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)

Intermediate Level (B1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages – CEFR).

Final Examination: 
Scritto e Orale Congiunti
Voto Finale

Course description and learning objectives

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 focus on all four basic language skills, that is, listening, speaking, reading and writing at an advanced level (B2 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.

Final assessment
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 3 parts:
1) 10 multiple-choice questions on journals’ headlines (10 pts).
2) Analysis and identification of the textual and genre typology of an article (5 pts).
3) 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 orally analyse and describe an editorial and a news article of their own choice as well as to play a role in a journalistic interview.

The following will be evaluated: 1) the grammar and lexical correctness of the spoken interaction (10 pts); 2) the correctness of the linguistic-communicative analyses (5 pts); the 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.

The course is divided into two modules:
A) Advanced Language Practice (20 hrs). In this module advanced lexical-grammar competences are developed. Listening, speaking, reading and writing are practised based on the following grammar and functional areas:
- Tenses
- Modals and semi-modals
- Linking verbs, passive, questions
- Verb complementation: what follows verbs
- Reporting
- Nouns
- Articles, determiners and quantifiers
- Relative clauses and other types of clause
- Pronouns, substitution and leaving out of words
- Adjectives and adverbs
- Adverbial clauses and conjunctions
- Prepositions
- Organising information

1. The language of Journalism (44 ore). In this module some specialised productive strategies of English for journalism and the media are developed:
- news writing, report writing, summary writing;
- analysing interviews and writing news for the web;
- expanding notes into paragraphs;
- listening and understanding press conferences and interviews;
- note taking and question formulating during/for a press conference/interview;
- preparing and conducting a journalistic interview.

Required texts.
Students are expected to have read the following books cover to cover during the course:
• Clark, Caroline 2007. Views in the news. A textbook. Milano: LED Edizioni Universitarie.
• Hicks, Wynford et al. 2008. Writing for Journalists. London and New York: Routledge, second edition.
• Hewings, Martin, 2005. Advanced Grammar in Use with CD-ROM (with keys). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, second edition.
• Cotton, David / Falvey, David / Kebt, Simon, / Lebeau, Ian / Rees Gareth, 2010. Language Leader. Coursebook and CD-ROM + workbook with Keys and Audio CD, Pearson Educated Limited, Longman, last edition.

Additional Optional Texts (Not Required but Recommended):
• Reah, D. 2002. The Language of Newspapers. London: Routledge (Unit One, Unit Two, Unit Six).
• Goddard, A. 2002. The Language of Advertising. London: Routledge (Unit One, Unit Two, Unit Four, Unit Seven).
• Conboy, M. 2010. The Language of Newspapers: Socio-Historical Perspectives. London: Continuum.
• 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://elearning2.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

N.B. The use of dictionaries is NOT ALLOWED during the exam.