78666 - French for Specific Purposes 1 (LM)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Docente: Valeria Zotti
  • Credits: 9
  • SSD: L-LIN/04
  • Language: French
  • Teaching Mode: Blended Learning
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Language, Society and Communication (cod. 8874)

Learning outcomes

The global aim of this course - which includes lectures and language classes - is to improve students’ communicative skills and provide them with a sophisticated knowledge of selected aspects of the French language and culture also in order to allow them to compete for jobs in the international sector. More particularly, lectures will enable students to think critically about specific varieties of French in connection with their context of production and of reception. This aim will be achieved by providing students with theoretical knowledge taken from linguistics and sociolinguistics, as well as through close readings of authentic texts. This course focuses on the language of art, heritage and tourism as a specific variety of French. Language classes aim at improving students’ linguistic competence; over the two-year period students’ knowledge of French should reach level C2 according to the European framework in all four abilities. These classes will work in connection with the lectures to improve students’ writing skills in particular.

Course contents

PRACTICAL LANGUAGE CLASSES (T. Manconi, 1st semester)

Practical language classes focus on the skills relating to the analysis of morphosyntactic and lexical features and discourse strategies in texts belonging to specialised languages as well as on the ability to comment on them, in French and in an academic register. See in this respect the descriptors defined by the CFR for languages (C1/C2).

OFFICIAL COURSE (V. Zotti, 1st semester)

The course aims to provide the conceptual, methodological, theoretical and practical tools to refine and enhance one's metalinguistic skills with the help of new technologies. Underlying this applied approach to the study of French for Specific Purposes is a focus on training the "new" skills required in the professions of multilingual and multimedia communication (editor, translator, lexicographer, terminologist, computational linguist, data scientist, etc.), as well as of the operator in the tourism and arts industries.

Specifically, the official course aims to raise awareness of the potential and limitations of various resources in electronic format (dictionaries, terminology databases, comparable and parallel text corpora, machine translation software) that increasingly interact during the work of the linguist-translator, constituting complementary and indispensable reference tools in both academic and professional fields and careers.

After a theoretical introduction on the different branches of linguistics with a focus on the macro- and micro-linguistic aspects of specialised languages (gastronomy, administration, medicine, etc.), in the innovative teaching part of the course, the methods of Natural Language Processing (in French ‘Traitement Automatique de la Langue’) and, in particular, corpus linguistics will be used to analyse the vocabulary and terminology of cultural heritage and tourism in French.

Students will be trained in the use of the main softwares (BootCat, Atlas.ti, SketchEngine) for the creation, tagging and searching of a specialised corpus and for collaborative terminographic work.

At the same time, the many practical applications of this methodology in applied linguistics will be illustrated, and a reflection on the new frontiers of artificial intelligence in the so-called 'language industries' will also be initiated.



Handout on the online teaching platform, provided by the lecturer.

  • Les 500 exercices de grammaire, niveau B2, Hachette Français Langue étrangère, 2007 (auteurs : Jennepin D., Delatour Y., Caquineau-Gündüz M.-P.)
  • Grammaire progressive du français, niveau perfectionnement B2-C2, CLE International, 2019 (auteur : Grégoire M.)


Mandatory book

Marie-Claude L’Homme, La terminologie. Principes et techniques, Presses Universitaires de Montréal, 2020 (2e éd. revue et mise à jour).

Recommended texts for reference:

A. Farina, V. Zotti (éds.), Industries des langues France-Italie, SYNERGIES Italie. Revue du GERFLINT, Numéro 17 - Année 2021, Italie 17 (gerflint.fr) [https://gerflint.fr/Base/Italie17/italie17.html]

R. Cetro, La démarche terminologique d'André Félibien. La systématisation du lexique artistique en français, Torino, L'Harmattan Italia, 2022.

V. Zotti, A. Pano (éds.), Informatica umanistica: risorse e strumenti per lo studio del lessico dei beni culturali, Firenze University Press, 2017.

V. Zotti, M. Turci (éds.), Nuove strategie per la traduzione del lessico artistico. Da Giorgio Vasari a un corpus plurilingue dei beni culturali, Firenze University Press, 2023.

Teaching materials will be made available online on the Virtual platform.

Teaching methods


The teaching activity will focus on the acquisition of the following skills

- identification, for appropriate use in the context and textual purposes, of the stylistic, pragmatic, syntactic markers of the textual typology in question, also through reconnaissance, feedback and collaborative text comprehension activities

- analysis of discursive strategies present in the texts examined, with particular attention to diachronic variation;

- integration, for the acquisition of comprehension skills, of the practice of consulting various electronic resources useful for writing in French;

- writing analytical comments in an academic register appropriate for writing competence equivalent to level C2 of the Common Frame of Reference for Languages.


The official course, taught by the titular lecturer, will be assisted by a computer technician in the practical laboratory part focusing on the use of some softwares (BootCat, Atlas.ti, SketchEngine).

The model of innovative digital teaching (DDI) will be experimented with, once a week, conducting a hands-on lesson remotely. A repository of resources will be used, in the Virtual environment, in an open and articulated format, to support all students, including non-attending students, in their learning activities and in preparation for exams.

Students will be invited to work individually or in small groups to accomplish some guided activities under the supervision of the lecturer.

Regular attendance of the course is highly desirable, given the course's conspicuous practical and applied component.

Assessment methods


The final test of learning consists of an annotated and reasoned analysis of a text, taken from the corpus but not analysed during the exercises, that presents the traits of specialised writing, on one of the topics already dealt with.

The final examination, lasting a total of 4 hours, will be conducted exclusively in electronic format.

The use of electronic dictionaries and databases will be permitted during the tests (list recommended by the lecturer).

The same applies to non-attending students who are invited to inform the lecturer by sending a communication to the following address: teresa.manconi@unibo.it

Evaluation criteria for the exercises

The assessment criteria will be those already envisaged for DALF certificates (C1 / C2), particularly in terms of a) compliance with the delivery; b) cohesion and coherence of the text; c) richness of the syntactic and lexical repertoire, including the ability to reformulate easily; d) correctness and coherence of the lexical and grammatical spelling; e) relevance of the text from a morpho-syntactic point of view; f) relevance of the text in relation to the communication situation. In addition to these, g) relevant use of electronic tools to supplement writing skills.

The validity of the partial tests of the language exercises is 4 sessions (including the first, the one in which the test was taken).


Students will submit a paper in French at the end of the course on the practical work carried out during the workshop activities.

They must also take an oral examination during the official examination sessions, which will focus on the presentation of the practical work and the theoretical content of the course.

Office hours

See the website of Valeria Zotti


Quality education

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