90773 - English Language for Fashion

Course Unit Page


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

Reduced inequalities Climate Action Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student is expected to acquire a basic knowledge of the English language with special attention given to English for the fashion industry. - S/he will know the field-specific terminology, - is familiar with the literature (books, journals, etc.) of this sector, is able to produce a variety of texts related to fashion and communicate with professionals of the sector. The activities and exercises carried out during the course will help the students improve translation skills and develop specific terminology on fashion. The aim of the course is help the students achieve upper-intermediate level (B2).

Course contents

The course is intended for the third-year students of Fashion Cultures and Practices (BA, bachelor degree). The overall objective of the course is strengthening students’ expressive and communicative skills, in particular, improving translation and critical reading of English texts on themes relevant to fashion. Linguistic and textual analysis of practical documents will be the main activity so as to help students understand specific texts on the fashion sector and fashion studies. The course envisages an introductory theoretical framework for English-Italian language pair (word building, false friends, morphosyntactic asymmetries etc.). Themes relevant to fashion globalization and decolonization will be tackled during the course.

Lectures will be held in English and Italian.

Scholars and professionals of the fashion world are invited to hold “Special Lectures” that students have to attend.

At the end of the course Written Test 1 (partial) is envisaged.


Students will be tested on the following texts and films for the final exam:

- Reader 2023 (available at Cartoleria Tecnica, Via Dante, 30 from September 26th late afternoon)

Dizionario della moda (inglese-italiano, italiano-inglese), IntroductionWordrobe, il guardaroba delle parole della moda, Mariella Lorusso, Zanichelli, Bologna 2017

La decolonizzazione della moda, lingua, appropriazione e sostenibilità nelle culture native nordamericane, Mariella Lorusso, Pearson -Bruno Mondadori

Indigenous Dress Theory and Dress in Canadian Residential Schools, Shawkay Ottmann, in Fashion Studies, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1–32.

English for the Fashion Industry, Mary E. Ward, Oxford, 2015 available online.

- Segre Reinach, S. (2022). Per un vestire gentile. Moda e liberazione animale, Mondadori Pearson, Milano. (only chap 1 and 2).

- Vogue On Yves Saint Laurent, Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, Quadrille Publishing, London 2015 (Italian translation:- Vogue. Yves Saint Laurent Atlante, Bologna, 2022)

- two films:

THE TRUE COST by Andrew Morgan, Livia Firth (Bangladesh, USA, Cambodia, Cina, Danimarca, Francia, Haiti, India, Italia, Uganda, Regno Unito 2016, 92’ 

 BLOOD DIAMONDS, by Edward Zwick, 2007



Reader 2023: Recommended books for students who have difficulties in translating from English into Italian (the part of the Reader on the Brief History of Fashion and the descriptions of fashion designers and their creations; and the book Vogue on Yves Saint Laurent):

- Italian translation: - Marnie Fogg, La Moda dalla A alla Z, Atlante, 2020.

- Italian translation: - Vogue. Yves Saint Laurent Atlante, Bologna, 2022.


Grammars (not compulsory)

R. Murphy, L. Pallini, Essential Grammar in Use, Quarta Ed., Cambridge, 2016

Michael Swan, Practical English Usage, 3rd Edition, Oxford University Press, or last edition

G. Marino, Grammatica della lingua inglese, Clubing Publications (2 vol.), Caserta 2011, or last edition

Raymond Murphy, English Grammar in Use (intermediate), 4th Edition, Cambridge, 2012, or last edition

A. Amendolagine, N. Coe, M. Harrison, K. Paterson, Grammar Spectrum Essentials, for Italian Students, Oxford, 2013, or last edition

Martin Hewings, Advanced Grammar in Use, 3rd Edition, Cambridge University Press, 2013, or last edition


Other dictionaries (not compulsory)

Il Ragazzini 2022, Zanichelli

Oxford Study per studenti d'inglese, Oxford University Press, Third Edition 2012, or more recent edition

Oxford Student's Dictionary, Oxford University Press, Third Edition 2012, or more recent edition

AS Hornby, OxfordAdvanced Learner's Dictionary, Oxford University Press (2010), or more recent edition

Fashionpedia: The Visual Dictionary of Fashion Design, Fashionary International Limited, 2016

Georgina O'Hara Callan, Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designers, Thames and Hudson, London, 2008

Guido Vergani, Fashion Dictionary, Baldini Castoldi Dalai editore, Inc. New York. 2010



Teaching methods

Exercises associated to the course objectives are envisaged, in order to gain control of the comprehension and translation of the texts.

There is no distinction between attending and non-attending students.

In the first part of the course we will focus on the linguistic analysis, critical reading and interpretation of texts with special reference to the organization and distribution of information within the text itself. Particular attention will be given to general principles and features of the specific discourse in order to provide students with the necessary tools to understand such texts. Some of the most important functional varieties of modern English will be examined.

We will focus specifically on reading comprehension and translation, as such skills are considered to be one of the main objectives of the course.

The second part of the course is concerned with purely cultural contents and will be devoted to fashion decolonization, cultural appropriation and sustainability with special focus on North American Indigenous cultures.

The Moodle e-earning platform is made available to assess knowledge of special terminology and noun strings.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods

The exam of English for the Fashion Industry is divided into two WRITTEN EXAMS: 1 and 2


the test will be available after enrolling both on Almaesami, and through the University EOL "Esami On Line" platform. The written test will be valid for 3 years.

The Written Exam 1 consists in the evaluation of special terminology and noun string translation.

Test duration: 15 minutes in presence;

Number of questions: 16.

Type of questions: multiple choice - translation of noun strings from and to English.

The test will take place at the Campus Labs or through EOL Platform in case of pandemic emergency.

Students may refuse their mark and try the exam again only twice.


There are three dates in a year to take the written test:

December 6th 22 mid-course assessment

February 10th 2023

May  10th 2023

* Students can take the Written Exam 2 only after successfully completing the Written Exam 1.

The final mark is the average obtained by the marks of the two Written Exams.



As indicated by the teacher, all students have to sign up for this exam on Almaesami and on University EOL platform.

(please, check section 'Avvisi/News' at teacher's website for details on time and location).

After passing the Written Exam 1 students are allowed to proceed with the Written Exam 2.

The Written Exam 2 will focus on fashion language, fashion decolonization, cultural appropriation, Reader 2023  (special terminology and noun string translation excluded) and the other topics of the program. An open question on one part of the program or a short translation of a passage will also be evaluated.

Test duration: 30 minutes in presence (20 online, if need be).

Number of questions: 16.

Type of questions: true/false; multiple choice, one open question on the description of a dress or accessory, or brief translation from English into Italian.

Students may refuse their mark twice.

*During this exam the major skills to be evaluated are:

  • wide knowledge of technical terms;
  • comprehension and translation of texts relevant to fashion.
  • command of course cultural contents.

Students who show a solid command of the English language and an equally appropriate awareness of the issues covered during the lessons, are able to use these critically and who master the field-specific language and contents of the discipline will be given an excellent mark.

Students with a lesser degree of linguistic competence who demonstrate a mnemonic knowledge of the subject with a more superficial analytical ability, a correct command of the language but not always appropriate, will be given a lower, ‘fair' mark.

A superficial knowledge and understanding of the material, a scarce analytical and expressive ability that is not always appropriate may pass the exam but will only do so with a low mark.

Students who display knowledge gaps in the subject matter, inappropriate language use, lack of familiarity with the literature in the programme bibliography will not be given a pass mark.

A superficial knowledge and understanding of the material, a scarce analytical and expressive ability that is not always appropriate will be awarded a pass mark.

Knowledge gaps in the subject matter, inappropriate language use, lack of familiarity with the literature in the programme bibliography will not be given a pass mark.



Please, make sure that you have paid your university fee, otherwise the computer lab system will not give you access to the written tests

Teaching tools

PC, video/dvd projector, overhead projector, tape recorder

Office hours

See the website of Mariella Lorusso