Students must have passed the oral part of the 1st-year English Language exam before taking any part of the 2nd-year English Language exam.
Good knowledge of 18th- and 19th-century British and American history is highly recommended.
The aim is to provide students with extensive knowledge of Late Modern English, especially in a transatlantic perspective, with specific attention given to historical sociolinguistics and historical pragmatics. Students will be expected to discuss such topics at C2 level.
The English language in Late Modern times: from codification to 'language history from below'.
The course will analyze texts belonging to different Late Modern genres that were particularly widespread both in Britain and in the US; most analyses will rely on the increasing range of digital resources now available in libraries and archives on both sides of the Atlantic.
Contents will also be discussed in a teaching perspective, so as to provide opportunities for further analyses, not least in relation to literary translation.
Lectures will be based on the systematic analysis of primary sources available in digital repositories (see course website). Regular attendance is therefore highly recommended, so as to take accurate and complete course notes.
Additional coursebook for students who do not attend regularly:
- Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Ingrid 2009. An Introduction to Late Modern English. Edinburgh: EUP. ISBN 9780748625987.
NB: Coursebooks are also available in the University Library: see
The course will be based on lectures, but special attention will be given to debate and students will be encouraged to suggest topics for further analysis. Students will also be invited to attend the language practice sessions planned within the weekly schedule for their level of competence, and any tutoring activities on offer throughout the year.
The exam will be a discussion (in English) of the course topics: at least three questions will be asked, so as to assess the acquisition of course contents. Prior to the oral exam, students who have not already acquired relevant EFL certificates recognized by the Student office (see https://dllcs.unibg.it/it/corsi/corsi-studio/certificazioni-linguistiche) will have to pass a computerized test at C2 level in which listening and reading comprehension, translation skills and lexical and morpho-syntactic competence will be assessed (see an example in the e-learning pages). The pass mark is set at 60/100.
The evaluation of the oral exam will also take into account the candidate’s linguistic competence as far as lexis, grammar, phonology and pragmatics are concerned. More specifically, evaluations will fall into 5 bands:
A: Excellent (30 e lode): excellent knowledge of course contents. Presentation is accurate, correct, and appropriate.
B: Very good (30-27): very good knowledge of course contents. Presentation is correct.
C: Good (26-24): good knowledge of course contents. Presentation is mostly correct.
D: Sufficient (23-18): acceptable knowledge of course contents. Occasional mistakes are made.
E: Insufficient (less than 18): knowledge of course contents is partial and superficial; presentation is hampered by numerous mistakes.
Further reading suggestions will be provided to students wishing to write their MA dissertation on a topic pertaining to Late Modern English.
Recommended texts for practice sessions are listed at https://www.unibg.it/studia-noi/ti-aiutiamo/apprendimento-linguistico/in....
NB: If the course is (totally or partly) online the syllabus may be adjusted accordingly.