Perhaps Britain's greatest contribution to the world is not art or technology or sport, but the English language itself. Great Britain is home to the first language of business, science and travel. The story of English begins more than a thousand years ago, but its global importance means it is still making history now.

If you'd like to talk about the English language in class, there is an English is Great lesson plan on the British Council TeachingEnglish site.

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The story of English starts more than a thousand years ago. Richard goes to the British Library to hear – and see – how the language has changed over the years.

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Richard finds out about all the different kinds of English and talks to some of the hundreds of thousands of students who come to Great Britain to learn English every year.

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