This course has a twofold objective: to improve the students’ ability to express themselves in a variety of contexts and to sensitize them to the sociocultural aspects underlying any communicative exchange. The main varieties of English in speech and writing will be examined with reference to their constituent levels: phonology, lexicon, grammar and semantics. The concepts of genre, discourse conventions and register will be exemplified through samples of real-life English: political speeches, news articles, advertisements and commercials, letters and emails, interviews and conversations will be closely analysed with a view to identifying their conventional features and uncovering their hidden connotative and ideological meanings. The analysis of English language in use aims to promote the learners’ awareness of discourse features and to consequently develop their interactional skills in English on the assumption that competence and performance are closely linked. As an integral part of the course, language classes with Dr. Margaret Russell will provide the students with the opportunity to develop their practical language skills.
Is Associate Professor of English Language and Linguistics at the Faculty of Political Science in the University of Naples Federico II. In 1997 she was awarded a doctorate in English for Special Purposes by the University of Naples Federico II and is now an active member of the Doctoral Board. She holds a Master of Arts in English Literature from the University of Leeds (UK), and the Tallent Certificate (Teaching and Learning Languages Enhanced by New Technologies) from the University of Birmingham. She has published a book analysing advertising discourse in the light of nonsense strategies, Nonsense in Advertising (Liguori, 2008), and a number of short essays on various research topics ranging from autonomous learning to war discourses. She takes part in the National Research Project “Tension and Variation in English Domain-Specific Genres” coordinated by the University of Bergamo. Her recent research interests include: political humour and satire; humanitarian aid discourse; institutional identity and cultural negotiations.