Further linguistic knowledge

Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: GIULIANA CACCIOLA

Expected Learning Outcomes


Since the main purpose of this course is to foster students’ learning of the four linguistic skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) which are pivotal to support the linguistic competence defined by the upper intermediate level (B2 CEFR), main features of syntax and morphology will be analyzed, with specific reference to phonetics, lexis of connected speech and English usages in the mathematical field, related to the degree’s objectives.

1. Knowledge and understanding: students will be required to apply their linguistic competences and to communicate fluently, using "connected speech" (spoken language used in a continuous sequence) with specific lexis and correct syntax, concerning several topics of the professional field. Students will be also able to show a good conception of the language structure of English. 

2. Applying knowledge and understanding: students will be required to improve speaking and fluency, using chunks” (common phrases with specific meaning) related to the mathematical field.

3. Making judgements: students will be able to give an account of a topic orally and in writing with greater independence and greater linguistic correctness. Linguistic competence is crucial for a practical application of ESP/English for Scientific Purposes to national and international work contexts.

4. Communication skills: communication skills will be assessed through oral and written tests and they are meant to provide students with adequate tools to gain international work experience. Thanks to these skills, students will be also able to actively and independently participate in seminar discussions.

5. Learning skills: the course aims at developing students' autonomous learning skills, using technology tools and devices to improve class and individual activities.

Course Structure

This course allows students to explore syntactic and stylistic analysis of English.  It aims to improve the student's ability to communicate effectively in the oral and written language. Course structure also includes work in groups and more extensive talks about various aspects of ESP/English for Specific Purposes, developing key terms and field knowledgeDiscussion is an important component as aspects of learning various problematic structures of language is included in the form of translation, as well as software and devices to improve class and individual activities. Lessons are based on a communicative approach and cooperative learning methods to motivate students to express themselves confidently in face-to-face communications.

If necessary, the telematic way will be adopted. Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements, in line with the schedule planned and outlined in the syllabus. Learning assessment may also be carried out online, should the conditions require it.

 PLEASE NOTE: Information for DSA or students with disability

To ensure equal opportunities and to comply with the legislation, students could ask for an individual interview, focused on learning objectives and specific learning needs.

Required Prerequisites

English level Independent User CEFR B1.

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance is highly recommended, because ESP/language learning relies on practice.

Detailed Course Content


Module 1 (1CFU)
The main aim is to allow students to know English language and specific lexis, for this this reason attention will be paid to PHYSICS vocabulary, using texts and videos, to enhance reading, listening and speaking skills:

a) working with vocabulary: key nouns, key verbs, key adjectives, key adverbs.

b) at academic institutions: academic courses, applications and application forms.

c) ways of talking about: sources, facts, evidence and data, statistics, analysis of results, research and study aims.

Module 2 (2CFU)
Focus on ESP and working on reading, writing and speaking abilities:

a) reading and translating a text (new approach to translation studies).

b) writing abstracts, reports, summaries, CV .

c) presenting a topic using power-point or prezi, describing research methods, processes and procedures, classifying, comparing and contrasting. 

Teaching organization/methods: lectures with handouts and slides; written and oral activities; team work; web quest and 'non googleable question’.

Textbook Information

1)Cambridge  Academic English-Upper Intermediate, Cambridge University Press; P.Emmerson, E-mail English, Macmillan; A.Wallwork, English for Presentation at International Conferences, Springer Science-Oxford University Press; A.Walwork, English for Writing Research Papers, Springer Science-Oxford University Press.

2)Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Oxford University Press; Essential Dictionary for Learners of English, Macmillan.

3)Thompson, Fundamental Writing Skills, Egea.

4)Scientific Writing and Translating; articles and materials adapted to suit ESP students.

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Modulo 1: analysis of results, talking about meaning, research and study aims, talking about points of view (durata prevista per questa parte del modulo 5 ore)
2Modulo 1: at academic institutions-academic courses, applications and application forms (durata prevista per questa parte del modulo 3 ore).
3Modulo 2: focus on ESP-reading and translating abstracts, reports, summaries and new approach to translation studies (durata prevista per questa parte del modulo 5 ore)
4Modulo 2: the career key; how to introduce yourself during a job interview and writing a CV (durata prevista per questa parte del modulo 5 ore).
5Modulo 2: preparing and presenting a topic using power-point or prezi (durata prevista per questa parte del modulo 3 ore).

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Placement test to assess the level of the incoming linguistic competence.

Final term evaluation is composed of an oral exam, where all the topics listed in the course syllabus will be assessed (see also Microsoft Teams).

Learning assessment may also be carried out online, should the conditions require it.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

 Oral exam:

  • “what are the main features of Scientific Writing and Translating? (new approach to translation studies). 
  • "what is a content or function word related to your ESP/English for Specific Purposes"?
  • "introduce yourself during a job interview".
  • "translate abstratcs".