LANGUAGE AND TRANSLATION - ENGLISH II
Learning outcomes of the course unit
As well as continuing to develop written and oral language skills and translation strategies (from English into Italian and Italian into English) acquired during the first year of study, the course aims to provide students with solid general and specific knowledge of the methods of analysis of written and oral texts relating to the language of information and entertainment, representing informal and formal everyday language.
During the course students will learn to:
.express themselves appropriately in both the spoken and written mode of communication in everyday life and continue to develop these skills in the context of lifelong learning;
.become more autonomous in the learning of the language by acquiring the necessary linguistic competence with a view to using receptive and productive skills in a future professional context;
.recognise the pragmatic intent of diverse text genres according to various linguistic devices; decode the primary and secondary meanings of an utterance in texts whose purpose is either to inform, persuade or entertain; identify the forms of cohesion and relative discourse structure peculiar to the text genre;
.understand and analyse media texts in the original language, the complex nature of which is expressed not only in terms of formal and informal characteristics of the language, but also in the discursive-ideological contes expressed.;
.research independently further information on the topics discussed in class, retrieving both traditional paper and digital texts and presenting their findings on the Moodle platform made available for the course;
.formulate reasoned judgments and opinions after a thorough analysis of the text, even with regard to complex phenomena;
.communicate and discuss in English at the level B2+ of the Common European Framework of Reference, contents, analyses and theories in an appropriate register, i.e. making the necessary lexical and syntactic choices;
.apply the skills developed during the course to the analysis of various text types characteristic of diverse levels of meaning and justifying interpretation on the basis of a close examination of the text.
Course contents summary
The course, which will be taught in English, focuses on the analysis of TV programmes both for entertainment (TV sitcom, chat shows) and other forms of media discourse for information and persuasive purposes (print and on-line news, radio and TV news, talk shows, printed and TV advertising). In the first part, emphasis will be given in particular to the rhetorical structures used to create the pragmatic force of the message, be it implicit or explicit, with a view to discovering the real communicative purpose of the writer / speaker. The verbal and non-verbal aspects of English and Italian media texts will also be studied in a contrastive vein. The final part of the course will focus on the analysis of several British situation comedies, in order to discover how verbal humour is created through word play and intentional ambiguity of an utterance, and whether Grice’s conversational maxims are flouted.
Students will also follow a seminar to develop their translation strategies of various kinds of media texts (advertisements, information leaflets, websites) and will be asked to apply their linguistic skills to recognising and transposing the contents into the target language in an appropriate register according to the communicative purpose of the text.
As far as practical language competence is concerned, the students will attend throughout the academic year classes held by foreign language assistants. They will also be required to develop their self-study skills for 12 hours in the multimedia laboratory, following a programme discussed with the lecturer responsible for the course.
Preliminary text on the study of media language: G. Mansfield, 2006. Changing Channels. Media Language in (Inter)action, Milano: Edizioni LED.
A detailed bibliography of texts (the object of study) will be given during the course and clearly indicated in the examination programmeto be distributed.
Texts for developing language skills will also be indicated by the foreign language assistants at the beginning of the year.
In class. the lecturer will present the main elements of media discourse in all its varied aspects, indicating a series of prescribed texts that will be made available or indicated on the ELLY platform. Further suggestions will be given during the course for individual study and analysis with a view to stimulating in the student a high level of independence in approaching textual analysis as indicated by the lecturer. Furthermore, students will attend a seminar on developing translation theory and practice of media texts.
Students will also attend practical lessons held by foreign language assistants throughout the whole academic year. They will also be required to develop their self-study skills for 12 hours in the multimedia laboratory, following a programme discussed with the lecturer responsible for the course.
Assessment methods and criteria
Evaluation of the knowledge and skills acquired during the course will be carried out by means of a preliminary written test and oral examination at the end of the academic year. The knowledge and competences that will be evaluated are as follows:
. written and oral competence in the English language corresponding to the level B2+ (Common European Framework of Reference) and, in particular the acquisition of all language skills (written and spoken) as well as translation strategies from English to Italian and Italian to English in a register appropriate to the text genre and which reflects the communicative functions of the source text;
. knowledge of text features and context, formal, informal and ideological issues relating to the text genre and object of study;
. an ability to study independently, re-elaborate the contents imparted during the course, propose individual research complementary to the topics discussed during lectures, solve problems relating to the retrieval of information and decoding of complex texts, to formulate individual judgements and opinions.
With a view to verifying whether such knowledge and level of competences have been achieved, the aim of the oral examination is to evaluate the ability of the student to re-elaborate, reformulate such knowledge as well as the ability to apply the knowledge and skills gained to text analysis and also apply them at a contrastive level.
The preliminary written text evaluation will be considered insufficient if the student is found lacking in any of the language or translation skills; an evaluation of insufficent (less than 18/30) does not permit access to the oral examination.
A final evaluation of insufficient is determined by the lack on the part of the student: to demonstrate a minimum knowledge of the contents of the course; to express him or herself adequately in English (expected level of B2+) on the topics of the course; to discuss and solve problems regarding the retrieval of information and decoding of complex texts, and to formulate independent critical judgementsand opinions. The final evaluation takes into account the competences gained and mark awarded in the preliminary written test.
A final evaluation of sufficient (18-23/30) is determined if the student is able to show that he / or she has mastered the basic notions and contents of the course and is sufficiently able to express them, even simply, at a level of English that at least corresponds in part to the B2+ level. An average mark of (24-27/30) is awarded to the student who can demonstrate he / she possesses a more than sufficient command of the language and theoretical knowledge (24-25/30) or good (26-27/30) according to the above criteria of evaluation. The highest marks ( 28- 30/30 and merit) are likewise awarded on the basis of a very good to excellent command of the language and theoretical knowledge according to the above criteria of evaluation.