World Englishes

A.Y. 2020/2021
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
L-LIN/12
Language
English
Learning objectives
This course is addressed to BA (LT) students in Foreign Languages and Literatures. For the complexity of the topics introduced, investigated, and discussed along with the high level of specificity of English required for understanding audio-visual materials, it is suitable for second- and third-year students. World Englishes can also be included in the MA (LM) student syllabus.

This course aims at introducing and discussing the notions of dialect, accent, and variety, along with the idea of language variation vs. language standard/s (standard variety/ies and standardising issues). This approach will also introduce the debate on the role of English in different socio-linguistic contexts of use (class, social group, ethnic group, age group; regional, everyday, institutional, professional contexts, etc.), at different levels of variation (spelling, phonetics/phonology, vocabulary, morpho-syntax), and for different functions (native, official, second, foreign, international, global, etc.).

Some case studies will also be used to highlight major differences/similarities across varieties. Both the synchronic and the diachronic perspectives will be considered.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding: students are expected to a. explain and discuss the complex notions of accent, dialect, and variety from a diatopic (regional/geographical), diastratic (social, cultural or educational factors; sociolinguistic), and diachronic (historical/timeline); discuss the main linguistic standardising processes, in relation to the extra-linguistic context under scrutiny; c. highlight the linguistic and extra-linguistic relevance of variants at the basis of linguistic change, and differentiation processes (synchronic and diachronic perspectives).

Applying knowledge and understanding: students will a. identify the main distinctive features between accents (phonetic and phonological levels) and dialects (lexical and morpho-syntactic levels), either in the British Isles, or in a wider geographical context (English around the world); listen, understand, and analyse spoken interaction and written texts from a number of sources, identifying the major linguistic features which characterise/distinguish any single variety (case studies).
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
year
This course might be taught online (Teams), this depends on Public Health Requirements.
Course syllabus
VARIANTS, VARIATION, AND VARIETIES: IN SEARCH OF 'ENGLISHES'
6/9 CFU (credits) - Units A+B (compulsory) / C (optional)

The course is divided into two didactic units (A and B) for the 6-credit exam. Students interested in the 9-credit exam, please read carefully below.


Semester I (unit C) e II (units A and B)

Unit A (20 hours, 3 credits): The notions of variant, variation, and variety (prof. , II semester)
Unit B (20 hours, 3 credits): Blurring borders and language connections (prof. , II semester)
Unit C (20 hours, 3 credits): Variation and change: the legacy of time (taken from English Linguistics B/ LT, Unit C, I semester, Andreani)

The 6-credit exam consists of two compulsory didactic units (A and B); students interested in the 9-credit exam are requested to add unit C. This unit corresponds to (and is taken from) unit C of the English Linguistics course for BA students. English Linguistics (BA) is taught in the first semester.

The syllabus expiry date is July 2022/ The syllabus is valid until July 2022.
Prerequisites for admission
This course is mainly addressed to intermediate and upper intermediate students (2nd and 3rd-year BA, Foreign Languages and Literatures), and is completely delivered in English. Course materials and the reading list require B2/B2+ level (European Framework).
Teaching methods
World Englishes is mainly delivered as lectures, which also include practical activities on audio-file web materials.
Teaching Resources
Teaching Resources

The syllabus is the same for attending and non-attending students (non-attending students are kindly suggested to e-mail prof. ).

LECTURES:
Slides and authentic materials for linguistic anlysis (primary sources): phonetic/phonological, morpho-syntactic, textual, and discursive activities and discussion.
‐ Audio-video interviews, documentaries, presentations; web material.
MONOGRAPHS:
Compulsory readings (attending and non-attending students):
‐ Seargeant, Philip and Joan Swann (eds.), English in the World. History, Diversity, and Change, Routledge, The Open University, 2012.
- Lindsey, Geoff, 2019, English after the RP. Standard British Pronunciation Today, Palgrave MacMillan.
‐ Beal, Joan C., An Introduction to Regional Englishes, Edinburgh University Press, 2010.
Highly recommended titles for in-depth reading (attending and non-attending students):
‐ Jenkins, Jennifer, Global Englishes. A Resource Book for Students, Routledge, 2015.
Compulsory close reading of the following academic papers, please dowload at 'Biblioteca Digitale di Ateneo' http://www.sba.unimi.it/BibliotecaDigitale/46.html (attending and non-attending students):
‐ Sharifian, Farzad, "Cultural Linguistics and world Englishes", World Englishes, 2015, pp. 515-531.
‐ Onysko, Alexander, "Modeling world Englishes from the perspective of language contact", World Englishes, 2016, pp. 196-220.
‐ Onysko, Alexander, "Language contact and world Englishes", World Englishes, 2016, pp. 191-195.
READING LIST:
‐ Select one of the following titles/books, according to individual interests. Contents and key concepts/notions will be the starting point for the oral exam.
1. Bailey, Richard W., Speaking American. A History of English in the United States, OUP, 2012.
2. Crystal, David, Sounds Appealing. The Passionate Story of English Pronunciation, Profile Books, 2019.
3. Crystal, David, Spell it out. The Singular Story of English Spelling, Profile Books, 2013.
4. Crystal, David, By Hook or by Crook. A Journal in Search of English, Harper Perennial, 2008.
5. Crystal, David, You Say Potato. The Story of English Accents, Macmillan, 2015.
6. Crystal, David, English as a Global Language CUP, March 2012 (2nd).
7. Engel, Matthew, That's the Way it Crumbles. The American conquest of the English Language, Profile Books, 2018.
8. Horobin, Simon, How English Became English. A short history of a global language, OUP, 2016.
9. Machan, Tim William, What is English? And Why Should We Care? OUP, 2013.
10. Murphy, Lynne, The Prodigal Tongue. The Love Hate Relationship between British and American English, Oneworld, 2018.


The book review/commentary will be sent to your teacher/prof. as a .pdf file in order for him/her to assess your work/assignment (min. 18/30-max. 30/30) from 10 to max 5 days (and no later than that) before the selected date/appello to sit your exam.
The structure of the book review in English will highlight: general introduction to the book (contents, key concepts/notions); description and relevance of the main chapters; examples/quotations to support your opinion and evaluation (be precise and include nr of ch. and nr of pp. for your examples/quotations); discussion and final remarks. Your commentary will be the starting point for an in-depth discussion on the key concepts/notions emerged during the course: contact languages, variable, variant, variety, standard vs. non-standard, etc. language change, adaptation, linguistic/culture-bound issues, spelling and phonetic/phonology. Lexis and formulaic expressions, prestige, status, etc.
Your book review will be between 1200-1300 (min.-max.) words in length.

Notice for non-attending students
The syllabus is the same for attending and non-attending students. However, given the complexity of the approach, of the multidimensional text analysis, and of the discussion/argumentation, non-attending students are kindly suggested to e-mail prof. ).
Assessment methods and Criteria
World Englishes exam consists of an oral discussion. The final mark, between 18/30 (minimum) and 30/30 (maximum), is derived from the averaged total of the two (6-credit exam) or three (9-credit exam) didactic units.

Discussion on key concepts and notions: the focus is on those specific topics introduced in the two/three didactic units. Both the theoretical approach (metalinguistic, metatextual, metadiscursive), and the practical exemplification (case studies) will be assessed. Exposition and argumentation skills, and practical evidence will positively characterise oral interaction.


For attending students, mid-term assessment can be relevant for the exam averaged final mark (valid until January-February 2022, Winter exams). Mid-term assessment include a written test on the course materials/contents.

Oral exam assessment criteria: 1. appropriate presentation and discussion of topics, notions, and concepts; 2. discourse organisation; 3. lexical richness and accuracy; 4. lexical propriety; 5. lexical variety; 6. detailed text analysis (especially related to spelling variants, phonological system, and morpho-syntax of the varieties examined and discussed); 7. discourse skills.
Unita' didattica A
L-LIN/12 - LANGUAGE AND TRANSLATION - ENGLISH - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Lonati Elisabetta
Unita' didattica B
L-LIN/12 - LANGUAGE AND TRANSLATION - ENGLISH - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Lonati Elisabetta
Unita' didattica C
L-LIN/12 - LANGUAGE AND TRANSLATION - ENGLISH - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Andreani Angela
Professor(s)
Reception:
Tuesdays 14 to 17. Please get in touch via email to make an appointment.
Teams / Piazza S. Alessandro III piano