30951 - English Language and Linguistics 1

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be familiar with the meta-language of various aspects of the descriptive-analytical Functional Grammar model of the English language, and should master all the communicative skills at the B2 level as set by the parameters of the Council of Europe.

Course contents

The course of English Language and Linguistics 1 consists of the following components:

a) Lectures held by the course professor, in English. An online workshop series with a tutor will also be available for exam practice. This course offers an introduction to the Systemic Functional model of grammar, with special attention paid to textual meanings (i.e. structural and non structural cohesion).

b) Language classes (= Esercitazioni) in English with native English speaking teachers (Sarah Stratford and Catherine Blundell). At the beginning of the academic year, a Placement Test (OOPT) is held to form groups, based on the students' skills, from intermediate to advanced. In order to study English, it is obligatory to take the Placement Test on the dates set by the School at the beginning of each academic year, and to obtain a score of at least 55.

Students who have obtained one of the following certificates within the past 2 years are not obliged to take the Placement Test, and are asked to give the teacher identified in the OOPT instructions webpage a photocopy of their certificate on the dates set by the School:

1) Cambridge ESOL: PET with Merit or with Distinction
2) IELTS: 5
3) TOEFL iBT: 65
4) TRINITY (solo ISE, o Integrated Skills Exam): ISE (II)

The same certificates are accepted if obtained with a higher score. The FCE (the only grades accepted are A, B or C), CAE and CPE are also accepted. The deadline for submitting your certificate is the date of the third Placement Test session, which will take place at the beginning of November 2018. Certificates cannot be accepted after the deadline.



Thompson, G. (2014). Introducing Functional Grammar. Third Edition. London: Routledge (chapters 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8; in addition, p. 45-68 and p. 91-122).

Bloor, T. & Bloor, M. (2013). The Functional Analysis of English. London: Routledge, pp. 140-148; pp. 285-295 (in Insegnamenti On-line).

In addition, students are asked to download and study thePPTs/ other course materials posted by their teacher in Insegnamenti Online .

Practical exercises (= Esercitazioni)

English File Upper Intermediate , published by Oxford University Press.

or (*)

English File Advanced , published by Oxford University Press.

Additional material will be made available on-line and in local photocopy shops.

(*) Nota bene: Since the textbook used for practical exercises depends on the group that each student is assigned to based on the results of the Placement Test (OOPT), students are advised to wait until the results of the OOPT are available before they purchase the corresponding book. The Functional Grammar (= lectures) textbook is the same for all students.

Teaching methods

1) Lectures held by the professor during the course of one semester, as indicated in the lectures timetable, on the website of the School, under “Studiare”/ “Orario delle lezioni”.
2) Language classes (= Esercitazioni) with mothertongue English teachers throughout the academic year. Students will be divided into groups from the placement test, and will be trained in all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

3) Online workshop. This involves a set of exercise on the topics of the lectures.

Assessment methods

The exam is divided into two parts, one on English linguistics (corresponding to Dr Fusari's lectures) and one on English language (corresponding to Sarah Stratford's and Catherine Blundell's language classes).

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 SAT (Speaking Ability Test).

Exam structure

The exam consists of 3 components:

(1) A linguistics written, based on the contents of the lectures held by the teacher of the course. This tests the students' knowledge of the fundamental theoretical aspects of Cohesion, Mood and Transitivity, as well as their capacity to apply the descriptive-analytic model of Systemic Functional Linguistics to the English language. The aim is to analyze real English utterances from the grammatical and semantic points of view, with special attention paid to textual meanings, and also taking into account the role of context. This exam component is a 31-items multiple-choice cloze; the time allowed is 40 minutes.

(2) A language written, based on the contents of the language classes held by native English speaking teachers. This tests the students' capacity to analyze, understand and use the English language at level B2 of the Common European Framework for Languages. This exam component is divided into separate sections on (a) Use of English (40 minutes), (b) Reading (30 minutes) and (c) Writing (60 minutes). The final mark is the mean of the scores obtained in the three sections. Passing the Use of English exam paper is an essential condition to pass the language exam. The text types used for this component of the exam are general interest texts (e.g. newspaper articles, reviews, interviews).

(3) A SAT (Speaking Ability Test), which tests the students' listening and speaking skills, and their capacity to communicate spontaneously, understand and make themselves understood in English, with a good command of grammar and a fairly wide vocabulary, on a variety of general, non specialized topics. This component of the exam lasts 8-10 minutes.

Regardless of which semester the theoretical (Functional Grammar) lectures are held in, students may take the practical (Esercitazioni) component of the exam only at the end of the academic year (May/ June), because the corresponding course lasts for the whole academic year. Students may take the Functional Grammar component of the exam at the end of the semester during which the corresponding lectures take place. Exceptions may apply to Erasmus students spending only one semester in Bologna. These students are asked to contact Dr Fusari during her office hours, as soon as possible on their arrival at Bologna.

The specific skills and knowledge tested in each part of the exam are detailed in Insegnamenti On-line, in a folder named "Facsimili d'esame" (Sample exams).

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 who pass the written exam components with a score of at least 18/30 may not reject their mark and take written exams again. The final mark may be refused, but in that event all the partial exams (Esercitazioni written + lectures written + SAT) must be repeated. Marks obtained in written exams remain valid for 4 exam sessions.

The written language exam (based on the content of the language classes) must be passed before the SAT: only after passing the written language exam can students take the oral.

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

Written exams take place once for each exam session; SATs are held twice for each exam session, once before and once after the writtens. It is not obligatory to pass the three components of the exam in the same exam term, but it is not possible to register the final mark for this course until all three exam components have been passed.

Students who show a solid (Independent User-Upper Intermediate) command of the English language and an equally good 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 applying their grammatical knowledge mechanically, without an adequate awareness of the connections between grammar, meaning and context, and/ or showing hesitations in their written and spoken skills may still pass the exam but with a low mark. Students with significant gaps in their metalinguistic knowledge and/ or whose language skills are below B2 do not pass the exam.

Additional information

The exam is the same for all students, that is:

(1) attenders and non-attenders;

(2) students enrolled according to the old (509) and new (270) ordinamento;

(3) students who attended the course before academic year 2018-2019.

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). 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, must refer to the document published by the School .

Teaching tools

Lectures (with PowerPoint presentations), language classes, online workshop.

Office hours

See the website of Sabrina Fusari