30085 - English Language (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course will help participants to develop the necessary language skills for communicating effectively and confidently in English (reaching C1 level) and aims to equip students with the linguistic tools necessary for them to develop as professionals. By the end of the course students will be able to: understand the main ideas and structure of different types of texts, with particular focus on media production and journalism, acquiring advanced reading vocabulary; use the language effectively to produce clear and incisive texts and reports; expand their ability to understand implied messages and subtexts in media communication with reference to texts and images.

Course contents

The course will be held mainly in English. The participants will work on media content with focus on:

  • Writing skills: acquisition of basic skills to write texts in English. Relevant grammar-related topics will be developed with reference to examples from the media.
  • Communication skills:
    - Capacity of reading advanced texts in English
    - Improve fluency (accent, pronunciation, tone and register)
    - Discuss current affairs and professional matters in English
    - General public speaking and presentation skills
  • Critical reading of media discourse: persuasion techniques, information bias, framing and manipulation in a multimodal context.

Readings/Bibliography

Basic bibliography

  • Durant, A. and Lambrou, M. (2009). Language and Media. Routledge (all chapters in section A; chapters B1, B2, B5, B7)
  • Foley, M. and Hall, D. (2012). MyGrammarLab Intermediate. Pearson
  • Gandon, M. (2013). English for International Journalists. Routledge (chapters 4, 5, 6)
  • Hall, S., Evans, J., & Nixon, S. (Eds.). (2013). Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London: SAGE Publications, Ltd. (Chapters 1 and 4).
  • Williams, P. (2018). Advanced writing skills. English Lessons Brighton

Complementary bibliography

  • Kress, G. & van Leeuwen, T. (1996). Reading Images. The Grammar of Visual Design. New York and London: Routledge.
  • Machin, D. and Mayr, A, (2012). How to Do Critical Discourse Analysis: A Multimodal Introduction, SAGE Publications Ltd
  • Simpson P., Mayr A. & Statham S. (2018) (2nd ed.) Language and Power. A Resource book for students, Routledge.

Additional teaching material – on the topics dealt with during the classes – will be uploaded on the Virtual Learning platform.

Teaching methods

The course adopts an interactive approach: students are expected to participate actively in the discussion of case studies, manage their own projects, give presentations and work individually to develop their oral expression and critical thinking.

Due to the restrictions imposed by the current Covid-19 emergency, teaching will be carried out using traditional teaching methods and live streaming on the Teams platform: the teacher will always be present in the classroom; students will alternate in attendance according to the procedures established by the university regulations, but it will always be possible to connect to Teams and follow the classes via live streaming.

NOTE: Since the emergency situation is constantly changing and this program is published in September 2021, teaching methods might change in the coming months. In this case, timely communication will be provided in this programme, as well as through institutional channels: notices on the professor's page, on the website of the DAMS Degree Course and on the official FB page of the Degree Course, which all students are invited to check out regularly.

Assessment methods

The course is based on a continuous assessment model, which requires the active participation in group discussions, project work and presentations.

At the end of the course attending students are expected to give a presentation on their project work, which is worth 50% of the final mark. Non-attenders are expected to complete an assignment to be defined with the teacher.

An individual oral exam will provide the remaining 50% of the final mark.

Non-attending students are expected to prepare the analysis of a text to be extensively presented and discussed at the oral exam (please contact Professor Reggi for further details).

An organic vision of relevant topics, mastering specific language, understanding journalistic texts, as well as the capacity to analyse possible implicit subtexts are evaluated with marks of excellence. Passive knowledge of the subject, basic synthesis and analysis skills, or correct but basic language lead to reasonably good evaluations. Learning gaps, inappropriate language and limited understanding of the text and any implicit subtexts lead to passing marks. Learning gaps, very limited language skills, incapacity to understand and analyze the text are evaluated negatively.

Teaching tools

The classes will develop around Power Point presentations, audio-visual material and handouts.

Office hours

See the website of Valeria Reggi