English I

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
This is a first-year, two semester-course. The aim of the course is to familiarize students with key concepts in discourse analysis through in-depth study of authentic texts typical of a variety of professional domains, mostly in the fields of corporate communication, both internal and external. Students will learn to recognize the discursive, textual, and rhetorical strategies deployed in the texts and to assess their pragmatic effects. They will also learn to produce effective written texts in the domains considered. Professionally oriented oral communication skills will also be developed. The course combines theoretical and applied perspectives, and includes an advanced grammar component. The minimum requirement for the course is B2 plus level of the CEFR (competences approaching C1 are desirable) . The exit level is set at C1 plus of the CEFR, with special reference to specialized communication in corporate settings.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course students will have acquired a broad range of advanced grammatical structures and specialized vocabulary, which they will be able to deploy strategically in both writing and speaking. They will have mastered the principles of genre analysis, thereby acquiring transferable competences which they will be able to put to use in their future professional careers. While the course will mainly focus on corporate communication, the competences acquired extend beyond it to provide a strong basis for future application in any professional field.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
In the first term of 2020-21, the course will be taught entirely online, as will language practice sessions ("esercitazioni"). For the second term, updates will be provided as soon as possible. Whether it will be possible to return to in-person lessons will depend on the evolution of the current health emergency. The goal is to go back to in-person teaching. As stated in the policy document "Piano didattico - organization of teaching", access to online teaching will be guaranteed to all students unable to attend throughout the entire academic year.
Online teaching will be delivered through the Teams platform, which is part of the Office 365 suite. The Office 365 package can be downloaded by UNIMI students from the university website free of charge. Teams has online interaction capabilities which will be fully exploited during classes. Students will be requested to fully participate in the suggested activities.
The main course classes will be primarily in lecture form and will be delivered live according to the timetable published on the MED website. Language practice sessions ("esercitazioni") will also be delivered live, at the appointed times. During the week devoted to selected in-person teaching (November 2nd-6th 2020), all classes will be pre-recorded so that students can freely attend any classes that may be offered in person. Unfortunately, due to the large number of students involved, no in-person classes will be held for English during the appointed week, as participation would have to be extremely selective and too many students would be excluded from the opportunity.
In order to maximise teaching and learning effectiveness, students will occasionally be asked to do some autonomous work before classes. The topics dealt with in these activities will then be further discussed in class. Students are strongly encouraged to do all the homework assigned, so as to be able to devote as much time as possible to interaction during classes, which may be shorted than the customary 90 minute blocks because of the additional strain posed by online teaching on students and teachers alike.
For what concerns exams, please be advised that the first chance to sit an English Language exam will be in May 2021, as this is a yearly course which runs over two terms. Hopefully, we will be able to carry out exams in person. Updates on this issue will be provided promptly.
Please note that all updates and information will be published on the course website (Lingua Inglese 1 LIN) on the Ariel platform. Students are strongly advised to check the course website regularly so as to be up to date will all information and instructions.
Course syllabus
Unit 1. Advanced Language Awareness for Corporate Communication
The unit aims to provide students with advanced competences in English syntax and specialised vocabulary, with special regard to text writing strategies in the field of corporate communication. The unit will focus on advanced grammar, especially on logical connectors and on issues of topicalisation, focus, emphasis and information structure.
Advanced Language Awareness for Corporate Communication

Unit 2
An Introduction to Corporate Communication in English: A Linguistic Approach
The unit aims to enhance students' awareness of the strategic nature of corporate communication, with special regard to the linguistic means whereby rhetorical and pragmatic effects are achieved. Starting from in-depth analyses of the rhetorical features of selected corporate communication genres, students will learn to recognize the rhetorical moves deployed in them and the linguistic structures used to realize them. Students will learn to bridge the gap between theory-based text analysis and text production. The genres discussed will range from the press release to the internal report, to the financial report, to the CEO letter in annual reports, to the mission statement etc. The overall aim of this part of the syllabus is to train students to recognize different genres and the rhetorical strategies associated with them, linking them to their intended communicative purpose(s).

Unit 3
Building texts: from theory to application
Unit 3 builds on the competences developed in Units 1 and 2, guiding students through the principles of text composition across the range of genres analysed. Student will practice writing in a range of corporate genres. All writing tasks will be accompanied by self-reflective activities on the writing process, so as to enhance students' awareness of linguistic and rhetorical strategies deployed in corporate communication. A writing seminar will be organized to help students hone their writing skills.
Prerequisites for admission
The minimum entry level is B2. The only valid proof of you level of English is the entry test you must pass in order to be admitted to the course. Certifications are not accepted in lieu of the test. Only students who studied English at University during their BA or equivalent degree can enrol in this course. Foreign students requiring a visa for study purposes are admitted solely on the basis of their academic career. They are, however, required to have a B2 level in English, just like all other students. Should their level of English prove inadequate, they will have to rely on self-study to reach a suitable level.
Teaching methods
Lectures, plus language practice sessions and seminars. All classes are held in English. The course consists of 30 lectures (60 hours) over two semesters taught by the course professor(s).
In addition to these lectures, language practice sessions ("esercitazioni") are scheduled (see the official timetable). Students are strongly advised to attend them.
Language practice sessions are designed to help students improve their overall language skills (grammar & vocabulary, writing, reading, listening and speaking), which are expected to reach C1 plus level in the CEFR.
Writing seminars are also scheduled in the second term in preparation for the exam. Students are strongly advised to take advantage of these opportunities to practice their language skills.

Language practice sessions: textbooks
Allison, J., Appleby, R., de Chazal, E. 2009. The Business Advanced Student's Book DVD Rom Pack. Macmillan. ISBN: 978-0230021518
Wellman, G. e Side, R. 2002. Grammar and Vocabulary for Cambridge Advanced and Proficiency. New Edition. With Key. Longman. ISBN: 9780582518216

Further reference
Longman Business English Dictionary, Third Edition. Longman. ISBN: 9781405852593.
Oxford Business English Dictionary for Learners of English. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780194315845.
Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners, New Edition. Macmillan. ISBN: 9781405025263.

For further information about language practice sessions, class materials, updated reading lists and exams please refer to the course website on the Ariel platform (http://pcatenaccioli1lin.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/v3/home/Default.aspx). For information about office hours please check the "Chi e Dove" section of the UNIMI website.
Teaching Resources
Unit 1
Materials for this part of the course will be provided in class and online. Students will rely on the course materials provided and on further materials which will be recommended in class. All materials used will be published on the course website in a timely manner.
Further reading: Celce-Murcia, M. / Larsen-Freeman, D. 1999. The Grammar Book. An ESL/EFL Teacher's Course. Second edition. Boston: Thomson Heinle: pp. 60-69; 519-537.
Carter, R. / McCarthy, M. 2006. Cambridge Grammar of English. Cambridge: CUP: 838-851.
Downing, A. / Locke; P. 2006. English Grammar. A University Course. Second edition. Routledge: pp. 228-232; 238-262.

Unit 2
Darics, Erika / Koller, Veronika 2017. Language in Business, Language at Work. London: Palgrave.
Further reading
Catenaccio P. 2008. Press releases as a hybrid genre: Addressing the informative/promotional conundrum. Pragmatics. 18(1): 9-32.
Catenaccio, P. 2012. Understanding CSR Discourse: A Linguistic Perspective. Milano: Arcipelago.
Fairclough, N. 1993. Critical discourse analysis and the marketisation of public discourse: The universities. Discourse and Society. 4 (2): 133-68.
Mautner, G. 2005. The entrepreneurial university: A discursive profile of higher education buzzwords. Critical Discourse Studies 2: 95-120.
Ran, Bing / Duimering, P. Robert 2007. Imaging the Organization. Language Use in Organizational Identity Claims. Journal of Business and Technical Communication. 21(2): 155-187.
Swales, J. M. / Rogers, P- S. 1995. Discourse and the projection of corporate culture: The mission statement. Discourse and Society 6: 223-242.
Upton, Thomas A. (2002). Understanding direct mail letters as a genre. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 7(1): 65-85.
These materials will be made available on the course website or through the library.
Unit 3
An electronic coursepack will be made available on the course website on the Ariel platform. The coursepack will include text samples and practice tasks.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Assessment is exam-based. Students must successfully complete a written and an oral language skills test before they are allowed to sit the final exam. It is necessary to pass the written language test and the oral language test before you sit the oral exam with the course subject professor. Written language testing typically takes place at the beginning of each exam period (May, September, January).
This written test is composed of two parts:
1. Use of English: This part tests students' competences in grammar and vocabulary (C1 plus level, advanced Business English vocabulary). Tasks include cloze tests, sentence transformations/cohesive structures and multiple choice gapfills. Students are given 45 minutes to complete the tasks. No dictionaries are allowed. The test will be administered electronically.
For the purpose of evaluation, the three parts have diffierent weights.
- Sentence transformations/cohesive structures (10, C1 level minimum): weight: 20/30
- Cloze test (10 blanks): weight: 5/30
- Multiple choice gapfill (10 gaps): 5/30
You must have at least 60% correct answers overall, and no less that 50% in each part in order to pass the test. This means no less than 18/30 overall, with no less than 10/30 in the sentence transformation/cohesive structure exercise, and no less than 5/30 in the multiple choice gapfill and cloze test combined. If you get 18/30 overall, but less than 50% in any single part, you will have to resit.
2. The second part of the written test (which will be administered separately from the first one) consists of a text writing task. The task involves writing a text of professional quality in one of the genres analysed during the course (press release, fundraising letter, business proposal, internal report etc.). Students will be assigned a task plus commentary which they will have to complete within three hours, using all means available to them (including the Internet). The text will have to be around 450 word long, with the commentary in the range of 600 words. Assessment will be a mark out of 30 (pass mark 18). The mark reflects the level of professional quality of the task, measured in lexical appropriateness, grammatical correctness, respect of genre conventions and strategic suitability.

The language skills oral test consists of a simulated job interview. Students will be asked to play the role of either the interviewer or the interviewee and will have to demonstrate the ability to engage in challenging professional interactions. Assessment will be based on command of the language and will evaluate structure and vocabulary, adequacy of pronunciation and intonation patterns, fluency, authenticity/idiomaticity, and strategic effectiveness (C1 plus level). Students may obtain a mark for this part of the assessment during language practice sessions (interim assessment). Students who have not been assessed during language practice sessions will have to take the language skills oral test on the same day as they sit the oral exam with the course subject professor. A mark is awarded for this test out of 30.

Only students who have successfully passed both the written and the oral language skills tests will be able to sit the final exam.

The final exam will consist in an oral exam with the course subject professors, who will award the final mark (based on the marks obtained in the individual parts, but with no strict adherence to mathematical mean values). Students will have to prove they have mastered the concepts covered during the course and can talk about them in an academically appropriate manner by preparing and presenting a personal project.
The final mark will be based on the marks obtained in the single parts, but will not be their mathematical average. The mark will also be determined by the communicative competences displayed during the presentation and following discussion.
L-LIN/12 - LANGUAGE AND TRANSLATION - ENGLISH - University credits: 9
Lessons: 60 hours
Professor: Catenaccio Paola
Educational website(s)