59961 - English Language (Course and Laboratory) II (A-L)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Cinzia Bevitori

  • Credits 8

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Forli

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in International relations and diplomatic affairs (cod. 8048)

  • Course Timetable from Sep 22, 2021 to Dec 06, 2021


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

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students should reach a minimum level of B1 (Council of Europe framework) for spoken English, while the ideal level for written English is B2. In particular, students should be able to develop writing skills in English and produce grammatically correct and well-organized texts. Moreover, they should be capable to follow a lecture in English, to read a complex text and make a fluent oral report on it.

Course contents

The whole course is composed of a series of 30 hours of lectures and a laboratory work dedicated to practicing written English. 

Topics include:

  • Developing writing skills: features of Academic writing
  • Global structure of an essay; paragraph structure; punctuation, graphical conventions, spelling problems
  • Sentence structure; subordinators and sentence connectors
  • Problems of interference (English/Italian) – structural errors; lexical errors.
  • Description: describing places, describing data, definite and indefinite articles, determiners.
  • Comparison: comparing countries, comparing data.
  • Substitutive and pronominal forms; genitives; relative clauses
  • Anaphoric ‘it'; structure of the verbal group; expressing cause and effect.
  • Tense and aspect.
  • Passive voice; the description of processes.
  • Direct and in direct reports; attribution and citation.
  • Generalization, approximation; expressing certainty, probability and possibility
  • Argumentative texts: Argumentative structures; concession and contrast; argument and counter-argument.
  • Planning an argumentative text; planning a conclusion
  • Expressing one's own opinion and the opinion of others.
  • Paraphrasing and summarising.
  • Use of corpora as a resource for data-driven learning, also called “active learning” or “discovery learning”.


A dossier for attending students will be available online (Virtuale)

Reference works

A bilingual dictionary (NOT allowed during exams) (e.g) Il Ragazzini. Dizionario inglese-italiano, italiano-inglese . Bologna . Zanichelli

A monolingual dictionary: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, The Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary, The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

General reading


Heffernan, R., P. Cowley, Russel M. and C. Hay (eds), 2016, Developments in British Politics 10, Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan

Deborah Cameron (2019) Feminism. London: Profile Books.

Danny Dorling & Carl Lee (2016) Geography. London: Profile Books.

Richard Bellamy (2008) Citizenship. A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Andrew Clapham (2007) Human Rights. A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Andrew Dobson (2016) Environmental Politics. A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jack A. Goldstone (2014) Revolutions. A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Teaching methods

The aim of the course, taught in English, is to enable students to learn to write clear and precise English. It will start with an analysis of the structure of an essay and will in particular focus on the analysis of errors caused by interference. During the course, certain grammatical structures deemed to be fundamental in written English, and textual features characteristic of certain genres, such as descriptive, comparative, argumentative texts will be analyzed. From the third week on, time will also be dedicated to an analysis of the work produced by students. Throughout the course electronic corpora will be employed as a resource for data-driven learning, also called “active learning” or “discovery learning”.

Assessment methods

There will be a mid-term written test during which students are expected to write a comparison between two countries using as raw material maps and statistical data concerning demography, culture, and economics. During the final written test, students will have to write an essay. Oral skills will be tested by means of a discussion of the topic(s) one of the books in the general reading section of the bibliography.


1. A written cloze test and graph description in order to verify knowledge of lexis and grammar as well as the ability to understand complex texts.

2. An oral exam consisting of a discussion of the topics from one of the books (90/100 pages) in the general reading section of the bibliography.

All books are available at the Biblioteca Ruffilli

Teaching tools

PC, video-projector, internet

Office hours

See the website of Cinzia Bevitori