31150 - English Language and Linguistics 2

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be versed in metalanguage; in particular they will have acquired some knowledge of several aspects of one of the analytical and descriptive models of the English language. Their knowledge of the language will be at the level B2 in all four skills

Course contents

This course includes the following parts:

1. Lectures. These are taught by the course convenor (4 hours per week, during the course of one semester). Lectures will focus on the analysis of Transitivity and the Appraisal System within the broader framework of Systemic Functional Grammar. The explanation of theory goes hand in hand with practical work to show that this analysis is functional to a deep understanding of the way English language works and means. Texts for practical work are excerpts from newspapers, weekly papers discussing current issues, or novels, including those taught in the English Literature course, or texts that have been discussed during the Esercitazioni (language classes) component of this course.

2. Esercitazioni (practical language classes) taught by mothertongue English language assistants (4 hours per week, during the first and second semester). These focus on the four abilities (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and aim at level B2+ of the CEFR.

3. Online workshop. It further illustrates, through specific exercises with keys, the contents of the lectures, and also serves the purpose of bridging the potential divide between the metalinguistic and practical language components of the course.



THOMPSON, G. (2014). Introducing Functional Grammar. Third Edition. London: Routledge. Chapters on Interpersonal Meanings (pp. 45-88), Metaphor (pp. 233-252), and pp. 122-129. Students should also have a solid knowldege of the contents of the first year course.

In addition, students are asked to download and study the materials posted by the teacher on Insegnamenti online [https://iol.unibo.it/] .


The course book for all groups is:

"NAVIGATE C1 Advanced" Student Book. Ed. Oxford University Press.

Teaching methods

1) Lectures and group work.

2) Esercitazioni: group work and individual exercises on all four linguistic abilities (i.e. speaking, listening, reading and writing).

3) Online workshop: practical exercises on theory and analysis of the text types covered during the course.

Assessment methods

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' capacity to recognize, understand and analyze the discursive and communicative strategies deployed in one or two short texts in English, by applying their knowledge of Systemic Functional Linguistics. This exam component consists of multiple-choice questions, TRUE/FALSE and open-ended questions for a total of 30 items + a bonus. By answering all the questions correctly, students get 31 points, i.e., full marks (30 & lode). The text types may vary, but always within the scope of standard British or American English, and generally concern topics of current general culture. The time allowed is 55 minutes.

(2) A language written, based on the contents of the language classes (Esercitazioni) held by native English language experts. This tests the students' capacity to analyze, understand and use the English language at level B2 (higher threshold) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This exam component is divided into specific sections on (a) Use of English (45 minutes), (b) Reading (45 minutes) and (c) Writing (60 minutes). The final mark is the mean of the scores obtained in the three sections; however, 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 and popular science texts (e.g. newspaper articles, reviews, interviews).

(3) A Speaking Ability Test (SAT), which tests the students' listening and speaking skills, and their capacity to communicate fluently and effectively in English, with a good command of grammar and a wide vocabulary, on a variety of general topics, including complex ones. This component of the exam lasts 10-15 minutes.

The specific skills and knowledge tested in each part of the exam are detailed in a document entitled “Facsimili esame Lingua e Linguistica inglese 2”, which will be made available on Insegnamenti online [https://iol.unibo.it/] .

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, and added to the score obtained in the Linguistics written. The total is, finally, divided by 2. If a student passes one of these exam components (“esami parziali”) with a score of at least 18/30, s/he may not reject the mark and take that exam component again. Only the final mark (calculated as explained above) can be rejected. This, however, implies taking all of the exam components again. As of academic year 2014-2015, marks obtained in written exams remain valid for 4 exam sessions (the one in which the exam was passed + other 3).

The written language exam 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 and verbalizzazioni 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 session, but it is not possible to register the final mark for this course until all three exam components have been passed. Students enrolled in the degree course in “Foreign Languages and Literatures” must also have passed the first year's literature exam.

Students who show a solid (Upper Intermediate - Proficient User) 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 who apply their grammatical knowledge mechanically, without showing an adequate awareness of the connections between grammar, meaning and context, who have not acquired the capacity to analyze a text from the perspective of Appraisal Theory (evaluative language) and whose language level is below the higher B2 threshold of the CEFR do not pass the exam.


The exam is the same for:

(1) attenders and non-attenders;

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

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.


Exceptions may apply to Erasmus students spending only one semester in Bologna. These students are asked to contact their Functional Grammar course teacher (Prof. Luporini or Prof. Turci) during her office hours, as soon as possible on their arrival at the University of Bologna.

Incoming and outgoing Erasmus students, as well as students from other Departments, must refer to the instructions published by the School [http://corsi.unibo.it/Laurea/LingueMercatiCultureAsia/Documents/NEW_documento_ERASMUS_vademecum_language%20and%20linguistics_ING_revsd_2017.pdf]

Teaching tools

Audio-visual devices, particularly Powerpoint presentations for lectures and listening comprehension for Esercitazioni. Online workshop.

Office hours

See the website of Monica Turci