The module aims to develop students’ communicative competence in English in diverse working environments. Students will be able to understand different kinds of texts and interact correctly at an intermediate (B2) level. The specific educational objectives are fixed on the recommendations of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). Particular emphasis will be placed on the acquisition of language structures and specialized vocabulary (legal English), with the aim of providing students with the necessary tools to understand and study a variety of texts relevant to their degree course. The module is also aimed to enhance students’ awareness of the deep interconnection between language and culture, and provide them with self-study language learning strategies.
Knowledge of the English language at a pre-intermediate level (B1), which includes the following grammar points: phonetics and phonology, common and proper nouns, adjectives, definite and indefinite articles, demonstrative adjectives and pronouns, possessives, numerals, subject and object personal pronouns, interrogative pronouns, time and place prepositions, present tenses (Simple Present, Present Continuous), auxiliary verbs, interrogative and negative forms, modals (can/can’t).
Fundamentals of English phonetics, grammar, syntax, common and specialized vocabulary through listening/reading comprehension and speaking exercises on topics related to the degree courses. Introduction to British culture and civilization. Particular emphasis will be placed on the following grammar topics: comparatives and superlatives; present tenses; past tenses; future tenses; use of verb tenses; modals (must, may, might, should, could, have to); if-clauses; relative clauses.
The course, focused on legal English, is structured around the following topics:
• The Legal Profession and the Areas of Law;
• The Language of Banking;
• Civil Law versus Common Law and The Language of Contract Law;
• The Language of Employment Law;
• The Language of the Law of Tort;
• Understanding Contracts.
The lectures and classes will be primarily aimed at developing students’ ability to decode a variety of specialized texts in English, and their acquisition of basic legal vocabulary. Special emphasis will be placed on oral communication. Besides the lectures and the optional lab activities, students can practise and consolidate their language skills on the dedicated section on the Moodle e-learning platform.
Selected parts/units of the following textbook will be used in the classes and assessed in the exam:
• Catherine Mason, The Lawyer’s English Language Coursebook, Birtley, Global Legal English Ltd, 2016 (Units 1A/B, 2A/B, 3A/B, 4A/B, 5A/B, 6A/B).
• Legal articles/excerpts taken from specialized books or journals (all downloadable on the e-learning and Teams platforms).
• Raymond Murphy, English Grammar in Use, Cambridge University Press (or any other reference grammar).
Oral examination (2 parts)
Part 1: discussion of one or more articles taken from the textbooks and listed in the detailed course syllabus: comprehension, comments, and opinions.
Part 2: reading and translation of one or more specialized articles listed in the detailed course syllabus and downloadable from the University website.