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Charles Carpenter Fries (1887-1967)


Charles Carpenter Fries is an American linguist, born in Reading, Pennsylvania, USA. He taught at the University of Michigan, where he developed programmes in both theoretical and applied linguistics.

He and his wife, Agnes Carswell, developed the university's English Language Institute (1941), which pioneered methods and materials for teaching English to foreigners. Among his many books are dictionaries of Early and Middle English.

Charles C. Fries was a distinguished professor of linguistics, and leader of the Linguistics Society of America. Primarily a linguist specializing in the English language, he was always concerned with how languages could best be taught and learned. Early on he was interested in improving the ways English was taught to native speakers. He is the author of a classic text in a nontechnical linquistic approach: Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language (1945).

Main Publications

  • Pike, Kenneth L. and Charles C. Fries (1949). Coexistent phonemic systems, Language 25: 25-50.

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