74775 - English Language (12 Cfu) (O-Z)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students will have acquired both active and passive ability to communicate in English, to be able to read, take notes and take part in discussions in English, to be able to understand and comment upon specialised discourse types of English, namely political texts and media texts which comment upon politics.

Course contents

A course in Political Linguistics, divided in two parts.

Part 1

Intermediate test of grammar and use of English skills (la Prova di Lingua). The coursework is aimed at improving the fluency and correctness of students' language production and their understanding of spoken and written English. The student must pass this test before they can take the Content exam in a later exam session.

Part 2 
Content (Corso monografico). The lessons, based on authentic texts, invite the student to explore key political and mediatic concepts in English-speaking cultures. Particular attention is paid to the complex relationship between politics, the media and the voting public in the English-speaking world.

· Key concepts include:

  1. The relevance of language in politics; how all political action involves the use of language. In democratic politics language is used to persuade the skillful the use of language as a means of persuasion is the means to power.
  2. The linguistic system of evaluation, how it is structured, how it is employed in political discourse in order to persuade an audience of listeners or readers. Students will study the different forms of evaluation: lexical, grammatical and textual evaluation; implicit and explicit evaluation; evaluation by selection (and hiding) of information; evaluation by choice of terms.
  3. Students will then study the authentic employment of these forms of evaluation in modern election campaigning.
  4. The macro argument structures by means of which speakers and writers organise their attempts to persuade an audience. Students also study how evaluation in expressed in the use of these structures.
  5. The micro elements of persuasive political language. These include: (i) The quasi-poetic rhetorical devices commonly employed, also known as creative repetition and creative contrast (ii) Metaphor (and simile and metonymy). Students learn how these micro-elements of language express evaluation and are used strategically in the battle for persuasion in political communication.

Readings/Bibliography

For course attenders, the study material will be communicated during the lessons.

For non-attenders of the Monographic course,

For 2017

the textbook is "Persuasion in Politics" (2nd edition), Partington & Taylor, LED edizioni.

From January 2018

the textbook is "The Language of Persuasion in Politics", Partington & Taylor, Routledge.

Teaching methods

For students who attend classes

§ grammar: students must be present at 80% of lessons. Lessons take place twice a week

§ content: two lessons each week. Lessons are conducted in English. Students are expected to take an active part in discussion and practical activities will be set for self study

Assessment methods

An intermediate test and a final exam, both written:

§ intermediate grammar test

§ content, non-attenders:

For 2017

based on “Persuasion in Politics” (2nd edition) Partington & Taylor

From January 2018

based on "The Language of Persuasion in Politics" (Partington & Taylor, Routledge).

§ content attenders: based on the coursework material

Teaching tools

Lessons are conducted in English and where appropriate multi-media learning supports, including Power Point and the Internet will be employed.

Office hours

See the website of Alan Scott Partington