Learning outcomes of the course unit
As well as continuing to develop written and oral language skills and translation strategies, the course aims at providing students with solid general and specific knowledge of the methods of analysis of written and oral texts relating to various languages (persuasive, informative as well as of entertainment), which also represent 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 ‘re-created’ during the course through videos and multimedia documents;
.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 various text genres according to various linguistic devices; decode the primary and secondary meaning of an utterance in texts whose purpose is either to inform, persuade or entertain; identify the forms of cohesion peculiar to the text genre and relative discourse structure;
.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 contents expressed;
.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 B1++ contents, analyses and theories in a register appropriate to Language and Translation Studies.
Course contents summary
The course, which will be partially taught in English, begins with a study of the impotant transformations that the field of Linguistics and Translation Studies have undergone during the last decades, focussing on the fundamental notions of these disciplines and their development. Notions such as ‘context’ (cultural and situational), ‘linguistic function’, ‘discourse’ and ‘communicative act’ will thus be the focus of the first few lessons, which will then proceed by analysing the differences between spoken and written language and some issues connected to them (for instance choice of register). Afterwards, the course will introduce various theoretical approaches to the study of English. The second part of the course will therefore enable students to approach disciplines such as Conversational Analysis, Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis etc. In order to see how the theories at the basis of these disciplines are practically realised in the language used by English native speakers, we will make large use of multimedia materials and we will carry out detailed analyses of both spoken and written textual types.
The introduction of these documents will constitute the starting point for the discussion of translation issues. Bearing in mind Jakobson’s triadic model of translation, the course will initially focus on the notion of interlinguistic translation, thus introducing the discipline of Translation Studies, in order to introduce, at a later stage, also the notion of intersemiotic translation and cinematographic adaptation. We will therefore consider the translation problems presented by different textual types, from the language of newspapers to that the propagandistic one, from specialised languages to the language of poetry, from the language of humour to the language of mass media.
The articles and other materials which are not included in the textbook indicated in the Bibliography will be at the students’ disposal on the Lea platform, where students will also be able to view the various videos used during the course.
In addition, 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 a minimum of 12 hours in the multimedia laboratory, following a programme discussed with the teacher.
“Studi di Linguistica, Lingua e Traduzione: Istruzioni per l'uso", Padova, Libreria Universitaria, 2016 (in stampa).
Lecture notes available on Elly, as far as the corpus of written and spoken texts analysed during the course is concerned.
“Corso di traduzione dall’inglese all’italiano” (Educatt, Milano, 2007), by M. Canepari, as far as translation practice is concerned.
A detailed bibliography will be given during the course and clearly indicated in the examination programme that will be available on Lea in digital form.
Texts for developing language skills will also be indicated by the foreign language assistants at the beginning of the year.
During class lectures in English, the lecturer will present the main notions of Linguistics and Translation Studies using both the textbooks indicated in the bibliography and other textual or visual documents that will be available to students on the Lea 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 and discussing issues tackled by the lecturer during the lessons.
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 a minimum of 12 hours in the multimedia laboratory, following a programme discussed with the lecturer.
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 an 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 B1++ of the Common European Framework of Reference and, in particular the acquisition of all language skills (written and spoken) as well as translation strategies 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 his/her 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 insufficient evaluation (less than 18/30) does not permit access to the oral examination.
The final evaluation takes into account the competences gained in the preliminary written test.
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 B1++) 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 judgements and opinions.
A final evaluation of sufficient (18-23/30) is determined if the student is able to show that he/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 B1++ level. An average mark (24-27/30) is awarded to the student who can demonstrate he/she possesses a more than sufficient (24-25/30) or good (26-27/30) command of the language and theoretical knowledge 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.