now!

About the author

Ioannes Oculus

I am addicted to languages, both modern and ancient. No language is dead as long as we can read and understand it. I want to share my linguistic passion with like minded people. I am also interested in history, astronomy, genealogy, books and probably many others. My goals now are to write a novel in Latin, a textbook for Latin learners, Uzbek-Polish, Polish-Uzbek dictionary, modern Uzbek grammar and textbook for learners. My dream is to have a big house in UK or USA where I could keep all my books and have enough time and money to achieve my goals.

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