Scientific English

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with tools for analysing and decoding scientific texts in English, strengthening their ability to understand and engage with the academic literature relevant to their field of study.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student will have acquired the ability to understand and engage with the scientific literature in English that is relevant to his or her field of study. In addition, the student will have acquired transversal skills such as the ability to critically examine a scientific text, and to recognize and decode the discursive and persuasive strategies employed by the author.
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
The course covers the following topics:
- English as the global language of science
- Arguing like a scientist: how argumentation works
- "They say / I say": the rhetorical moves of academic writing
- Writing in the sciences: the research article
- Some grammatical problems in scientific English
- Specialised lexicon
- The syntax of scientific language: nominalisation and other aspects
- The popularisation of science: linguistic aspects.
Prerequisites for admission
The course requires a knowledge of English of at least level B1.
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons, group discussions and practical exercises.
Teaching Resources
The essential bibliography, which will be made available online, is as follows:
- Gillen, C. (2016) "The Data Suggest". Writing in the Sciences. In Graff & Birkenstein (eds), They Say, I Say. The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (3rd ed), pp. 202-220. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
- Halliday, M. A. K. (1993) Some Grammatical Problems in Scientific English. In Halliday & Martin (eds), Writing Science. Literacy and Discursive Power. London: The Falmer Press.
- Altbach, P. G. (2015) The Imperial Tongue. English as the Dominating Academic Language. Economic and Political Weekly 42(36), 3608-3611.
The following additional bibliography is recommended for further exploring the course topics:
- Garzone, G. (2006) Perspectives on ESP and Popularization. Milano: CUEM.
- Graff, G. & Birkenstein, C. (2016) They Say, I Say. The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (3rd ed). New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The examination is written and consists of exercises of analysis of authentic scientific texts and questions on topics covered in the course.
L-LIN/12 - LANGUAGE AND TRANSLATION - ENGLISH - University credits: 3
Practicals: 48 hours