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Lingua inglese 3

Corsi di laurea:
Lingue e culture moderne
Baicchi Annalisa
Anno accademico:
Codice corso:
Crediti formativi:
Decreto Ministeriale:
Ore di lezione:
The Complexity of the English Lexicon in Text and Discourse


The course will comprise:

(1) a module on the English Lexicon as it realizes in authentic written and oral communication [30 teaching hours]

(2) Books and films: students must read two novels and watch eight films (see point 2 below)

(1) Module

Basic questions and key theoretical commitments on how oral and written communication realises will form the core part of the course, which aims to discuss how meaning is constructed in authentic samples of texts and discourse. The aim will be pursued by means of a set of complex phenomena of the English lexicon which will provide the workbench for a discussion of major topics such as verb classes and constructions, lexicalization patterns, speech acts, communicative cooperation, implicatures, figurative meaning. Such topics will be surveyed along with the analytical tools needed for their investigation and discussed contrastively with the Italian language.

Classes will comprise traditional lectures, discussion of readings, and analyses of phenomena. Doing homework on time and carefully, and participating to in-class discussions and analyses will be taken into consideration when marking the final exam.

The final exam for the module consists of two parts, a written part and an oral part. The written part, which is preliminary to the oral part, will be held at the end of the module (February) and it is addressed to attending students only. In the oral part students must show to have developed a good knowledge of basic concepts in the complexity of the English language (see Readings below) as well as the necessary descriptive and analytical skills to discuss the phenomena presented during the course in academically appropriate manners.

Attendance to classes is compulsory (70%). Students who do non attend classes will have to study extra-readings (see Readings for non-attending students below).


Students must read two novels and watch eight films choosing from those listed below:


E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

J. Frame, Scented Gardens for the Blind

L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between

A. Huxley, Brave New World

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

M.A. Shaffer & A. Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society


  1. A French Kiss
  2. X-Men
  3. Shall we Dance?
  4. Match Point
  5. Mrs Doubtfire
  6. The Devil Wears Prada
  7. City of Angels
  8. Notting Hill
  9. Pretty Woman
  10. One Hour Photo
  11. Four Weddings and a Funeral
  12. Sliding Doors


Readings for the module will include:

Gramley, S, & Pätzold 2004, A Survey of Modern English (second edition), London, Routledge: chapters 1, 5, and 6.

Radden, Guenter & Dirven René 2007. Cognitive English Grammar. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Chapter 1: pp. 3-17.

Fellbaum Christiane 1990. “English verbs as a semantic net”. In International Journal of Lexicography, 3 (4). pp.278-301.

Finegan, Edward 2004. Language. Its Structure and Use. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers. Chapter 11 “Speech Acts and Conversation”: pp. 333-344.

Beaugrande, Robert-Alain de & Dressler, Wolfgang Ulrich 1981. Introduction to Text Linguistics. London: Longman. Chapter 1 “Basic notions”: pp. 1-13.

Halliday M.A.K. & Hasan Ruqaiya 1976. Cohesion in English. London: Longman. Chapter 1 (§§ 1.1; 1.2; 1.3.1; 1.3.2): pp. 1-21.

Leech, Geoffrey 1983. Principles of Pragmatics. London: Longman (chapters will be specified during the course).

Merlini Barbaresi Lavinia 1998. “Modification of Speech Acts: Aggravation and Mitigation”. In Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Linguists. Oxford: Pergamon. Paper n° 0353.

Partington, Alan 1998. Patterns and Meaning. Amsterdam: Benjamins. (chapters will be specified during the course).

Further material will be handed out during the course.

To the Readings listed above, non-attending students must add the following chapters:

Grice, Herbert Paul 1989. “Logic and Conversation”. In H.P. Grice, Studies in the Way of Words. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. pp. 22-41.

Dirven, René & Verspoor, Marjolin 1998. Cognitive Exploration of Language and Linguistics. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Chapter 4 “Putting concepts together: Syntax”: pp.79-91.

Merlini Barbaresi Lavinia 2000. “The Pragmatics of the Diminutive English -y/-ie Suffix”. In C. Schaner-Wolles, J.R. Rennison & F. Neubarth (eds.), Naturally! Linguistic studies in honour of Wolfgang Ulrich Dressler. Torino: Rosenberg & Sellier. pp. 315-326.

All Readings are available from Biblioteca Fraccaro.

Reference material:

1. Dictionaries:

- Collins Cobuild. English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 2003. London: Collins, plus CD-Rom

- Oxford Collocations Dictionary 2002. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

- Jones David 2004, English Pronouncing Dictionary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, plus CD-Rom

2. Grammars:

- Biber Douglas, Johansson Stig, Conrad Susan 1999. Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman

- Quirk Randolph & Greenbaum Sidney 1990. A Student’s Grammar of English. London, Longman


The syllabus is divided into 4 modules:

1. Real Natural Spoken English and Grammar

2. Communication Activities

3. Writing (expository and opinion essay writing)

4. Listening (RP complete)

The textbooks required for the first module are:

INNOVATIONS : Advanced, Thomson Heinle.

* COURSE BOOK, by Hugh Dellar and Darryl Hocking

* WORKBOOK with answer key, by Morgan Lewis


The overall aim of the third year syllabus is to provide ample practice in all four skills at C1 level (Common European Framework), as well as to develop appropriate language-oriented skills in the areas of phonetics and vocabulary. More specifically, the objectives of esercitazioni are:

- to develop listening skills: students will be exposed to a variety of authentic audio and video listening material, including interviews, news stories, documentaries and talk shows in order to further develop their general and detailed listening skills. In addition, exam-taking skills will be taught to prepare students who are interested in doing the CAE exam or an equivalent certification. Students will be expected to do self-study work in the language lab using the listening handout and audio and video cassettes that have been specially prepared (students can download the listening handout from the Centro Linguistico site by clicking on the “materiali didattici” link and inserting the password that will be provided at the start of the academic year).

- to develop written skills: the objective of the writing module is to develop the writing skills necessary for an expository or opinion essay. Such skills have broad applicability and will serve students in any type of writing they will need to do. The main emphasis will be on the organizational aspects of a short essay and on the effective development of their ideas in an essay. Concepts such as coherence, unity, emphasis, topic sentence and supporting ideas will be presented and illustrated by looking at sample essays; students will also be asked to write three essays during the year in order to gain practical familiarity with these notions. These essays will be taken into consideration in the overall evaluation for the writing assessment. Some writing practice will also take place during lessons. In addition, the notions regarding the sentence level will be reinforced through a discussion of topics such as subordination, modification and parallelism. There will also be a treatment of specific sentence errors to avoid (for example, the comma splice, the sentence fragment, the hanging modifier, mixed constructions and figures), with particular emphasis on common mistakes by students whose mother tongue is Italian. A writing handout will be available on the Centro Linguistico site which can be downloaded in the same way as the listening handout.

- to develop speaking skills: the speaking activities will follow naturally from the themes presented in the listening material (as well as from supplementary listening or reading material that is topical in nature), and may be followed up on in the writing activities, in line with an integrated-skills approach. The focus will be on improving students' ability to express their own thoughts and views, with particular attention paid to expressing opinions, supporting and explaining these opinions, agreeing and disagreeing, and the clear exposition of ideas using a natural spoken English.

- to expand students’ vocabulary through work on collocations , fixed expressions and idiomatic language.

- to consider more advanced grammar structures using the lexical approach.

Furthermore, students will be asked:

- to complete a Reading Comprehension folder which includes a selection of 14 past Cambridge Advanced Exams, in preparation for the first assessment.

- to read a selection of 10 articles taken from various sources and collected together in a Reading Folder. These articles will form one of the topics of conversation for the oral assessment test. Students will be asked to discuss the articles at the oral assessment and, for non-attending students, during the oral part of the unified preliminary language test.

Assessments (prove parziali) and the unified preliminary language test (prova globale)

The third year English preliminary exam consists of four papers.

Paper 1: Reading Comprehension + vocabulary (collocations, fixed expressions and Idiomatic language) + grammar (Assessment 1)

Students will be asked to complete the following exercises:

3 Cambridge Advanced type reading comprehensions and 40 questions on vocabulary and grammar. In the unified preliminary language test there will be an extra cloze test exercise for non-attending students.

Paper 2: Oral Test (Assessment 2)

Paper 3: Listening Comprehension (Assessment 3)

3 parts: Generally two video extracts and an audio extract (although there might be only one video extract and two audio ones). The exercises will be chosen from among the following types: multiple choice questions; true/false questions; open-ended questions; information gap. One of the exercises will specifically conform to the CAE listening format (students will be expected to be familiar with the four types of CAE listening exercises). There are a number of past listening exams available for practice in the language laboratory.

Paper 4: Writing (Assessment 4)

Students will have to write an expository or opinion essay of 250 to 300 words choosing from among several topics.

The content and procedure of this test is clearly set out on the following blog site: cherylthomas.splinder.com

Students who attend a minimum of 70% of the lessons will have the option of taking the four parts of the exam in the form of four assessments (as described above). Students who fail either the first or second assessment will be permitted to resit the corresponding part of the test in June. Students who fail either the third or fourth assessment cannot resit until September. However, a student may resit only one assessment. Students who have taken and failed the assessments must wait until the following September to resit the unified test. Students not attending a minimum of 70% of the lessons may take the unified test in June, September or January.

Students’ attainment on the course will be assessed with a grade for each assessment. Students following the course will be awarded an additional fifth grade to reflect their on-going performance during lessons, including oral contributions and homework.

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