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First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)


Teaching aims, expected knowledge and skills
The course takes into consideration the social function of the English language and it also considers it to be an international method of academic communication in a historical, political, judicial, economic and sociological context. It therefore aims at deepening the knowledge of and consolidating the four fundamental linguistic skills, concerning both comprehension (LISTENING and READING) and production (SPEAKING and WRITING), with particular attention given to the comprehension of specific texts. The course is divided into two teaching modules: 1. General English: aimed at deepening the phonological, morphological, grammatical and syntactic aspects of the English language, promoting the acquisition of general learning and comprehension skills, expanding vocabulary and enhancing students communication skills (Level B2); 2. Specific English: aimed at analyzing specialized texts relating to the lexical, syntactic, textual, discursive and rhetorical features of the language of politics and institutions in English-speaking countries (Level B2).

1) (Knowledge and understanding) Develop and consolidate the knowledge and understanding of morphological, lexical, syntactic and textual concepts along with the communicative strategies, acquired during the first cycle of university studies.
2) (Applying knowledge and understanding) Develop and strengthen skills in the use and application of grammatical concepts and rules and communicative strategies, in order to be able to address unfamiliar and interdisciplinary issues.
3) (Making judgements) Develop and strengthen linguistic and discursive awareness and critical processing skills to make the right choices in the written and oral production and in the understanding of specialised texts in a specific context.
4) (Communication skills) Develop the ability to communicate knowledge and competence through the specific jargon acquired from specialised readings and texts.
5) (Learning skills) Be able to approach the study of the discipline independently and carry out research in the specific field, elaborating and developing original ideas that embrace even broader or interdisciplinary contexts.

The level of knowledge and competence required at the end of the course is Level B2 Intermediate/Post-Intermediate, according to the Common European Framework.
Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.


Students who wish to attend Lingua Inglese II classes should have a working knowledge of the English language at the pre-intermediate level (Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). Students are required to attend grammar practice classes taught by the tutors and lab lessons with CELs, Collaboratori ed Esperti Linguistici (Language Assistants) which complement the official 54 hour-course during the semester.


General English: grammatical and linguistic structures according to the Common European Framework for level B2 (intermediate/post-intermediate).
• Past simple
• Present perfect simple
• The passive
• Future plans, future possibilities
• Modals of obligation and prohibition
• Modals of ability
• Zero and First conditional
• Present perfect continuous
• Past perfect simple
• Second conditional
• Third conditional
• Gerunds and Infinitives
• Phrasal verbs
• Reported Speech
• I wish/if only
Specific English: Students will have the opportunity to increase their ability to understand and interpret specialized texts in English on the lexical, syntactic, textual, discursive and rhetorical features of the language of politics (Reading comprehension at Level B2).
Topics to be covered:
• Politics/politician/political/politicise
• Connotation/denotation
• Left/right/centre
• Political satire
• Parody
• Utopia/Dystopia
• The problem of truth
• Metaphor and metonymy
• Synecdoche
• Intertextuality
• Analogy
• The art of spin and spin doctors
• Opinion polls
• Making speeches
• Rhetoric
• Ethos, Pathos and Logos
• The soundbite
• The three-part list
• Prosodic features
• Contrastive pairs
• The use of pronouns
• Political campaigns: positive and negative campaigning
• Party slogans
• Ellipsis
• Modal verbs
• Active or passive voice
• Conjunctions
• Comparative forms
• Party posters

Teaching Methods

The contents to be addressed during the course are distributed in 54 hours of class, in about 10 weeks. Attendance is compulsory.
In the first week of classes the provisional CLASS SCHEDULE will be provided, with a punctual weekly distribution of topics and contents. The list of contents and topics covered during the lectures will constitute the STUDY GUIDE which will be useful for the preparation of the written test and the oral examination. Additional and complementary activities are represented by the grammar classes held by tutors and the lab lessons held by mother tongue speakers language assistants. These complementary activities are FUNDAMENTAL for the developing of grammatical knowledge and the development and improvement of SPEAKING, LISTENING and WRITING skills and competences.
During the week, grammar classes with tutors and lab practice classes with language assistants are provided. Timetables will be provided in the first week of classes.
During the course, students can present in class their analysis of a political speech and the presentation will be considered part of the oral exam. Because of the epidemiological situation classes could also be taught online and topics could be covered even through assignments that students will have to hand in before the final exam.

Verification of learning

The final examination consists of two parts: the written test will assess the language proficiency and in particular the ability of understanding and writing, while the oral test will evaluate the ability of listening and speaking and the communication skills. Both written test and oral examination will test the knowledge of the specific topics (the language of politics and social institutions) covered during the course. Dictionaries, textbooks and notes of any kind are not allowed during the written test. The written test will be divided into two sections: SECTION 1- General English: Grammatical structures included in the Units 1-10 of the textbook New Total English, Intermediate, Student's Book and Workbook, Longman (new edition). SECTION 2- Specific English: The questions will focus on the reading passages taken from A. Beard, The Language of Politics, Unit 1, 2, 3, 4. Methods of written test: multiple choice, gap filling, reading comprehension, true / false, composition and translation from Italian into English. To pass the written test, students must obtain at least 18/30 in each of the two sections (General English and Specific English). The final evaluation of the written test will be the arithmetic mean between the two marks obtained in the two sections. A test with no Writing (Composition) and Translation is considered FAIL, and should be repeated.

Oral examination Students who pass the written test will be admitted to the oral examination which consists of a conversation in English about the general and specific topics covered during the course. It will also require the oral presentation and discussion of the general and specific texts analyzed in class and constituting the course contents. The final grade will be based on: 1) the grade obtained in the written test 2) the active participation to lectures, grammar classes and lab classes 3) the knowledge of the general and specific contents 4) the acquired language skills and communicative competence. The final grade will start from 18/30 for elementary knowledge of topics and achieved competence in the language, and will reach 30/30 cum laude when the knowledge of topics and competences achieved are excellent.
Topics for the oral exam:
1) General Conversation
2) General English: (you have to choose two from these eight readings):
Reading 1: Malala wins Nobel Peace Prize
Reading 2: Speaking more than one language could sharpen your brain
Reading 3: Self-Defense Instructor. Pakistan Nighat Dad is teaching women how to protect themselves online
Reading 4: Tunisia's Jihadist Pipeline: ISIS recruiters are finding volunteers in the birthplace of the Arab Spring
Reading 5: ‘Maestro of humanity’: Italian surgeon Gino Strada dies at 73
Reading 6: Jeff Bezos launches to space
Reading 7: Gender disparities at Olympic Games
Reading 8: Wildfires in Sardinia
3) Political speech/political debate analysis (choose one in English. This part can be also presented in class during the course and the presentation will be considered and assessed for the oral exam)
4) I am Malala-Epilogue Analysis and summary
5) Specific English: A. Beard, The Language of Politics, Units 1, 2, 3, 4 (look at questions at the end of the slides on the instructor's website )


General English: R. ACKLAM, A. CRACE, New Total English Intermediate, Student's Book and Workbook, Longman (new edition).
Specific English: A. Beard, The Language of Politics, Units 1, 2, 3, 4.
A. Partington & C. Taylor, The Language of Persuasion in Politics
Grammar Book:
1. D. SELLEN, New Total Grammar, Grammar and Practice for Italian Students (with Answer Key and CD-Rom), Black-Cat-CIDEB.
2. L. PALLINI, How do you say …?, Black Cat-CIDEB.
Additional readings, handouts, ppt presentations and mock tests may be used during classes (to be collected from the copy center or downloaded from the course or instructor's webpage).

More Information

Attendance of lessons and lab practice classes is compulsory and will be verified by the lecturer by collecting students' signatures or through other means. The requirement of attendance is considered satisfied if 80% of the lectures and lab practice classes have been attended.

Art. 11, clause 4, in the Regolamento didattico of the International Relations course sets exemptions to compulsory attendance upon request for work, health or maternity reasons.

The exam can be taken in each one of the 6 scheduled sessions (June, July, September, November or April, January, February). If the written exam is taken in a session with two calls (June-July or January-February) with positive results, the oral exam can be taken either a week later in the same session or the following month (within the same session). In September and November the written test and oral examination must necessarily be taken within the same session (the oral examination is generally a week after the written test). In the June-July and January-February sessions, if students do not get a positive result in the written test, they can have the opportunity to repeat it the following month, after discussing it with the lecturer who can advise the student on necessary revision of the materials and topics. However, the possibility of repeating the written test a month later in the same exam session must be previously discussed with the lecturer.
Additional info, materials, exercises and mock tests are posted on the instructor's website.

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