Study of the English language is an important tool for the study of literature. To paraphrase CS Lewis, in the older periods you know what you don’t understand, but in more recent periods the apparent similarity of the words of the text to contemporary usage can mislead us. Words like liberal and conservative, nature and world, require historical perspective before we can understand them fully in either the literature of historical periods or in the present day, when different authors compete to drive their meanings in particular directions. So, too, literature can be an important source of evidence for the study of the language across cultures, regions, nations, and time. ELS can help students negotiate style, both as readers and writers: stylistics embodies the essential connection between literature and ELS in grammar, discourse, and cognition. Some courses, such as History of the English Language, Old English, and American English, treat the issue of language variation and change. Other courses, such as English Grammar, Lexicography, ESL Error Analysis, Second Language Acquisition, Style, and Language Variation and the Linguistics of Speech, treat specific topics and theories related to the English language.