English for journalism

Degree course: 
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (64 hours)

Upper-Intermediate Level (B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages – CEFR).

Final Examination: 

The students’ knowledge will be assessed through a final written test followed by an oral talk. Students are required to pass the written test to access the oral part.

The written test lasts 3 hours and consists of 2 parts:
1) 10 multiple-choice questions on the year’s syllabus (10 pts).
2) Writing of a news article of 200/250 words based on given data (15 pts).
The final mark is calculated in 30ies. Pass mark is 18, which will allow students to access the oral part. If it is less than 18, the test is not passed and students will have to take the exam again.

For the oral exam students are required to play a role in a journalistic interview on given roles. Students will be also examined on the book they chose (see Bibliography, required texts 2)

The following aspects will be evaluated: 1) grammar and lexical correctness of the spoken interaction (10 pts); 2) correctness of the linguistic-communicative analyses (5 pts); 3) ability to plan and prepare questions and conduct conversational exchanges during the interview (10 pts); the students’ critical thinking skills and capacity of autonomy (5 pts).

The final mark is calculated in 30ies. Pass mark is 18. If it is less than 18, the test is not passed and students will have to take the oral exam again.

After passing the oral exam, the final mark will be added to that of the written test, which will result in a final, average mark.

Voto Finale

The course aims at developing some linguistic strategies specific of academic writing and the language of journalism. Special attention will be also drawn to developing oral skills in order to be able to manage oral presentations (e.g. press conferences), achieve advanced spoken interaction, understand oral, specialised productions and manage journalistic interviews.
The course will thus address all four basic language skills, that is listening, speaking, reading and writing at an advanced level (B2/C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages – CEFR), which will be achieved by revising and strengthening the grammar, syntactic and lexical structures of general English, with an in-depth insight into the specialised language of journalism and the media. Special focus will be placed on practising on authentic oral and written material (e.g. journal articles, press releases and conferences, audio and video interviews, etc.).
In particular, students will be required to analyse and write news articles, listen to and understand a press conference/a specialised speech in English and manage an oral interview on selected topics.
Students will have to learn how to consult specialised bibliographic material, databases, pronunciation dictionaries, online and print monolingual dictionaries.

Specialised productive strategies of English for journalism and the media will be developed and practised during the course:
- news writing, report writing, summary writing;
- analysing interviews and writing news for the web;
- expanding notes into paragraphs;
- listening and understanding press conferences, video news and interviews;
- note taking and question formulating during/for a press conference/interview;
- preparing and conducting a journalistic interview.
Advanced language will be also practised by exercising advanced lexical-grammar competences, while using specialised journal and communicative materials.

Required texts.
1) Students are expected to have read and studied the following books cover to cover during the course:
• Clark, C. 2007. Views in the news. A textbook. Milano: LED Edizioni Universitarie.
• Hashemi L., Thomas B., Matthews L. 2015. Grammar and Vocabulary for First and First for Schools Book with Answers and Audio, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2) One volume among the following (to be chosen by the student)
• Reah, D. 2002. The Language of Newspapers. London: Routledge (Unit One, Unit Two, Unit Six).
• Sova D.B. 2002. How to write articles for newspapers and magazines, Thomson Peterson’s.
• Hennessy, B. 2009. Writing feature articles. Amsterdam: Focal.
• Conboy, M. 2010. The Language of Newspapers: Socio-Historical Perspectives. London: Continuum.
• Hicks, Wynford et al. 2008. Writing for Journalists. London and New York: Routledge, second edition.
• Williams, K. 2010. Read All About It! A History of the British Newspaper. London, N.Y.: Routledge.

Further material (slides, notes, etc.) will be uploaded on the lecturer’s e-learning webpage (Lingua Inglese > Vicentini: http://elearning3.uninsubria.it/)

Desk dictionaries.
Monolingual dictionaries:
• Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary, Glasgow, Harper Collins, 2006.
• Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English + DVD, London, Longman-Pearson, 2009.

Online dictionaries:
• Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary Online
• Cambridge Dictionaries online
• WordReference.com

N.B. Dictionaries are NOT ALLOWED during the exam.

Frontal lessons: the lecturer explains the contents of the course, interacting with the students through exercises, listening to authentic material in English and doing interim mock tests with guided correction.
Every week a specific task will be assigned (i.e. planning and writing a part of a news article, listening to a video interview, etc.) to be sent to and corrected by the lecturer.

Students are invited to email professor to set up appointments.