85471 - English Language for Administration

Course Unit Page

SDGs

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

Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will have a good active and passive knowledge of English. More specifically the student will be able to: follow a lecture in English and take an active part in it; understand and comment academic as well as newspaper texts; understand specialised political and media language from English speaking cultures and discuss them in an academic context; prepare and orally present a brief research project on a topic relevant to the course.

Course contents

Course topic: English for Public Administration: Discourse and power

The aim of the course is to make students aware of the relationship between discourse and the institutions by analysing the language of institutional and media discourse, and how it creates genres and styles, including political discourse.

The course activities take place throughout in English, and are thus aimed at developing individual knowledge of the language itself.

CONTENT

The course is aimed at consolidating and enhancing students’ English language competence, particularly as regards speaking and listening, as well as developing critical skills necessary for reading texts relevant to their degree course.

The course will provide an introduction to the relations between language and institutions, analysing the language of institutional, political and media discourse, and focussing on how it creates media genres and styles, including political discourse.

The first part of the course will focus in particular on grammatical features, with students divided into small groups according to their incoming level.

The second part will instead focus on institutional language of particular relevance to students of politics, administration and organisation.

  • The second part (20 hours, 5 weeks) is made up of three ‘threads’. One is based on terminology useful for public administration, such as budgeting, finance and economics, local government and political parties, and more generally, the theory/science of public administration.
  • Another focuses on the practical language skills required for public administration, such as the discourse skills of summarising, paraphrasing, and the interpersonal skills of questioning and negotiation.
  • The last thread is more general and consists of a (critical) look at the combination of discourse and power: using or exploiting power through spoken discourse, exemplified here by accountability interviews and political speech.
  • The three threads intertwine, so that for example, while the language skill of questioning is taught in its own right, it brings in terminology and situations from PA contexts in general, eg. Job interviews, as well as being the focus of our attention as we watch questioning being used in a political interview to particular effect.

Readings/Bibliography

For attenders:

Material will be available on online via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) at the beginning of the course. The slides for the lessons - which are indispensable for exam preparation - will be available on VLE week by week. Other material may be distributed during the lessons.

For non-attenders:

Simpson P., Mayr A. & Statham S. (2016) Language and Power. A Resource book for students, London, Routledge

Teaching methods

During the lessons, the lecturer's presentations will alternate with individual readings/ listenings, class discussion of the texts presented and language activities in pairs and small groups, exclusively in English. Individual study will be required regularly, as well as other group activities including brainstorming, exchange and discussion of ideas and oral presentation in class of pre-prepared topics.

Students are required to participate actively in discussions and other classroom activities since this is fundamental for the learning process and for exam preparation.

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Recommended language level

Since all the activities in both modules take place in English, a high level of language competence in all abilities is required.

Assessment methods

Assessment

Assessment methods differ for attenders and non-attenders.

For attenders (8 credits)

oral presentations in groups/pairs for assessment during the course.

A written exam on the course contents:

  • multiple choice questions
  • an essay of 200 words on a topic dealt with during the course.
  • Comprehension and analysis of audio material relating to the course contents.

The final mark for attenders takes into account active classroom participation, in the form of group presentations.

Non-attenders (8 credits):

· an oral exam on the contents of three 'threads' chosen by the student from the textbook by Simpson P. Mayr A. & Statham S. (2016) Language and Power. A Resource book for students, London, Routledge, (eg. 'thread' 5 contains the chapters A5 B5 C5 D5; 'thread' 8 contains the chapters A8 B8 C8 D8).

Students of the double degree course with IEP Toulouse (6 cfu):

-An oral exam on the contents of two 'threads' chosen by the student from the textbook by Simpson P. Mayr A. & Statham S. (2016) Language and Power. A Resource book for students, London, Routledge, (eg. 'thread' 5 contains the chapters A5 B5 C5 D5; 'thread' 8 contains the chapters A8 B8 C8 D8).

Students of the double degree course with IEP Toulouse (2 cfu):

- a written test requiring completion of a gap-filling exercise based on a text connected with one of the course themes

Teaching tools

Authentic texts in English will be used (available online via VLE), as well as PowerPoint and Internet.

Office hours

See the website of Jane Helen Johnson