Course Unit Page


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

By the end of the course, the student will have acquired a reasonable passive and active knowledge of English. More specifically, the student will be able to: - read, take notes, follow and take part in a discussion in English; - cope with specialised language in English language cultures

Course contents

The course has two parts:

Part One

  • Grammar and linguistic competence. The aim is improve the fluency and correctness of the linguistic production of the student, as well as his/her comprehension of written and spoken English. The student’s level of competence should reach at least B2, particularly as regards reading and writing skills.

Part Two

  • Content. The aim of the course is to develop communication skills in English in a social services context with particular reference to the social worker/service user interview situation. Using examples of transcripted dialogues and other audiovisual material, focus will be on the most useful language strategies in this context. At the same time the student will become familiar with terminology and phraseology typical of a social services context in the UK and other English speaking countries.
  • Please note that listening (to dialogues and fragments from interviews, etc.) and speaking (simulations/ role plays, discussions, etc.) form an important part of the course.


For attenders*:

a handout booklet (dispensa JOHNSON) will be available online, as will the slides for the lessons, indispensable for exam preparation ( available week by week). Other material may be distributed during the lessons.

*attenders must attend at least 80% of the lectures.

Other recommended material for information only:

Ludbrook G (1999) English for welfare services. Venezia: Cafoscarina.

For non-attenders:

  • Ludbrook G (1999) English for welfare services. Venezia: Cafoscarina.
  • Woodcock Ross J. (2016) Specialist communication skills for social workers. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan. CHAPTER 4 ONLY. In the library, or contact lecturer if you can't find it.

Further information may be found on the lecturer’s university webpage.

Teaching methods

A typical lecture will include the lecturer’s presentation, reading/listening to texts in English, discussion of the texts and language activities in pairs, small groups or individually. Students are encouraged to take an active part in the discussion and the other activities since this is part of the learning process and aids exam preparation.

Assessment methods

The ‘Lingua Inglese’ exam is in two parts:

Part One (attenders + non-attenders)

language (“prova di lingua”) *: testing grammar competence and comprehension by means of multiple choice questions, phrases to complete with a word, words to order to create logical sentences etc.. To pass this part, competence in English at B2 level is required.

Those whose level of English is already >B2 at the time of our internal level test (in December, during the students' first year) are not required to pass the ‘Prova di Lingua’ but may proceed directly to the 2nd part, the ‘content’ part of the exam.

A model of the 'prova di lingua' may be found on the lecturer’s university webpage.

* The language test (“prova di lingua”) must be passed before the content part is done, either as attender or non-attender. The language test mark remains valid for 1 year + one exam session, within which time the student must pass the content part. Otherwise the language test must be taken again.

Part Two

for attenders: based on the lecturer’s handout booklet and on the lecture slides:

the exam consists of:

  • listening comprehension (with written open and/or closed questions);
  • written open and/or closed questions on the contents of the lectures;
  • a short essay (max. 150 words) on a topic related to the course material.

Part of this test may be given as mid-term test.

for non-attenders: the exam consists of:

1) comprehension and analysis of a text from Ludbrook G (1999) English for welfare services. Venezia: Cafoscarina. (Part I)

2) written open and/or closed questions on chapter 4 of Woodcock Ross J. (2016) Specialist communication skills for social workers. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan (2nd edition)

3) A written essay completed within the exam on a relevant topic.

Teaching tools

Authentic texts in English (dispensa JOHNSON), Internet, Powerpoint, audio material

Office hours

See the website of Jane Helen Johnson