31300 - English Linguistics and Language 3 (A-L)

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Antonella Luporini
  • Foreign language instructor Guy Robert Lydster
  • Credits: 9
  • Language: English

Learning outcomes

The students are expected to possess an excellent knowledge of the most relevant theoretical aspects of a descriptive-analytical model of the English language applied to illustrative examples of different text-types, with the aim of understanding their major lexico-grammatical and semantic features, along with the contextual variables which tend to determine them. They are expected to be competent in all four communicative skills at the C-1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Course contents

The course is for those who have already done the first and second year of Lingua e linguistica inglese. If you are an Erasmus student or for whatever reason have not done these prior exams, please get in touch with the teacher, Prof. Luporini, as soon as possible before the beginning of the course. Your program will need to be different.

Integral parts of the course:

A) Lectures: II semester;

B) Practical language classes: I and II semesters.

* The Linguistics course (Lectures) will take place in the II semester, while language classes will start in the I semester.

The mode of delivery (in presence and/or online) will follow the University and Department rules that will be announced in due time.

A) Lectures

Language as Purposeful: Functional Varieties of Text

Lectures aim at perfecting the competence acquired during the 1st and 2nd year, through: 1) the introduction and/or refinement of theoretical concepts that provide the bases for the notion of register, the central topic of the course, and 2) the application of the Systemic Functional Grammar descriptive-analytical model to different functional varieties of texts, or registers, including the literature text, with the aim of having students understand the typical lexico-grammar and semantics of these texts and the contextual variables which tend to active them.

At the end of the lectures, an online ‘workshop’ including a set of exercises addressing the lectures’ contents will be made available. It offers students the opportunity to do practical exercises on theory as well as additional analysis of the text-types which are covered during the course. It also serves the purpose of ‘bridging’ the potential divide between the metalinguistic and practical language components of the course.

Since a knowledge of the Systemic Functional Linguistics model is ideally acquired progressively over all three years of Lingua e Linguistica Inglese, students are expected to know the 1st and 2nd year contents.

B) The practical language classes which go on all year aim at bringing the students to a C1 level in all abilities according to the Common European Framework (‘Effective Operational Proficient’).

NB: The level does NOT constitute a 'certification', which is the responsibility of an officially recognized certifying authority. Moreover, we cannot attest to the level having been reached, but only to the mark obtained.

With a view towards further studies and/or the development of professional abilities, language classes will also aim at developing language awareness through contrastive analysis, focusing on translation and other skills, and using various text-types.

These classes focus on all four skills areas: reading and text analysis (text structure, reading for specific meanings, including speaker opinion or attitude, in single and multiple texts, in a comparative perspective); essay writing (content, style and organization in a range of text-types; focus on developing argumentation skills); listening (for specific information, gist and attitude); and speaking (pronunciation practice; oral argumentation on a range of topics).

The translation classes will focus on translation practice from Italian into English with the goal of strengthening communicative language skills and being able to deal with a given translation assignment.


Lectures and Workshop:

The key course-book is:

· D.R. Miller, 2017 2nd edition, Language as Purposeful: Functional Varieties of Text, in D.R. Miller (Ed.): Functional Grammar Studies for Non-Native Speakers of English, Quaderni del Centro di Studi Linguistico-Culturali (CeSLiC).

E-book downloadable at: http://amsacta.unibo.it/5504/

- Students are also required to know the following texts:

· Halliday M.A.K. & R. Hasan, 1985/1989, Part A of Language, context and text. Aspects of language in a social-semiotic perspective, Australia, Deakin University Press; Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Available on 'Virtuale' in a PDF file.

· Ravelli L., 2000, “Getting Started with Functional Analysis of Texts”, in L. Unsworth (ed.), Researching Language in Schools and Communities: functional linguistic perspectives, London, Cassell.

E-book available for Unibo users at: https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.unibo.it/lib/unibo/detail.action?docID=436985

- The basic FG Reference book is:

· Thompson G., 2014 3rd edition, Introducing Functional Grammar, London, Routledge.

E-book available for Unibo users at: https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.unibo.it/lib/unibo/detail.action?docID=1319003

- Further Reference material:

· Bloor, T. & M. Bloor, “Glossary”, in The Functional Analysis of English, London/New York, Routledge, 3rd ed. 2013, 285-295.

Available on 'Virtuale' in a PDF file.


Language Classes:

All language and translation groups as well as materials adopted will be communicated at the beginning of the classes. Teachers will inform their classes of materials (and/or ‘dispense’) that they’ve made available in the copy centre in Via Cartoleria and/or online.

The recommended grammar (available in the Department library) is:

Downing A. & P. Locke, 2005, English grammar: A university course, UK, Taylor & Francis Ltd., 2nd revised edition.

Teaching methods

Attendance of all lectures and language classes is strongly recommended. Studies in Language Acquisition show that a language is best learnt through active class participation.

a) Lectures

3rd year students are divided into 2 groups, by alphabetical order A-L (prof. Luporini) and M-Z (prof. Manfredi). Lectures for these groups take place on the average of 4 hours a week;

the related workshop exercises, aiming to reinforce theory through concrete practice, will be published on Virtuale at the end of the lectures.

b) Language lessons

3rd year students will be divided into groups according to their 2nd year results.

Each student will follow a group doing ‘integrated skills’ (2 classes of 2 hours each week) and one group of translation (1 class a week), for a total of 6 hours per week for the entire academic year.

The language teachers on the third year are Dott.ssa Pearce, Dott. Lydster and a new collaborator. Dott.ssa Pearce and Dott. Lydster are responsible for teaching ‘Integrated skills: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking’ and a new collaborator for ‘Translation from Italian to English’. The groups and class materials will be defined by the start of the first semester and posted on the collaborators’ individual web pages.

Assessment methods

The exam is divided into two parts, one on English linguistics and one on English language, thus reflecting the structure of the course and its title.

The linguistics part of the exam is written, and the language part of the exam is both written and oral; the oral part is called the SAT (the Speaking Ability Test).

Exam structure

The full exam consists of a total of 3 components:

(1) A linguistics written test, based on the contents of the lectures held by the teacher of the course. This tests the students’ knowledge of the theoretical concepts at the foundation of the notion of register and the capacity for applying the descriptive-analytical model of Systemic Functional Linguistics and other interconnected theories to functional varieties of text, or registers.

The aim is to show an understanding of the lexico-grammar and semantics typical of the text-types examined in the course and the contextual variables that tend to realize them.

The exam is divided into a theoretical and an applied part and consists of a total of 31 items (of various kinds: multiple choice, True/False, matching, cloze, select missing words, questions requiring a short answer and open questions). The time allowed is 50 minutes.

(2) A language written test based on the contents of the language classes. This tests the students’ analytical capacity to understand and use the English language at the C1 level of the Common European Framework for Languages. The exam is divided into specific sections on: (a1) Reading comprehension and text analysis, (a2) summary (both parts to be done in 75 minutes), (b) Writing (60 minutes) and (c) Translation (60 minutes). All three sections have a maximum of 30 points. The final mark is the mean of the scores obtained in the three sections, provided that students pass 2 out of 3 parts – see ‘Marking criteria and levels’ below. The text-types used for this component of the exam are general interest and semi-specialized (e.g. newspaper articles, reviews, academic/ scientific articles/ interviews). Writing skills are evaluated with reference to the student’s capacity to produce a persuasive/ argumentative or expository text.

(3) A SAT, which tests the students’ listening and speaking skills, and their capacity to express, at a C1 level, a critical viewpoint on abstract and/or controversial topics or current affairs. This part of the exam lasts 15-20 minutes.

Starting from the summer session in 2022, it is difficult to predict whether the exam will be in presence or online, since this will depend on the safety restrictions in force. However, the structure and contents of the exam will remain the same, only the timing may change. Students will be updated on any changes throughout the course.

For students from past academic years who have not taken the exam yet: until January 2022, the type of exam (structure and time) will be the same modified version that had been established after the emergency. You can find information on the Professor’s Virtuale page.

Marking criteria and levels

Each part of the exam is evaluated separately. The final mark is calculated as follows: the score obtained in the Language written is multiplied by 2, and added to the score obtained in the SAT. This figure is divided by 3, added to the score obtained in the Linguistics written, and finally, divided by 2. Students cannot refuse a passing mark (a score of at least 18/30) in any of the single (partial) exams taken towards the final average mark in the course. Only the final average mark itself can be refused, obliging the student in that case to take each single exam again. Marks obtained in written exams, but also in the SAT, remain valid for 4 exam sessions only, including the sessions they were taken in.

In order to pass the written language exam (based on the content of the language classes), as of the summer session 2018, students must get a passing score in at least 2 out of the 3 parts of the exam.

The written language exam must be passed before the SAT: i.e., only after passing the written language exam may students take the SAT. However, they needn’t wait to pass the linguistics exam to do so.

All written exams take place only once in each exam session; SATs are held twice, once before and once after the written tests and in proximity of the final mark registration dates. It is not obligatory to pass the three (single) components of the exam in the same exam session, but it is not possible to register the final mark for the overall course until all three exam components have been passed.

Students who show a solid (Effective Operational Proficient – C1) command of the English language and an equally appropriate awareness of its metalinguistic aspects receive an excellent mark. Students with a lesser degree of linguistic competence and metalinguistic awareness receive a lower mark. Students who apply their grammatical competence mechanically, without showing an adequate capacity to perform a thorough analysis of a complex text and/ or demonstrate a less than C1 competence with reference to a wide range of text-types and their contexts may pass the exam but will only do so with a low mark. Finally, students who display seriously insufficient metalinguistic awareness, analytical capacity and linguistic competence at the required level, will not pass the exam.

Regarding translation, an awareness of the functions of the source text and its register and level of formality must be demonstrated. Special attention must be paid to the grammatical structure, lexical choices (also in terms of collocation), and punctuation. Translations that sound ‘natural’ will be rewarded. L1 Italian students may only use monolingual English dictionaries. Students of other native languages may use either a monolingual Italian dictionary or a bilingual dictionary of Italian plus the L1 of the student.

NB: Erasmus students may choose to do TWO writing questions instead of the translation plus one writing task.

Additional information

The exam is the same for all students, attenders and non-attenders.

Students who have chosen English as their third language are not obliged to take the SAT, but may do so if they wish.

Students of the old ordinamento “quadriennale”, for whom the exam is called “Lingua e letteratura inglese”, take only the language written and SAT (no linguistics component). The final mark for these students is the mean of the score obtained in their language exam and the one obtained in their literature exam.


- Incoming and outgoing Erasmus students, as well as students from other Departments/ Degree Courses, must refer to information contained in the document that will be available on the following pages:




- The “prova di conoscenza della lingua straniera” is a 3-credit, pass/fail exam, required for those enrolled in the V.O. 509, is to be done ONLY by those who are certain that they will be doing their final undergraduate paper on some English or Anglo-American topic. It consists in a very brief discussion on current affairs.

Those enrolled in the ‘ordinamento’ 270 do NOT do this exam.

- Students SHOULD NOT WAIT to do their language exams until the session in which they are to graduate. There is a real risk that they will not pass and therefore not graduate. Those who are hoping to graduate in the first available session of their third year are clearly an exception.

Exam results are always published on 'Virtuale'.

All students MUST enrol in the lists in Almaesami for EACH partial exam they intend to do and for their final mark registration. Students doing an exam must present a valid ID with photo.

Office Hours normally take place in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures – Via Cartoleria 5 – Bologna, 4th floor, office number 139. If safety restrictions continue, receiving hours will take place online (via Skype or Teams).

The receiving times (and/or information about them) of the language teachers will be posted on their individual web pages.

Students are advised to regularly consult the PERSONAL WEB PAGE of their linguistics Professor, where all notices are kept up to date, and of their language teachers.

Teaching tools

Lectures will make use of PPT.

Office hours

See the website of Antonella Luporini


Quality education Reduced inequalities

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.