Computers & Texts No. 15
Table of Contents
August 1997

Computers and English Studies

New developments in STELLA

Jean Anderson
STELLA, University of Glasgow

stella screenshot

The STELLA project has been creating materials for, and promoting the use of, computers in teaching and research in English Language, English Literature, and Scottish Literature since 1987. Teaching packages include materials for modern English grammar and lexis, the history of English and Scots, metrics, stylistics, English and Scottish annotated texts, and literary and linguistic computing. We now have several new projects in various stages of development.

The Essentials of Old English

The package consists of exercises designed to develop special linguistic skills, and a reference book which contains a grammar, a small selection of simplified and normalised texts, and an Old English/present-day English glossary. The current set of programs falls into two parts:

  1. Essentials of Old English: a single series of short exercises designed as a revision-package for beginners in the subject.
  2. Essentials of Old English Plus: a suite of five distinct packages of exercises, designed to support a structured learning-programme whereby students of Old English develop a thorough grounding in the principles of Old English grammar. Students who complete this course will be ready to proceed to advanced study of texts not only with an enhanced understanding of Old English grammatical structure but also with the ability to gauge accurately the stylistic choices made by individual Anglo-Saxon writers. The variety of Old English used as the model for the programs is normalised Early West Saxon.
stella screenshot

Fig.2. Exercises in the Essentials of Old English

ARIES: Assisted Revision in English Style

Many people would like to communicate more clearly. Professor Christian Kay of the Department of English Language, is currently working on a package which will be welcomed in many academic departments as well as in the business world. ARIES is a suite of interactive computer-assisted materials for improving key English language skills in areas such as grammar, spelling, punctuation, and written English style. ARIES can help people to achieve clarity of expression, to deal with individual points of insecurity and to produce clear communications in letters, reports, and promotional materials. The modular structure of the course units will enable users to select their own areas of interest and pace their own learning in a friendly hypertext environment.

A Guide to Scottish Literature

Media interest in Scottish Literature is currently strong and set to increase. 1997 is the bi-centenary of the death of Robert Burns; the period 1994-97 will have seen the centenary of Robert Louis Stevenson and the bi-centenary of James Boswell. STELLA and the Department of Scottish Literature, are creating an electronic course in Scottish Literature, covering the period from 1350 to the present. We are converting the material on which the Department's distance-taught M.Phil. is based, to a multimedia CD-ROM. This unique resource will be sold to arts and heritage organisations, newspapers, television, and radio companies as a reference source, and to professionals in schools, colleges, and universities as a complete course in Scottish Literature.

An Introduction to Older Scots

This browsing package is designed as a practical guide for students reading Older Scots as part of their Higher Ordinary Scottish Literature course. It contains information on the development of the Scots language from 1100 to modern times. It is designed to help the beginning student appreciate Older Scots literature.

stella screenshot

Fig. 3. Browsing An Introduction to Older Scots

Scottish Teaching and Research Network

The Scots Teaching And Research Network (STARN, from the Scots word meaning 'star') collects and makes available through the World Wide Web, a selection of Scottish literary and non-literary materials: prose, poetry, drama, criticism, and commentary. They are primarily intended for use by educationalists and researchers into aspects of Scottish culture, particularly Scottish literature, and varieties of Scots language. We have texts of plays from the Scottish Theatre Text Archive, poetry and prose from the Scottish Language Resource Centre, texts on classroom discourse, and journalistic texts on the subject of Scots. These texts are freely available on the STARN Web.

STELLA and STARN can be found on the Web at and

[Table of Contents] [Letter to the Editor]

Computers & Texts 15 (1997), p.24 Not to be republished in any form without the author's permission.

HTML Author: Sarah Porter
Document Created: 10 September 1997
Document Modified:

The URL of this document is